Crematorium Services

To many, the idea of cremation may feel unorthodox seeing as how different it is from traditional burials.

However, more families in the USA are open to the idea of cremation today than ever before, this is apparent by the fact that the cremation rate in the USA was 73.1% back in 2020 and could increase to 77.6% in 2024.

Despite this, you may still have reservations about cremations due to the belief that cremating your loved one would mean not being able to give them one last goodbye in the form of a traditional funeral service. But rest assured, you can still do this as a crematorium service.

How a crematorium service works is not much different from a traditional funeral service. So, let’s explore the process.

How will the cremation service be carried out?

How the service will be carried out can change depending on you and your family’s preferences and traditions. Here’s the general sequence of events for a service at a crematorium:

The Mourners Arrive

At the allotted time, the mourners will arrive at the crematorium and wait outside or inside the crematorium’s chapel for the hearse carrying the body of your loved one to arrive. Once the casket arrives, it will be carried into the chapel and placed on a catafalque for all the attendees to see.

The Service Commences

Once all the attendees have arrived at the chapel and they’re seated, the service will commence. Similar to a traditional cremation service and depending on the religious and cultural beliefs of your family, the necessary rituals will be carried out, like playing hymns and reading eulogies.

The Committal

Toward the end of the service, the attendees will be allowed to approach the casket to pay their respects. Whether the casket should be opened or closed during the service is up to you and your family, or the last wishes of the deceased.

After the viewing of the casket, the casket is closed and it’s taken away to another building where the cremation will take place. Usually, this step is done out of the view of the attendees.

The Attendees Leave

The attendees will then give their condolences to you and your family and leave the crematorium. If you plan to have a wake for your loved one, the attendees may leave for the venue of the wake.

The Wake

During the wake, you, your family, and friends can get together and support each other. The wake isn’t mandatory, but it can give you and your family a chance to reconnect with distant family members, share stories about the deceased, and slowly and eventually come to terms with your loss and prepare yourselves for what’s ahead.

The Ashes are Collected

After the service is complete, you may go back to the crematorium to collect your loved one’s ashes. You can ask the funeral home that organized the crematorium service to have the ashes ready in a special urn or you can ask them to induct the urn into a columbarium, which is a structure in cemeteries that’s used to store funeral urns.

Why choose cremation over a traditional burial?

Cremation has several benefits that traditional burial can’t offer for you and your family. Here are some of the advantages of cremation:


In most cases, cremation may be more cost-effective than traditional burial, in fact, cremation is 37% cheaper. This is mainly because cremation does not involve certain costs, such as the cost of securing a burial plot. If you and your family are in financial difficulty, cremation may be a reasonable option for laying your loved one to rest.


Cremation gives you and your family more ways to memorialize your loved one. After cremation, your loved one’s ashes can be taken home by you and your family, and the ashes can be divided among all close family members.

Also, if there was a place that was very significant to your loved one, you can choose to scatter their ashes at the said place—this can be a way of fulfilling a final wish where your loved one wanted to visit a certain place but couldn’t before their passing.


If you wish to have your loved one’s ashes buried somewhere outside the state or in another country, cremation can make transporting the remains easier. Transporting a body internationally can cost up to $10,000 but transporting ashes would only cost about $300—this can bring financial relief to you and your family if you must bury your loved one overseas or in a different state.

How can a funeral home help with crematorium services?

Planning the cremation of your loved one won’t always be an easy process. During this difficult time, both you and your family will be going through a whirlwind of emotions when coming to terms with your loss. Fortunately, a funeral home can help take the burden of planning off your shoulders. Here’s how they can help:

Coordinating the Process

The funeral home will handle the entire process of coordinating the cremation. They’ll carry out all the legal paperwork and they will also coordinate with crematoriums they’re affiliated with to plan how the remains of your loved one will be transported to the crematorium for the service.

Arranging the Service

If you need help with arranging the cremation service, the funeral home will guide you through every step of the process. Also, they will explain to you the cremation process and all the costs involved for the service and the cremation itself. They can also arrange the clergy and pallbearers for the service.

Aftercare Services

Losing a loved one is never easy and even after the service, you may not have come to terms with your loss. Fortunately, some funeral homes may offer aftercare services to help you and your family start healing. The funeral home may offer grief counseling or at the very least, resources that will guide you through the healing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find some commonly asked questions about crematorium services:

How long does the cremation process take?

Generally, cremation can take up to 3 hours. However, the cremation time can change based on the size and weight of the body.

Is embalming needed for cremation?

Usually, embalming isn’t needed for cremation. But if you’re planning on having a service before cremation, you must have the body embalmed.

Can the family witness the cremation?

Some crematoriums may allow close family members to witness the cremation.

Crematorium services at a reputable funeral home

Many funeral homes in Pittsburgh offer professional cremation services. If your loved one decided on cremation before their passing, a reputable funeral home can help you hold a meaningful crematorium procession just like a traditional funeral service.

Get in touch with a funeral home in your area today.

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