Thinking About Cremation?

The Hamilton Funeral Homes are part of a local co-op of funeral directors whose crematory is located in Braham, MN. Each individual funeral director in the co-op: transfers the deceased in their care to the crematory, handles the cremation and returns the cremated remains to the family of the deceased, personally. This assures our families of responsibility and integrity in this process.

What is Cremation?

Cremation is a process in which a body is placed in a special chamber called a retort under intense heat, ranging from 1400 degrees to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The intense heat reduces the body to its mineral elements and bone fragments. Larger bone fragments are processed to reduce their size and the cremated remains are returned to the family. This process does in a few hours what it takes nature many years to do.

Many people have the misconception that only a “cremation society” can offer the option of cremation. That is not true. A “cremation society” is another name for a funeral home. The licensed staff at a cremation society are funeral directors who have completed the same training, hold the same licenses and are members of the same professional organizations, as the licensed staff in a funeral home. A cremation society can offer both traditional and cremation services, just as a funeral home can.

Funeral Service or Memorial Service?

Cremation has no effect on whether the service will be a funeral or a memorial service. “Funeral” is a term used for a service with the body present and “memorial service” means that the body is not present during the service. Survivors need to grieve. It has been shown that a funeral or memorial service will help begin the grief process.

When cremation is chosen any of the following options can be selected.

  • Visitation or “wake” with or without the body present-Ceremony at the funeral home or church with or without the body present.-Pallbearers may be used for the service
  • Cremated remains may be buried in a cemetery, entombed, scattered or kept by the family
  • A funeral or memorial service may be held at several locations where the person had special connections.

What is an Immediate or Direct Cremation?

These are terms used when a body is cremated soon after death with little or no other preparation. Usually once the family has identified the body, and written permission from the family and physician is obtained, the cremation can be completed.

Are Cremations Cheaper?

It is not possible to make a general statement about cost. The cost is determined by the type and amount of services the family selects, whether or not a casket or other container is used, and the type of urn the family selects. A good funeral director is equally interested in meeting both your emotional and financial needs. Katy will openly discuss the costs involved in the services of your choice.

Is Embalming Always Needed?

Embalming is not necessary for cremation yet it does not hinder the cremation process if it has been done. The family may select embalming, or in some causes of death it may be necessary to have the body embalmed. Katy will listen to your needs and wishes and tell you whether or not embalming is needed.

Do We Need To Buy A Casket?

The State of Minnesota law requires the body to be in a container during the cremation process. Katy will help you select a low-cost container for this purpose. However, if a family selects a service with the body present, some type of casket will be needed. We do offer cremation caskets that can be used for this option.

What about an Urn?

We will return the cremated remains in a temporary plastic container that is suitable for transport or burial. If the family wishes to purchase an urn, we can show you a large selection of the urns available.

What Do We Do with the cremated remains?

Once the cremation is completed, the legal requirements for disposition of the body are complete. However, most families still wish to do something with the cremated remains. Cremation gives several options:

  • BURIAL – the cremated remains may be buried in most cemeteries just as a casketed body is.
  • ENTOMBMENT – the cremated remains may be placed in a mausoleum, family tomb, or columbarium.
  • SCATTERING – some cemeteries have special areas for scattering or the cremated remains may be scattered in a place which was special to the person, depending on state and local regulations. For example, Minnesota law does not allow scattering cremated remains in any waterway. Whatever your choice, it is necessary to check with local officials on the legalities. Your funeral director will be able to help you with this.

As you can see from all the information above, cremation gives a family many options. Each family is unique. Our staff will listen to you and work with you to plan a service that meets both your emotional and financial needs.

Some material provided by:

Minnesota Funeral Directors Association

10800 County Road 15, Plymouth, MN 55441

(Voice) 763-398-0115, (Fax) 763-398-0118


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