What happens at a cremation service?

Cremation is the most popular way we say our final goodbyes, with three out of four of us choosing it over burial. It’s a process that uses extremely intense heat to turn the remains of someone into ashes, which can then be received by a loved one.

A cremation service is very much the same as one in which the person is interred. Mourners assemble outside the crematorium then take their seats at the chapel before the coffin is brought in and laid on a raised area called a catafalque. The coffin can also be brought in beforehand if that is preferred. You don’t have to have a service at the crematorium, it can be in a church or any other venue of your choosing.

The service itself can be religious or secular, conducted by a priest or holy figure, or by a celebrant or the mourners themselves and can include hymns, prayers, favourite music, poems and reminiscences of the person and their life. The deceased may have specified the exact order of service, or the loved ones will have decided what form it should take. 

Cremation services can last anything between 25-40 minutes.

What is a cremation committal service?

The committal at a cremation is one aspect that is different from what happens at a burial. When someone is being cremated the committal is the point at which the coffin is removed at the end of the service. As the service ends the coffin is typically obscured from view for mourners to pay their final respects before the cremation. Options include the coffin being moved behind curtains, glass, a gate or removed from the building entirely.

In contrast, when someone chooses to be buried the committal will be the point at which the coffin is lowered into the ground.

At a cremation committal, once the coffin has gone from view everyone can leave. They may congregate outside for a while to offer condolences then make their way to the wake if there is one. 

Who can have a cremation service?

Anyone can be cremated and there are many religions where it is a part of their end-of-life ritual, however certain faiths discourage against cremation. They include Islam, which strictly prohibits the cremation of the remains of someone who is Muslim, Presbyterian/Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox Jewish religion and Mormons. 

Funerals require making a lot of decisions at a time when you may not feel like making them but we are here to help, so if you want to know more about cremation then please follow the link below, or get in touch today.