Cremation Services

Cremation is an alternative to the burial process and it is chosen by many people because of religious beliefs, the desire to preserve the environment or it was requested by the person who died.  Cremation is possibly a less expensive option in comparison to a burial.  Private or public viewing is still possible with cremation.

The cremation process: The remains are placed in a container that is combustible and placed in a special furnace called a retort or a crematory where through intense heat and flame the body is reduced to bone fragments that are then  pulverized to a smaller size.  The cremated remains of an average adult body will weigh about 7-8 pounds and are about 220 cubi inches or the size of a large tissue box.  Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather another form of disposition.  There are numerous service options.

Cremated remains can be scattered or buried, or they may be kept with the family in a decorative urn.  There are many new and different ways to dispose of ashes today, cremated remains can be placed in an artificial coral reef in the ocean, they can be launched into space  or they can be spun into glass pieces of art or made into diamonds.

Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it.  The Catholic Church allows cremation today  (banned cremation up until 1963)   In other Christian denominations cremation was historically discouraged but nowadays it is more widely accepted.  In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism cremation is mandated, while in Islam it is strictly forbidden.  Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option.  The Cremation rate in the North Country is near 50%.

When cremation is selected for the mode of disposition, rest assured that Lawrence Funeral Home & Cremation Services takes every legal step possible to keep your loved one in our care.  We employ the services of a crematory that is well respected and is staffed by with a funeral home that we know personally and trust!  They are funeral directors just like us and know how to care for your loved one just as we do.  We also have our own in house identification system that insures, who we take to the crematory is who returns!  We do not trust third party livery services or the mail.  We personally take your loved one to the crematory and pick up their cremains when the cremation has been completed.  Beware of services offering "low-ball" cremation services. 

Cremation FAQ

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.  Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

No, a casket is not required, most states require an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No.  In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.  Embalming, however, allows time for family to arrive and creates a better "memory picture" for survivors.  For further info please contact us, we're here to help.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, in most cases funeral homes allow immediate family members to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation.

Can the family witness the cremation?

Some cremation providers will allow family members to process to the crematory.  It is best to arrangem for this to happen.

Can an urn be brought into church?

Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service.  Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass.  It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

While laws vary state by state, for the most part remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error.  Since it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time, and the vast majority of crematories can only cremate one body at a time, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.  The Lawrence Funeral Home has an in House Identification System in place.  Inquire about this service.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It all depends on the weight of the individual.  For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

What do the cremated remains look like?

Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color.  The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.

Are all the cremated remains returned?

With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.

Do I need an urn?

An urn is not required by law.  However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery.  If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.