In 1980, the cremation rate was just 20%. According to the Cremation Association of North America (CANA), the U.S. now sees a cremation rate of over 50.1%, which is expected to rise to 56.3% by the year 2020. Many factors underlie the shift—cremation is more affordable than traditional burial, families are more mobile and aren’t as tied to particular locations in life or death, and beliefs around death practices are changing. Whether you’re considering cremation for a loved one or planning ahead for yourself, you may be interested in the following:
- Cremation Doesn’t Require a Casket
It is not necessary to purchase a casket if your loved one is being cremated versus buried. Families generally only purchase caskets if desired for visitations or open-casket funerals. In some cases, families rent caskets with a liner from funeral homes for the visitation.
- Cremated Ashes Can Have Permanent Resting Places
You can still opt for a permanent resting place even if you’ve chosen cremation. Some people buy small cemetery plots for ashes and even mark them with a stone, and others scatter ashes in special sections of cemeteries earmarked for that practice. Still others place their loved one’s ashes in a columbarium, a collection of niches for cremated remains.
- Permission May Be Required to Scatter Ashes
Roughly a third of people opt to scatter their loved one’s ashes. There are many places that welcome the scattering of ashes within certain guidelines, but other places ban scattering of ashes. For instance, Massachusetts allows the scattering of ashes at sea at any depth as long as it is three nautical miles from shore. Scattering ashes has become so popular that many popular outdoor sites such as beaches, parks, and forests list rules on their websites.
- Cremains Can Be Stored in a Variety of Ways
Many people choose to keep their loved one’s ashes. While the traditional approach is to keep the ashes in an urn on a mantle, there are countless other options. Some people opt to use cremains in memorial jewelry, mix them into tattoos, plant them under trees, or put them in hourglasses.
- Bodies Can Be Embalmed Before Cremation
Families who want a visitation or an open casket will likely need to have the body embalmed. However, embalming is not required with cremation. It tends to be less expensive and easier for many families to simply choose cremation, which does not involve preparation for a viewing.
At Boston Cremation, we offer simple cremation, cremation with a memorial service, and open casket funerals with cremation to follow. We are committed to helping our clients through this process, and we make everything easy with our four-step online planning process. Contact us today to learn more.