Cremation is an increasingly popular option for many people, serving as an alternative to burial. Reasons for preferring cremation vary. Some religions request it, while other people consider it more environmentally conscious. Some may simply like the idea of cremation more. During cremation, the remains are placed in a special furnace and reduced to resemble coarse sand. Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burials or other forms of disposition.
Cremated remains can be scattered, buried, or they may be kept with the family in a decorative urn. There are many 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 sent up in helium balloons; they can be spun into glass pieces of art or diamonds.
Some religions welcome cremation, while others forbid it. The Catholic Church had previously banned cremation up until 1963, and burial remains the preferred form of disposition today. In other Christian denominations, cremation was historically discouraged but is now more widely accepted. In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, cremation is mandated. In Islam, it is strictly forbidden. Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation, while other sects of Judaism support cremation; however, burial remains the preferred option.
About Bio Cremation
Gray's Funeral Chapel now has the opportunity to offer our families another form of disposition for their loved ones. The new alkaline hydrolysis process is essentially an accelerated form of the process which takes place in the natural cycle of life. A combination of gentle water flow, temperature, and alkalinity is used to accelerate the natural course of breakdown accomplished by our ecosystem. At the end of the process the body has been returned to its natural form, dissolved in the water. Similar to cremation, the only solid remains are the mineral ash of the bones, which are returned to the family in an urn.
Benefits to Families
Alkaline hydrolysis offers families the opportunity to contribute to a gentle, greener process. Families can make a lasting contribution to the environment on behalf of their loved one by making a decision that saves energy and reduces pollution. The traditional funeral ceremony and returning of the ashes remains unchanged.
Family members who were amongst the first to choose this form of disposition for their loved one explained that they chose the option for the environment, and because to them it seemed gentle and dignified.
What are the Casket and Clothing Options?
Since the Alkaline Hydrolysis process can only reduce protein based material, unlike flame cremation, it cannot accommodate either a wood casket or an alternative container. Only silk, leather, or wool can be used to clothe or wrap the body. Gray's Funeral Chapel uses a bio-plastic sheet to cover the body before placing it in the chamber. This bio-plastic sheet is included in the process fee which is identical to the fee charged for flame cremation. This results in a net savings to families in that the purchase of a container is not required. A conventional urn is used to hold the cremated remains.