Many people desire to have a funeral service before cremation. Funerals can be highly personalized, according to you or your loved one’s specific needs. A funeral is a celebration of life that can provide comfort and closure for those in mourning.

When an individual dies, family members naturally want to hold a funeral service with cremation so they can say goodbye in the best way possible.

Many families choose cremation because it is less expensive than traditional burial. Cremation is also more eco-friendly than burying the deceased because cremation uses less natural resources and produces less waste. Individuals who choose cremation often have their cremated remains buried or scattered in a place that has deep emotional significance to the family. You can scatter cremated remains practically anywhere. However, many also choose to keep their loved one’s cremated remains in an urn in their home.

When planning a funeral with cremation, it is important to plan early and to keep cremation urns and cremated remains on hand. If cremated remains are scattered in a favorite spot, the cremation urn can be kept as a memento.

Cremation Today

The number of people choosing cremation increased significantly during the past few years, but cremation itself remains unchanged. It is simply the process of reducing the body to bone fragments through the application of intense heat. What is done before or after the cremation process is up to the family or to you. You can even make pre-need arrangements so that you can be assured that your final wishes will be honored.

Contrary to what some people believe, cremation does not limit one’s choices, but, in fact, increases one’s options. It need not be looked upon as being a break in family or religious traditions. Cremation, in fact, is only one part in a series of events that leads to memorialization.

Funerals With Cremation

The choice of cremation in no way eliminates a funeral. A traditional or contemporary-type service is often planned to take place before or after the cremation process.

A funeral service followed by cremation need not be different than a funeral service followed by ground burial. The funeral service can be elaborate or simple; it can be traditional or nontraditional. Today, arrangements are as individual as the persons for whom and by whom they are made. A ceremony may be personalized to reflect the life of the deceased and, thus, have special meaning for those present.

How to Plan a Funeral Ceremony

When making arrangements for a funeral ceremony, it is important to communicate your wishes or those of the deceased to the funeral director. Our professional, licensed funeral directors can guide you through the funeral planning process. They can help you explore available service options and plan a personalized funeral service to your specifications.

The idea of what is considered a proper funeral ceremony may vary significantly from person to person. You need to convey exactly what you want the funeral service to include.

Think about how you would want your funeral to conducted, and the best way to honor yourself or your loved one. Some questions you should consider before planning a funeral service include:

  • Do you want a period of visitation prior to the service?
  • Would you prefer an open or closed casket? ( With cremation, you have the option to rent a casket.)
  • What kind of music would you like to have played at your funeral?
  • Do you want the ceremony at the funeral chapel or your place of worship?
  • Do you want family and/or friends to participate in the ceremony?

Cremation and Memorialization

Once the funeral service has been arranged, including cremation, arrangements should be made for establishing a permanent memorial to serve as a focal point for remembrance. There are many memorialization options available with cremation. A funeral director or other representative can help you and your family make the best memorial planning decisions.

What the family does with the cremated remains is influenced by the type of memorialization desired. Usually cremated remains are placed in some type of permanent receptacle, referred to as an urn, before being committed to a final resting place.

Some ways to memorialize those who have been cremated include:

For more information on how to memorialize a loved one who has been cremated, please visit our Options page.

How to Scatter Ashes

Cremated remains can be  scattered in cemetery gardens especially created and dedicated for this purpose. Individuals whose remains have been scattered in the garden can be identified by name on a special memorial plaque, marker or artwork or in a Book of Remembrance in a building on the cemetery grounds.

The scattering of remains also may be done at a designated geographical spot on land or water in accordance with state/provincial or local laws. If scattering is done, it is highly advisable that a site also be chosen for permanent memorial that will provide a place or pilgrimage for those who want to remember and celebrate the life of the loved one.

It is important to remember that cremation does not limit the funeral in any way, and, in fact, can give a greater number of options in the remembrance of those who are no longer with us.

The Neptune Society of Northern California has provided a simple and affordable option for more than 125,000 Californians who prefer cremation as the dignified and ecologically responsible alternative to traditional final arrangements. Contact us online or browse our locations to contact a representative.

Category: What is Cremation?.