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How Much Is Cremation? Understanding Your Options for Cremation

How much is cremation? This is a question many people find themselves anxiously wondering. It's important to understand all of your options.
How Much Is Cremation
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Cremation is more popular than burial. As of 2018, the cremation rate was 52.9%. By 2040 it’s expected to rise with 78.4% of funerals being one of the several cremation options available.

Cremations are more popular than casket burials but this one classification covers a wide range of options and that raises lots of questions. How much is cremation and what are your options? Read on to learn about cremation and cremation costs.

Traditional Funerals

Different cultures have different funeral traditions. These traditions can evolve and change over time and attitudes to cremation are a case in point.

Cremations became a more common and accepted option for funerals in the 1970s. Most people in the United States still opted for burial until the last decade. Cremation then overtook burial as the most popular option.

Traditional burials have become less popular for several reasons. There has been a general trend away from more traditional practices across society. Burials have been a traditional practice and many people are embracing more modern practices as they see it.

Cremation Makes More Sense

Cremations need not be less uplifting and respectful than burials. Cremation has been incorporated into a range of options for celebrating or memorializing the deceased’s life. These options can provide family and friends with what they need to remember their loved ones and to grieve appropriately.

As cremation has become more popular, the choice is not necessarily left to those the departed person has left behind. Cremation may be the option that matches the expressed wishes of the deceased person.

Environmental issues are impacting many aspects of our lives. In times when we consider the environmental impact of our consumer decisions, transport, and lifestyle it’s not surprising that environmental impact should also be a factor in decisions about our bodies after death. Cremation is regarded by many as a more environmentally responsible option.

Finally, burial is typically a much more expensive option for funerals. This is especially so when this traditional approach to funerals includes a full package of viewing, ceremonial, and added extras.

The median cost of burial across the United States is between about $7,000 and $8,000. Of course, it’s possible to spend many thousands of dollars more.

The cost of cremation services, by comparison, is much cheaper. Even with a ceremony, the mean cost of a cremation across the United States is likely to be about $2,000 to $2,500 less expensive. Other, even lower-cost options, also exist.

Direct Cremation

Cremation may be your choice for the funeral of a loved one and it needn’t include the ceremony of a traditional funeral. A direct cremation is a low-cost cremation that does not include a service, viewing, or additional elements of some of the more expensive options.

So, what’s included in a typical direct cremation? Firstly, it is likely to include the moving of your loved one from their place of death to a place of rest and the crematorium. It includes a simple container for the body that will be cremated with the body.

Direct cremation will also include actual cremation costs. After the cremation, the cremated remains or ashes will be returned to the deceased’s loved ones. They will be returned in a simple container.

Some administration must be done when cremation takes place including obtaining the death certificate. This is included in direct cremation fees.

Direct cremation does not include any embalming. Because there is no preparation of the body there is no option to visit the deceased or to view the body before cremation.

A ceremony or memorial service is an additional extra that can be added at the time of the cremation or at some time afterward. This can be a religious or non-religious event attended by a few close family and friends or a large event attended by many mourners.

The cost of such an event varies depending on the scale, the number of attendees, and what is included. These items are not included in a direct cremation option.

Green Cremation

Environmental concerns may partly explain the increased popularity of cremation. There are even more environmentally conscious forms of cremation than the standard options available.

A greener cremation can be either a flame-based cremation or a water-based cremation. Both these options have reduced environmental impact.

A flame-based green cremation seeks to have a lower environmental impact before, during, and after the cremation. An example of this approach is the use of online administration. No physical paperwork is created or used and so there is a reduced carbon footprint.

Transport is kept to a minimum and vehicles are environmentally responsible hybrid fuel cars. The cremation service uses low-energy buildings.

Part of the service includes the removal of material from the deceased’s body that would be environmentally harmful if cremated with their body. This includes plastics and end-of-life medical material. Only non-plastic materials are used including cotton sheets and cardboard to contain the body before cremation.

Water cremation is an innovative, environmentally-friendly form of cremation. This is a process whereby the body is rapidly decomposed using water and an alkali solution. Only the bones remain afterward and these are broken up and returned to the loved ones as a powder.

During water cremation, medical implants can be recovered and recycled. Energy use is low and there are no toxins released into the air, unlike a flame-based cremation.

How Much Is Cremation?

How expensive is cremation? The average direct cremation cost, according to the National Funeral Directors Association is $2,300 and this can more than double with additional items such as a viewing and a ceremony.

A green cremation using water is priced at a much more affordable, $1,985. A green cremation using flame is $945. Both of these options have a much-reduced environmental cost.

Cremation Options

How much is cremation? It depends on what you chose to include in the package. Your options include low-cost environmentally responsible ones.

Discuss your cremation needs by contacting us here.

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Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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