Overview of Cremation Services
The number of people choosing cremation has increased significantly in the past few years, yet cremation carries a long tradition and remains largely unchanged. What is done before or after the cremation is up to the survivors, or up to you.
Contrary to what some people believe, Cremation does not limit choices, but, in fact, increases one’s options. It is a process which is performed in a respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways.
Plan Your Tribute
Choosing cremation neither eliminates nor does it require a funeral service. Traditional or contemporary services are often planned before or after the cremation process. A funeral service followed by cremation may be similar to a funeral service followed by ground burial. They can be elaborate or simple and traditional or nontraditional.
Here are some common examples of cremation services chosen most often by the family’s we serve. These services can be held over multiple days or can be accomplished on the same day if desired. We can tailor any of these options to meet your individual needs.
- Traditional viewing or visitation hours (with body present), followed by cremation
- Cremation followed by memorial visitation (without body) at the funeral home
- Cremation followed by a memorial service or life celebration at your church, our chapel or reception center.
- Private family goodbye, followed by cremation
- Cremation followed by burial or interment of cremains
- Simple cremation with no ceremony
What to Do With the Cremains
Cremation allows families many choices for memorializing a loved one. Some families choose to keep the cremated remains with them at home, inter them in a cemetery, or to scatter the remains over land or water.
Our staff can assist you with the following memorialization options, among others, for cremated remains:
- Outdoor Niches – The cremated remains may be safely held in an above ground columbarium niches. They are typically located within a mausoleum or chapel.
- Urn Garden – Many cemeteries have areas designated specifically for the interment of cremated remains.
- Family Plot – If you already own a burial plot or have space in a family plot, you may choose to inter the urn there.
- Scattering – Your loved one’s remains may be scattered in a meaningful location that can be appreciated by future generations. There are also certain services which offer scattering among the sea or the stars.
- Traditional Burial – In ground burial on a family plot or in special cremation areas of the cemetery.
- Personalized Memorialization – Inscribe your family member’s name and a special saying on a tree plaque, park bench or other special memorial. We also have custom, unique urns and keepsakes, perfect for displaying inside your home.
Personalizing Your Experience Memorable Tribute Services
Our expert staff is here to help you plan a truly memorable Celebration of Life for your loved one. Whether you are planning a burial or cremation, we encourage you to consider our Tribute Services. These offerings will forever personalize your service.
Memory Tables and Memory Collages
Remember your loved one with a memory table display. You can include significant items from your loved one’s life, including a bicycle, golf clubs, gardening tools, hunting and fishing gear, a musical instrument, a motorcycle helmet or jacket, knitting or sewing equipment…the possibilities are endless. Display special photos, certificates, achievement awards and other significant items in a customized memory collage.
Life Tribute Memorial Videos
There is no better way to remember your loved one than with a special personalized DVD tribute. Our Life Tribute video program incorporates your family’s pictures with music into a presentation that can be played at the visitation, during the service or at the conclusion of the service. You can post the video online for family and friends around the world to see and purchase additional copies to share with generations to come.
Memorial Webcasting and Taping of Services
Do you have family members in another state or overseas who are unable to attend the service? No one should have to miss their loved one’s funeral. We can broadcast the funeral service live over the Internet and provide high quality recordings.
You are not limited to traditional funeral music during your loved one’s service. Customize the visitation or service with your loved one’s favorite tunes. We are happy to help your family compile special music selections to play during the services from a CD or iPod. We also have an organ available in our chapel for traditional music.
A Celebrant is a professional who is trained and certified to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. This expert can help your family create a personalized tribute service to celebrate your loved one’s unique life. You may choose to use a Celebrant alone or in conjunction with clergy. If you want an uplifting service that pays tribute to your loved one’s life or if you are not affiliated with a church, a Celebrant service may be the perfect option.
The bagpipe provides a solemn, powerful song, making it the ideal instrument for funerals and memorials. For hundreds of years, people far and wide have bid farewell to their dearly departed with the music of the pipes. We can help you commemorate a loved one with this noble music tribute.
Friends, relatives, church members or business associates may serve as pallbearers. If the family would prefer, we can provide some or all pallbearers for your loved one’s service. Each pallbearer will wear a special Lily or flag pin, making them easily identifiable.
We can help you honor your military member with a flag ceremony, color guard, trumpeter or even a final gun salute. We work with all branches of the military and can make all the proper arrangements easily and efficiently.
We can distribute pouches of wildflower seeds during or after the service. Because wildflowers are perpetual, they can provide an ongoing tribute to your loved one’s life. Guests can choose to plant their wildflower seeds in a garden, planter, meadow or any other special location.
We can coordinate and arrange an off-site reception at any venue of your choosing. Whether it be a restaurant, banquet center or golf club, this gives your family and friends an opportunity to gather and reminisce after your loved one’s service.
Leave Behind an Honorable Legacy and a Sustainable Future
At Vay-Schleich & Meeson, we strive to help families remember a life more ways than you can imagine. That’s why we offer earth-friendly cremations. Green cremation (also known as earth-friendly or eco-friendly) is the ideal choice for those who are mindful of the environment.
For Those Choosing Cremation
If you or a loved one is considering cremation, there are many options for you to choose from when it comes to keeping your final wishes environmentally friendly. More and more people are exploring new, respectful tributes to their lives that don’t leave behind a heavy carbon footprint.
From use of earth-friendly caskets that do not release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere during the cremation process, to the use of biodegradable, scattering and water burial urns, environmentally-friendly cremation is now an option to explore.
Go Green with Our Firm
Not only are we certified by the Green Burial Council, our staff specializes in an array of earth-friendly cremation services, including:
- Cremations with no preparation or embalming
- Preparation with formaldehyde-free and biodegradable fluids (for those wishing to have a public viewing)
- Private viewings without embalming or use of toxic chemicals
- Eco-friendly cremation caskets and viewing containers
- Eco-friendly biodegradable urns and scattering tubes
- Urn burials without urn vaults
Choosing a Cemetery
Even with cremation, a green burial can take place in nearly any cemetery that allows eco-friendly methods of burial. Our firm offers several options that can help you ensure that your final resting place is both environmentally-friendly and honorable. Typically, cemeteries offering green burials follow these guidelines:
- Offer exclusive green burial sections
- Prohibit the use of urn vaults
- Dig graves by hand rather than using heavy equipment
- Often plant trees or shrubs in lieu of headstones
- Offer designated scattering areas
Currently, White Haven Memorial Park, Mount Hope Cemetery, Riverside Cemetery and Holy Sepulchre Cemetery are offering green or eco-friendly burial options that are certified by the Green Burial Council.
Can cremation really be earth-friendly?
Cremation uses far fewer resources than almost any other disposition option but it does have an environmental impact. Cremation requires the burning of fossil fuels, and some older cremation facilities can use significantly more energy compared to newer ones. Even though the cremation process uses significant resources, earth-friendly cremation options can make the process more earth-friendly.
Below are resources that can help you make informed decisions about earth-friendly services. Please call one of our directors or email us for more information anytime.