Understanding The Funeral Prearrangement Process

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Cremation Viewings: What They Are Like For Surviving Family Members

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When a loved one has chosen cremation as the final burial option, surviving family members are often left wondering how the viewing of the body is supposed to go. They do not know how the service is done, or who can be present. This is probably all new and confusing for them. Before you pass away, be sure to explain this process in the following manner.

The Body Is Placed on the Slab or in a Simple Box

According to your personal preference, your body is placed on a slab that slides into the crematorium, or into a simple pine box, which is then slid into the furnace. If you are going to have family present at this moment, most people prefer that you be in a box because it seems a little less intimidating. If your body is marred or partially decomposed as the result of an accident or being discovered days after you have passed, you will be placed in the box regardless.

Having Family Present

Immediate family and very close friends are invited to be present at the time of the cremation. Because of the limited space that is often surrounding the furnace, most cremation service directors limit the number of people present. When you select and pay for cremation ahead of time, the director will let you know how many people can attend this part of the service.

Prayers and Service

If you have requested it, a small service can be held over your body prior to the cremation. Prayers may also be said over your body, depending on your religious preferences. Any other burial or cremation rights commonly practiced by your faith may also be performed.

Body into the Fire

At this point, your loved ones say their last goodbyes, and your body (or your body in the box) is slipped into the furnace. The door is locked tight, and the crematorium director turns the furnace on to the temperature needed to incinerate the body. Your loved ones are free to go until the process is complete, because the entire process will take several hours. Once the process is complete, the crematorium director will call next of kin, usually a spouse or adult child, and request that the ashes be picked up. If you leave directives behind to have your ashes scattered or to have any additional services for extended family and friends, these services are completed separate of the cremation process and funeral.

To learn more about your options, contact a funeral home like Holmes Funeral Home.