There are many reasons for choosing cremation services. Cremation funeral services can include any or all of the elements of a traditional burial including visitation, wake, and church services, either before the cremation or with just the cremated remains present, and even burial of the cremated remains in a cemetery. We can assist with cremation services ranging from just handling the cremation process (what is referred to as a “direct cremation”) to any level of more formal funeral arrangements.
If anything, cremation gives your family more choices. The services you choose can be as elaborate or simple as you wish. At Collins Funeral Home, we are happy to explain all cremation options in detail and to answer any questions or concerns you may have about funeral cremations. Please also view the excellent video about cremation options provided by Wilbert. A link to the video can be found at the bottom of this page.
The Cremation Process
Cremation is a method of converting a body to basic elements via heat. During cremation, the body is placed in a large special purpose kiln for several hours where the temperature is raised to approximately 2,000 degrees. The remains are allowed to cool for several more hours and then all remaining items, like metal from clothing, implants, and dental work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is achieved through inspection and use of a magnet to capture small metal items. Remaining bone fragments and ash are then processed and placed into an urn selected by the family. All cremated remains are then individually tagged and accompanied by an affidavit of cremation. A basic functional container is provided if the family has not selected an urn.
For planning purposes, please also be aware that in Connecticut, there is a mandatory 48 hour waiting period from the time of death until the cremation process may be started.
Most religions now make provisions to allow cremation. The Catholic Church allows cremation as long as the body is treated with respect and the cremated remains are ultimately given the same burial rights. Most churches that allow funeral cremations allow for the urn to be present for the services, but please check with the presiding clergy (or ask us to do so), in order to determine what is considered proper and customary for members of your religion.
Funeral Services & Cremation
Any traditional funeral services with the body present can precede the cremation process (as long as it is allowed by your religion). Alternatively, a memorial service can take place after the cremation has been completed. Afterwards, the remains can be buried in a cemetery, kept in an urn or keepsake by the family or scattered at a place of special significance. In the case of burial in a cemetery, many cemeteries allow one or more urns to be buried in the same plot as a casket. More and more funeral services include cremation, both for reasons of economics as well as because of personal preference over burial.
Where Is The Cremation Performed?
While there are no crematories located or zoned in the city of Norwalk, we have a close working relationship with Mountain Grove Crematory in Bridgeport. Mountain Grove Crematory is the oldest and longest running crematory in Connecticut and is part of the prestigious Mountain Grove Cemetery, founded in 1849. The crematory we use is a dedicated, free standing, facility with a professional staff. It is not a funeral home basement unit, nor is it shared with pet cremations. Our funeral directors personally transport the deceased directly to the crematory retort and carry the cremated remains back to the funeral home.
Caskets are not required for cremation unless one is desired by the family or there is to be a public viewing before the cremation. All that is required by OSHA is the OSHA approved minimum cardboard container and pouch which are cremated with the body. Other OSHA approved cremation containers are available for purchase as well. The basic containment materials are provided by our funeral home and are included in our direct cremation package. We also carry a full line of specialized cremation caskets and any of our standard line of wood construction caskets can be cremated as well.
We do not require embalming unless there is to be a public viewing with an open casket or in rare cases where the body is to be shipped long distances (usually internationally), before cremation. We invite immediate family members to privately view the deceased prior to cremation at no charge.
Also, because cremation is irreversible, the state requires that the next of kin (or their legal proxy), to authorize the cremation in writing and that a medical examiner identify the body prior to the cremation.