When families select cremation for their loved one there are several options that are available. Probably the first and most important decision to be made is whether to have the body present for calling hours and funeral services or to have the cremation performed first and then have the cremated remains available for calling hours and memorial services. Once this is determined, then other selections will follow, such as the choice of a casket, urn or possibly both. When and where will the services occur, do I need photos, clothing or a cemetery plot. We will help you through the process of making these selections, in a manner that respects your wishes.
When having the body present for public calling hours and/or funeral services with an open casket, the person would need to be embalmed. With proper embalming, the appearance of the deceased would be enhanced through proper distribution of the embalming fluid, slight restorative art and the application of cosmetics. Usually from the time of death to the point of which the funeral director's work is done is a complete transformation producing positive results. Our goal is to present a peaceful, natural appearance of the deceased. By doing so, this would allow family and friends a time to pay their final respects to the deceased prior to the cremation. A casket would need to be purchased or rented for the services.
If you choose not to have the body present for the calling hours and/or the funeral services, we can accomplish this as well. An urn could be placed in the center of the chapel instead of the casket. We do offer families an opportunity to spend with their loved one with a private viewing before the cremation. We at Brown Funeral Home believe that an integral part of the grieving process begins with the viewing of the deceased. While this may be difficult and is a personal choice, we will use our years of experience to provide a peaceful moment for family members to say "goodbye" in the comfort of our facility.
Cremation is an alternative to the burial process and it is chosen by many people because of religious beliefs, the desire to preserve the environment or it was requested by the person who died. Cremation is also a less expensive option in comparison to a burial and is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial or other forms of disposition.
Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it. The Catholic Church had banned cremation up until 1963, while they prefer the body to be present for the Mass of Christian Burial, they will allow cremated remains. The Catholic Church also prefer's the cremated remains to be buried in a cemetery. In other Christian denominations cremation was historically discouraged but nowadays it is more widely accepted. In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism cremation is mandated, while in Islam it is strictly forbidden. Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option.
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.
Is a casket needed for Cremation?
No, a casket is not required for an immediate cremation. New York State requires an alternative container constructed of wood and/or cardboard to be used.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
No. In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.
Can I have calling hours and funeral services with an open casket and then have the person cremated?
Yes you can. The deceased can be embalmed, dressed, placed in a casket and cosmetized for calling hours and funeral services. This allows for family and friends to pay their respects and have one last chance to see their loved one before the cremation.
Would a casket need to be purchased or could one be rented for the calling hours and funeral services?
At Brown Funeral Home we offer both. Most families choose to rent a casket when there are calling hours and funeral services with cremation to follow. Our charge for the rental casket is $895 and includes the cremation insert.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes, we will allow for a private family only viewing of the deceased prior to cremation.
Can an urn be brought into church?
Nearly all Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass. It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
While laws vary state by state, for the most part cremated remains can be buried in a cemetery or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium or kept at home.
How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?
As listed above, we use a Universal Identification System to properly track and record that we have received the proper cremated remains. Most funeral homes do not have a system for this and strictly rely on the crematorium tracking disk. While we trust the crematoriums that we work with, there is always room for human error and we want to eliminate that risk.
How long does the actual cremation take?
It all depends on the weight of the individual. For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.
Are all the cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container. We offer an on-site selection of urns that are constructed of wood, metal, marble and hand crafted ceramic. Most of our urns can be personalized with engraving.
At Brown Funeral Home we offer Legacy Touch Keepsakes. With your permission, we can scan your loved ones fingerprints, give you a I.D. number and you can go online to www.LTkeepsakes.com and view jewelry with your loved ones name, date of birth, date of death and their fingerprint to be engraved. You can make the purchase in the convenience of your own home and for $10 per item it can be delivered the next day. These one of a kind, personalized keepsakes can be ordered at any time and make great gifts that would be treasured for years.