Considering Cremation?

Many families today are choosing cremation. As cremation is increasing in popularity, the options and choices with services are also increasing.† From simple to elaborate, traditional to highly personalized...we can create a service to fit your needs and wishes. Many people are interested in cremation, but have questions or reservations about the process.† Here are some frequently asked questions regarding cremation and the services available.† As always, our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to answer any questions you have.† Please call us at 618-594-3151 if you have any questions.†

General Questions

What is cremation?

Cremation is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F.

What happens after the cremation is complete?

All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are "swept" into the back of the the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, artificial joints, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.

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 size adult usually weigh between four to eight pounds of cremated remains.

In what kind of container are the cremated remains returned?

The cremated remains are placed in a basic container at no charge to you. Or they may be placed in the urn of your choice from our large selection of urns available for purchase.

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.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered. If scattering, local restrictions may be in effect. If transporting, check applicable state laws.

Concerns About Cremation

Are there any laws governing cremation?

Cremation regulations vary from state-to-state.

Can Two Cremations Be Performed At Once?

NO.  NEVER.  Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.  In addition, pets are NEVER cremated at the same time as an human.  While some crematories cremate pets as well as humans, the crematories that we use do not cremate pets.   

Can the family witness the cremation?

Yes,family members are allowed to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. Special scheduling is required, so please make this wish known when making the funeral arrangements.

Is cremation accepted by all religions?

Today most religions allow cremation except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalist Christian faiths. The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teachings, and the Catholic Church prefers that the cremation is done following a Mass of Christian Burial. 

Can an urn be brought into church?

Generally, most denominations will allow an urn to be brought into the church for services. It is recommended that the family speak with their pastor/clergy to secure permission before any church service is scheduled.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

The crematories we utilize have developed the most rigorous set of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize our level of quality and minimize the potential for human error. Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process. When the body is brought from our care to the crematory, we witness as a stainless steel identification tag is secured to the body.  This identification tag remains with the body throughout the cremation process.  When we receive the cremated remains, we check the identification tag and it stays with the cremated remains.  Only certified professionals to operate our cremation equipment, and they must be licensed by the State of Illinois and maintain continuing education to be licensed.

Questions About Urns, Caskets and Embalming

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 the remains are to be buried in a cemetery. If an urn is to be buried in a cemetery many families desire to place the urn in a cremation urn vault.  In addition, some cemeteries require that cremated remains be buried in a permanent urn vault.  To view some of the urns we offer, please click here. To view urns, cremation jewelry and other memorial items, please click here

Is a casket needed for cremation?

No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required is a rigid container constructed of wood or cardboard, which is cremated with the body. If desired, a combustible wood casket can be cremated.  

Can I rent a casket?

Yes.  We offer a rental casket for cremation services.  If you choose a funeral service with a traditional visitation and funeral but desire cremation instead of burial, we can use a rental casket.  After the funeral service, the interior of the casket is detached and taken to the crematory with the body.  The only part of the rental casket that is "reused" is the shell.

Is Embalming Required Prior To Cremation?

Embalming is only required if the family requests public viewing or private viewing that doesnít fall under identification viewing or special religious customs that donít allow for embalming.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation in our private viewing room. The deceased is first washed, dressed and prepared for viewing. However, under certain circumstances embalming may be required, such as a public visitation.