Cremation and Tradition
Cremation and Religion
Cremation vs. Burial
Funeral Cemetery Inventions
Do a quick search of the internet for the phrase cremation casket and you will find them mentioned quite liberally on the web. But, since product of cremation is commonly known to be sand-like particles that can be scattered with the winds or stored for the ages in small containers, the thought of cremation caskets may seem a confusing paradox to many. Questions will no doubt arise in the minds of many people who are arranging a cremation for a loved one. Just what exactly is a cremation casket? Why would one be needed? Is one required for every cremation? This article will attempt to answer all of these important questions and more. In an official sense, cremation caskets are simply containers in which a body is placed before being cremated. (They are in fact, often referred to as simply cremation containers) Because these cremation caskets will be burned along with the body in the cremation process, the only formal requirement for an object to qualify as an official cremation casket is that it be made of a combustible material. Cremation caskets are never made from plastic or metal materials that will stand up to the flames and heat of the cremation oven or dissolve into something, such as a pool of liquid that will not resemble ash. Rather, these containers are typically made from wood, cardboard or even very strong paper material.
Keeping that basic description in mind, you will likely realize that there is plenty of room for choices in the types of cremation caskets made available to families whose loved one will be cremated, and the final decision about what type or style of cremation casket is necessary for a particular cremation is entirely dependent upon the circumstances and needs of those involved in the selection. It is, in short, an entirely personal and private choice. But, again, the range of choices is quite dramatic. Cremation caskets can resemble nothing more than a large cardboard box big enough to hold a human body, or they can be traditional wooden coffins nailed together with inexpensive plywood and nails such as the coffins of yesteryear that were common sites at funerals of the Wild West and other such tough and gritty places of history. And, finally, cremation caskets can be made of elaborately designed hard-wood such as that from which the finest furnishings are typically fashioned. Again, the choice of cremation casket is an intimate one that is best made by a person's loving family members.
Cremation caskets made from cardboard or fashioned after the old-fashioned plywood casket can often present a problem for family members who want to present their loved-one's body for a viewing ceremony (a strictly optional portion of a the traditional memorial ceremony) in which the utmost in dignity is typically a key ingredient. For these cases, the much more formal and dignified look of a meticulously designed and crafted hard wood casket may be precisely what is needed, but the pragmatist would be well forgiven for not wanting to pay a great deal more for such a casket that will only, after all, end up being burned to ashes as part of the cremation. Fortunately, most funeral homes who handle memorial ceremonies for people who have been cremated offer a practical solution to this dilemma: caskets that can be rented. For a small fraction of what it would cost to buy a casket outright, families can usually arrange to simply rent an elaborately designed and dignified casket in which a body will be displayed for a viewing ceremony. The body would then be transferred to a much simpler, less expensive cremation casket for the cremation procedure itself.
For anyone considering the purchase of a cremation casket, consumer experts offer a few important tips to keep in mind. The most important thing, the expert’s advice families of a person whose body is to be cremated, is to always be aware of options that are available. While a cremation casket is not a physical requirement of the cremation process most crematories today (for a variety of reasons related to tradition to a desire to preserve the dignity of the procedure) have strict policies that require all cremations to be done with the use of a cremation casket. State and federal laws certainly do allow crematories to adopt such policies, but they also make it clear that crematories much allow customers to choose a simple cardboard box – even one that they have supplied themselves – for the cremation if they so desire. Laws require crematory representatives to make sure all customers know they have this option should they choose it. Before such laws were common in the United States, many crematory sales people would engage in the unfortunate act of not disclosing this least expensive option and, therefore, enticing customers to buy expensive caskets that would only end up being burned with the body. Some customers, for sentimental reasons, may, in fact, choose this option. But laws are now very clear that, before doing so, they must be clearly informed of other, less expensive, options. Good funeral homes will be happy to comply with this law willingly, and, fortunately, most do a great job at this, most consumer experts say.