This video’s topic is cremation. If is part of the video funeral series “Ask the Director”. A rough transcript of the audio portion of this video is below. You may also turn on the captioning in the video by pressing the cc. Please share this video by pressing the paper airplane in the upper right corner.


Cremation Video – Information about the Cremation Questions

Transcript of Cremation Video

Today’s topic: Cremation

Cremation is the high temperature burning of a body to produce a residue of mineral fragments that resemble dried bone. Usually the temperature is in excess of 1500+ degrees Fahrenheit and the process takes generally a couple hours for an adult, longer for larger individuals.

Today cremation plays a major role in the disposition of the dead – in fact 60% of Californians select cremation as a disposition method and as land continues to become more expensive its use will continue to increase.

Some common questions regarding cremation are


Can I still have a Funeral?

Of course. This is often a big misconception about cremation. Cremation is not an Alternative to a Funeral – It is an Alternative to Burial. Cremation actually gives the family many options – it gives them time to plan for a service. Often with cremation services tend to be more informal. Clergy may or may not be directing the service often and it can even take place in a more casual venue such as a park or a favorite location of the deceased person.


Is more than one body cremated at a time?

No, it is generally illegal to do this, however exceptions may be made for stillborn twins or a mother and child who died during childbirth.


What type of container is needed for the cremation to take place?

Some form of rigid container – sometimes a cremation casket, but most often a heavy cardboard container is used. This is both to protect the cremation operator from disease or infection and to protect the dignity of the deceased. The body is cremated in the same enclosure in which it arrives at the crematory. For larger individuals a more rigid container called an air tray is used.


What happens to jewelry?

Jewelry, such as necklaces, wrist-watches and rings, are ordinarily removed before cremation, and returned to the family.


What about Pacemakers, deliberators and the like?

They must be removed before cremation as the heat of the cremation process may cause the device to explode, endangering workers and damaging equipment. Usually the devices are returned to the manufacture for disposition to use outside the United States. Yes, the devices may be reused, but only outside of the US.


What are the results of the cremation?

After the cremation process has been completed, for an adult, there is around 170 cubic centimeters of cremains ( 4-7 pounds). The larger the individual (we are referring to bone mass) the more cremains are present. The soft tissue of the body is consumed during the cremation process.

The cremains, when they are removed for the retort, are kind of chunky. The bones are fragmented into small pieces of a centimeter or so. Next they are placed in a machine for pulverization. This reduces the cremains to around the same look as sand – about the same weight for the volume and a similar color. The color ranges from almost white to a dark color gray color with most of the color differences being attributed to the temperature and duration of the cremations process.


Can I fly with cremains

If you need to go through and airport checkout with the cremains, make sure they are in an x-rayable container and have your paperwork. The TSA will not open the urn to inspect contents – even if asked. Some airlines do not allow cremains in the checked baggage, so check with you individual airline.


Summary of Cremation Video

Thank you for watching and if you have any please do not hesitate to contact your funeral director and please view other informative videos in our “Ask the Director” series.


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