cremations in Altoona, PA

Cremation Vs. Traditional Burial

There are two main options for body disposition: traditional burial and cremation. While most people know a decent amount about both already, its important to learn the main benefits of both traditional burials and cremations in Altoona, PA to be better prepared to choose one over the other. Also, it’s a good idea to get this information before you’re suffering from a loss and are distracted by grief, or to make sure you have a clear plan in place for your own passing.   

The main differences between burials and cremations can be broken down into 3 categories: Timing, Resting Place, and Memorialization.     

  1. Timing – Traditional burial services have a fairly strict timeline, as its not good to have a body above ground for too long after death. Also, waiting too long for a traditional burial might be culturally or religiously inappropriate. Cremations have much more flexible timelines. You can choose a direct cremation, which happens almost immediately after death, or a more traditional cremation that happens after a funeral or memorial service.  
  2. Final Resting Place- A traditional burial is just that: a burial. You can bury or entomb the body in a family plot, cemetery, crypt or mausoleum. Cremation offers a wide range of resting place choices. From scattering or raking to urn display, columbarium, or even burial, you can get really creative with the final resting place for cremated remains.  
  3. Memorialization – Setting up a memorial for a traditionally buried deceased usually involves the classic options: headstones, gravestones, or sometimes picture displays. Cremation again provides more of a choice when it comes to memorialization, as options include urns, benches, jewelry, trees and more. 

All in all, cremation versus traditional burial services comes down to flexibility. Traditional burials are called that for a reason, as they have lots of established guidelines and traditions that dictate many facets of the events. This can be thought of as useful and comforting, as it doesn’t leave much room for family members to falter over decisions, and tradition is soothing in the face of tragedy.   

Cremations generally offer much more flexibility in several ways, from timing and layout to personalization and scheduling. Cremation memorials can be held almost wherever, whenever or however the family wants! They are easily personalized to fit the family’s wants and needs, and the deceased’s final wishes.   

Cremation versus traditional burial services is, at the end of the day, a personal decision. Both options have pros and cons, and the only thing that really matters is what’s most important to you and your loved ones. It’s a very personal choice, and there is no wrong answer.   

If you want more information on burials or cremations Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc. can help. We have years of experience with Altoona, PA cremations and can give you plenty of assistance in choosing what’s best. Please pay us a visit at 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641, or give us a call at (844) 427-3672.  

Cremations in State College, PA

Green Cremations

Cremations in State College, PA and beyond are very popular, but why? First of all, cremation is oftentimes much more affordable than traditional burials as families save money on plot costs, burial fees, embalming, and more.  Second, cremation offers more flexibility in planning and personalizing memorial services for the deceased as loved one’s are not tied down to the body’s timeline.   

Another big reason why cremation is becoming more and more popular is because it’s better for the environment than traditional burial methods. Traditional cremation is the process in which the body is broken down to bone fragments by exposure to intense heat.   

This basic cremation method does have slight environmental impact as is requires fossil fuels to be burned to achieve the heat necessary to break down the body. However, green cremation services are more readily available with modern advancements and awareness. Green cremation services take a few more steps after traditional methods to make the entire process cleaner and more eco-friendly. Green cremations, or natural cremations and eco-cremations, use no harmful or toxic chemicals to treat or embalm the body. This reduces the amount of harmful gases released during the cremation.   

Another type of green cremation service is bio-cremation. Bio-cremation uses alkaline hydrolysis, or water resolution, to break down the body. The body is put inside a special chamber filled with potassium hydroxide, water, heat and pressure for a few hours. Over time, the elemental combination break down the body into bone fragments just like traditional cremation services. The remains from bio-cremation can be scattered or buried just like traditional remains.   

Bio-cremation uses much less fossil fuel and energy, and does not let off as much gas or emissions. As its still a fairly new method, bio-cremation is not readily available and may be more expensive.   

You personally can take steps to make cremation services greener. A few ways you can help out are:  

  • Remove any dental fillings before the cremation. When dental amalgams are burned, they release a lot of harmful mercury gas into the air. BY removing the amalgams before the cremation, you are helping prevent these emissions.  
  • Choose to scatter the remains post-cremation. Buried remains use up ground space with caskets, and any chemicals leftover from the process could seep into the ground. Scattering takes up less space!  
  • Use eco-friendly cremation caskets. These are specially built to not release any harmful gases or chemicals when burned, over traditional caskets that are made with chemicals and products that do not burn well. 
  • If you do choose to bury the remains, do so in a natural urn or container that breaks down naturally. Choose a receptacle made out of handmade paper or Himalayan rock salt.  

If you want more information on green cremation options, or about how you can help the environment through body disposition, contact Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc. You can visit us at 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641, or give us a call at (844) 427-3672 for more information on green State College, PA cremations.

cremation in Easton, PA

What Happens After A Cremation?

If you’re planning a cremation in Easton, PA for a recently deceased loved one, or are making preparations for your own eventual passing, you probably know a lot about what goes into the cremation itself. But what happens after the cremation?   

Read on to learn more about what your options are after a cremation.    

Burial   

Just because you chose a cremation doesn’t mean you can’t also have a burial. In fact, many people have both as you cane easily bury or entomb cremated remains. This option helps you stay more on track with traditional burials and funerals while also having a cremation. There are a few options for burial or entombment after a cremation, including:  

  • Columbarium: Columbarium are spaces specifically dedicated to housing and interring cremated remains Most often found in churches, there are also a few freestanding columbarium options as well as those attached to cemeteries.  
  • Memorial Object: A non-traditional burial method for cremated remains is in a special memorial object like a bench, grave marker, rock or even in a tree. This method and special objects help loved ones memorialize and celebrate their lost in more personalized ways. 
  • Crypt or Mausoleum: Go more religious or familial with a crypt or mausoleum. These options are usually preferred by Roman Catholics, but can get pretty expensive.  
  • Family Plot: The most traditional burial for cremation remains is in the family plot or cemetery.  Burial in the family plot is an easy way to use cremation services while still enjoying classic burial and funeral traditions.  

Scattering   

The most common, and traditional, way to inter cremated remains is by scattering. The options for scattering are almost limitless, but some popular choices are:  

  • Casting: Casting ashes simply means tossing the cremated remains on the wind, usually in a special location. Be sure to check the wind direction to avoid uncomfortable moments.  
  • Raking: Raking ashes happens when a family member or loved one by pours the ashes over loose soil and rakes them to combine the two. Local ordinances and laws generally prevent raking at any old spot, so make sure to check with the authorities before raking in a public garden or park.  
  • Water Scattering: You can also scatter ashes into any body of water, again with permission from the local authorities. Another version of water scattering is to sink a water-soluble urn into the lake, river or ocean. 
  • Ringing: Ringing involves more of a ceremony than other post-cremation choices. It involves forming a ring around an object like a house, tree or other special thing with the ashes, almost to compound the idea that the deceased is always with you and protecting you.  
  • Aerial Scattering: While more expensive, you can hire a professional pilot to scatter ashes from a private plane or helicopter. This is another choice that would require special permission from the local government.  

To learn more about Easton, PA cremations and what the options are after, contact Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc. by visiting 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641, or calling (844) 427-3672.  

cremation in Hazelton, PA

Writing an Obituary 

Whether you’re celebrating your loved one’s life with a burial or a cremation in Hazelton, PA, you most likely need to write an obituary. Obituaries are traditionally a lovely way to let family and friends publically celebrate the life of the deceased.   

Learn more about the different aspects of an obituary so you can be better prepared to write one for your lost loved one.  

  • Announcement of Death – Obituaries usually start with basic information such as the name, age, and place of residence of the deceased. This is followed by the death announcement, including the time and place of death. Most people choose to use a softer word or term that “death,” such as “passed away”, “died”, “went to be with the Lord” etc. Many people are unsure whether or not to list the cause of death in the obituary. At the end of the day, the cause of death is only the family’s business, and does not need to be shared unless the immediate family chooses. However, if the death was sudden and unexpected, listing the cause of death in the public obituary might field questions and repetitions at the funeral.  
  • Biographical Sketch – The key word in this portion is “sketch.” Many people are tempted to write a full account of the deceased’s life. While some people may find that interesting or helpful, the obituary is only meant to detail the most important aspects of his life. Some key pieces to include are the date and place of birth, parent’s names including mother’s maiden name, date and place of marriage, birth name of spouse, education, work, and military service. Feel free to list events chronologically, or to take a more creative approach. Don’t forget to mention specific important relationships and the effect the deceased had on people’s lives. For example, did he have a great sense of humor? Did he always make time for the kids? Was he an exceptional host, golfer, singer?  
  • Family – As the saying goes, the funeral is for the living. The same can be said for the obituary, so a key element is listing the surviving family members and loved ones. Take care to not forget anyone, but don’t feel the need to list every single member of the extended family. 
  • Service Times – While tradition varies on this element, most obituaries include funeral information so people can attend if they choose. List the essentials: time, full date and place of service along with the name of the officiate; time, full date and place of burial or interment if applicable; and finally, time, full date and place of visitation.  
  • Special Messages – Most people choose to include a special thank you or message at the end. This may also include a prayer or poem. 
  • Photos – Include a photo. While this adds to the cost, it is a lovely way to remind people of their connected to the deceased.  

If you have more obituary questions, or want to learn more about Hazelton, PA cremations, contact Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc. by visiting 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641, or calling (844) 427-3672.  

cremation in Altoona, PA

Planning Cremation Services

Contrary to popular belief, choosing a cremation in Altoona, PA actually makes it easier for you to plan and execute a unique, meaningful and respectful memorial or service. In fact, cremations make it simple to make sure the deceased’s service special.   

Memorial services are for both the living and the dead, as they help honor the deceased while providing a healthy and constructive place for the living to grieve. An ideal service helps you and your loved ones mourn the loss while bringing together those that cared for the deceased to everyone can pay tribute.   

There are a few keys steps to keep in mind when planning a memorial after a cremation: 

  • Date and Time  – One nice thing about cremation services as opposed to burials and funerals is that you don’t have a deadline or specific timeline. With a burial, you need to have the funeral service within a few days of death because of decomposition. With a cremation service, however, you have as much time as you want since the body is already broken down. You can easily plan memorial services at later dates to allow people to come from out of town, or to have it be on an important or meaningful day.  
  • Creativity – Once you’ve chosen a day, you can start planning the specifics. There are practically zero restrictions on what services should or need to be, so feel free to get creative. Think about the deceased and what he liked, stood for, or is most remembered for and expand on that. Have a theme party, make video tributes, scatter ashes in a ceremony, or even do things the deceased liked to do. For example, if the deceased loved golf, have a golf themed cremation service. You can order a golf ball urn for the ashes, and have guests take turns at a driving range. If the deceased really loved one specific park, hold the service in the park and scatter his ashes there (with a proper permit.) 
  • Ask for Help – While planning memorial services can be bittersweet or even exciting, they also happen during a time of loss and can bring up stressful feelings. You might need help with the planning, and that’s OK. Ask for help from other family members or loved ones, or hire professionals. Find a funeral home nearby that has experience with memorial services to help you plan your event with compassion and attention.   

If you’re going through a recent loss and need help planning for a memorial service, Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc. can help. We have years of Altoona, PA cremation experience, and would be happy to use our knowledge to make your loved one’s memorial and cremation as respectful, special and memorable as can be. Please visit us at 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641 or give us a call at (844) 427-3672 to learn more about what we can do for you and your family in your time of loss.  

cremation in State College, PA

Common Cremation Laws

Though cremation in State College, PA and beyond is very popular, most people aren’t aware of the laws surrounding the practice. Though cremation laws can vary from state to state, there are several basic ideas and rules that apply to almost every location. Read on to learn more about these laws so you can be better prepared to make any cremation decisions around your eventual death, or the loss of a loved one.  

  • Authorization – In most states the next-of-kin, or “authorizing agent,” can authorize cremation. The authorizing agent must complete, sign and submit an authorization form before the cremation can take place.  
  • Permits – You are required by law to have a cremation permit. Once the death certificate is completed and the cremation authorization is filed, the county will issue a cremation permit. Cremation permits cost anywhere from $10 to $40 depending on the county.  
  • Cremation Provider Licenses – All cremation providers are licensed and certified, as there are specific rules and regulations in place to protect consumers and ensure safe handling of the deceased.  
  • Casket Requirements – Caskets are not required by law for cremations, but most states have laws stating that a rigid container must be provided for the cremation. These containers only have to be combustible and strong enough to support a body when being placed into the cremation chamber.  
  • Cremation Viewing – Families viewing the cremation is not regulated by law, and therefore varies from crematory to crematory. Confirm with your chosen provider as its not guarantees.  
  • Remain Handling – Laws about what you can and cannot do with cremated remain can vary greatly from state to state. However, most have similar general ideas like:  
    • Cannot commingle cremated remains unless by deceased’s request 
    • Only scatter with appropriate authorization 
  • Cremation Costs – Crematories are obligated to provide clear and concise descriptions of all services included each cremation price, as people who gave recently suffered a loss might be more susceptible to bad business practices. Cremations cost will be depending on the service and merchandise.  
  • Body Transportation From State to State – If the body is transported over a period of 24 hours or more after the death, embalming may be required. There are airline funeral shipping businesses that also have specific regulations and rules such as the purchase and use of a designated aircraft mortuary-shipping container.  
  • Cremation Consumer Protections – There are lots of laws protecting cremation consumers, from laws prohibiting crematories and funeral homes making false statements about body guarantees or cremation merchandise purchasing. If you want more information, check with your local or state government.  

If you want more information on these ideas, or have questions about State College, PA cremation laws, Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc. can help. You can pay us a visit at 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641 to meet in person, or give us a call at (844) 427-3672 for more general information.  

cremation, in Bethlehem, PA

The Basics of Cremation 

Most everyone has heard of cremation, in Bethlehem, PA and around the world. However, most people don’t know even the most basic details of the practice, including the different parts and what they entail. Read on to learn the basics of cremation so you can be better prepared to make necessary decisions after the passing of a loved one or when planning for your own death.   

The cremation process can be broken down to three main parts: body preparation, the actual cremation, and processing the ashes.   

Body preparation is made up of lot of different steps. First, a funeral director or cremation official needs to obtain a cremation authorization document, usually signed by closest surviving family members. The funeral director then goes through a series of checks to ensure proper body identification. Next, the body is processed to remove any items that the family doesn’t want cremated with the body, or things that cannot be cremated like jewelry and medical devices. Pacemakers are one of the most common items removed from bodies.   

Once prepared, the body is put inside a cremation casket and checked again for proper identification. A metal identification tag that won’t burn or melt is also placed inside the cremation casket to ensure the remains end up with the right family after cremation.   

Next is the cremation itself. Cremation chambers are generally heated with fire and built from fire resistant bricks and special masonry compound designed to stand up to extremely high temperatures. The cremation casket and body are placed directly into the cremation chamber. Most chambers get up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. It usually takes 2 hours for a body to be reduced to bone fragments and ash, but the time can vary depending on the size of the body, type of cremation casket, or even the percentage of body fat to lean muscle.   

After the incineration, the remains are left to cool inside the chamber for about 30 minutes. They are then processed and checked again for any remaining medical debris and identification. The cooled bone fragments go through a processor that grinds them down into fine ash. This final ash is what is returned to the family for funeral services or interment.   

After those three main cremation steps are still more decisions and steps. The family must choose what to do with the cremated remains and carry out that decision. Some common choices are: 

  • Casting, or tossing the cremated remains into the wind.  
  • Raking, a process in which the ashes are poured over loose earth and raked into the soil.  
  • Trenching, or burying the ashes in a shallow grave.  Sometimes performed on a beach so the ashes are eventually carried out to sea by the tide.  
  • Aerial scattering, an expensive option, is when a professional pilot takes the ashes into the air and scatters them from the sky.  
  • Water scattering, or simply scattering the ashes into a body of water.  
  • Ringing, a ceremony in which a loved one places the ashes in ring around a tree or home.  

These are the very basics of cremation. If you have any more questions about Bethlehem, PA cremations, contact Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc. Please visit us at 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641, or give us a call at (844) 427-3672.  

cremations in Stroudsburg, PA

Cremation History

As cremations in Stroudsburg, PA and beyond become more and more popular, many people wonder where it all began.   

Historians believe that humans started burning their dead as early as 3000 B.C, meaning cremation began a long time ago. Archeologists have discovered pottery shards and urns that dictate that cremation started spreading across northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the British Isles during the Bronze Age, from 2500 to 1000 B.C. It wasn’t until Homer’s time, around 800 B.C, that cremation became the most common disposition method. This rise in cremation is most likely due to the prevalence of war and disease-related deaths.    

By 395 A.D, when the Roman Empire was at its peak, cremation was widely practiced, and people stored the ashes in elaborate urns like we do today. However, the early Christians disapproved of cremation because of their traditional Jewish practices. Therefore, when Constantine made Christianity the official Roman religion in 400 A.D, the cremation almost disappeared in favor of traditional burial.   

Cremation as we know it didn’t pop up again until1873 when an Italian professor displayed his new cremation chamber model at the Vienna Exposition. His new invention jump-started the cremation revolution on both sides of the Atlantic, and the the first modern cremation chamber in the United States was built in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1876 by Dr. Julius LeMoyne, with the second not far behind in Lancaster, PA in 1884. Soon, crematories were being built all across the US, and by the year 1900 there were 20 in operation.   

The practice took off even more when, in 1913, Dr. Hugo Erichsen started the Cremation Association of America as way to spread to word about this modern way of safely and hygienically disposing of bodies. The foundation was originally made up of doctors with concerns about the spread of diseases from whole-body burials to living humans. This belief and the foundation continued to foster cremation popularity until the 1920s when it was proven that whole body burials, when done properly, were just as safe for the public’s health as cremations.   

After that discovery, the Cremation Association of America switched gears and began promoting cremation not as a health requirement but rather as a memorial preference. The foundation changed its name to Cremation Association of North America (CANA), in 1975, and is still around today.   

Cremation has been becoming more and more popular since the 1980s in America and around the world. This rise is due to a number of factors such as cost, environmental concerns, creativity, religion and more. While traditional burial is still the most commonly seen disposition method, studies show that might soon change. According to CANA, there were over 2,100 crematories in use in the US in 2009 performing over 9,000 cremations a year, and the number is still going up.   

Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc. is continuing this long cremation tradition. We offer Stroudsburg, PA cremations from 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641. Please give us a call today at (844) 427-3672 if you want to learn more about our services, or if you have any questions about cremation in general.  

 

cremations in Altoona, PA

4 Ways to Get Help Paying for Cremation Expenses

In our modern society, simple cremations can be costly. With price tags going that high, its no wonder that people are looking for help paying for cremations in Altoona, PA and the rest of the country.  

The following is a list of 4 ways you can get help paying for a loved one’s cremation. Use any of these 4 ideas themselves, or take inspiration.  

1. Preplanning – Check the deceased’s papers and information to see if they made any plans to help pay for their cremation. They might have put in place things such as:  

  • Prepaying programs 
  • Funeral insurance 
  • Life insurance  
  • Payable-on-death bank account  

Any of the above can help cover the funeral costs.  

2. Fund Raising – Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your community, neighborhood, friends or other family. You’d be surprised how quickly people will chip in. Get creative with fund raising like:  

  • Car washes or bake sales 
  • Church groups or donations  
  • Memorial funds at the deceased’s workplace or bank 
  • Crowd funding websites like GoFundMe.com or GiveForward.com 

Social media is also a great tool to make your need known and get more people involved.  

3. Government Assistance – Local, state and even federal government programs can help pay for funerals and cremations. Check with your local social service, county treasurer, or public fiduciary to see if any systems are in place. These programs have varying requirements, especially since local government budgets are tight and they are making such programs more difficult to qualify for. Be sure to double check that you are eligible.  

The Social Security Administration can also provide assistance. Call to report a death and you may be eligible for a lump sum or other survivor benefits. Other federal programs that can help include:  

  • Medicare 
  • Medicaid 
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs 
  • The Railroad Retirement Board 
  • Veteran’s Administration  

4. Low Cost Options – If you still can’t get enough funding, there are tons of low-cost funeral and cremation options you can choose from, including:  

  • Memorial service at home or a community center 
  • Pot-luck food for the service  
  • Service at a church or other religious establishment  
  • Body donation to a medical school or other organization (Science Care is the world’s largest body donor program) 
  • Direct cremation 
  • Burial on family or private property  

Paying for a cremation can be tough, and there is no shame in asking for help. Use any of the above ideas to get help paying for the cremation for your lost loved one, or get creative with more ideas of your own.   

Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc, located at 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641, has years of Altoona, PA cremation experience to help you arrange and pay for your loved one’s cremation. Give us a call today at (844) 427-3672 to learn more about what we can do for you, or about paying for a cremation.  

cremation in State College, PA

From Death To The Cremation

Everyone knows how hard loss is, but not many people talk about how difficult it is to know what to do when faced with a loss. There are a lot of steps between the death itself and the cremation in State College, PA.

Use this list of 8 steps to help guide you through the process of reporting the death to arranging the cremation:

1. Report the Death – The first step is to report the death to the proper authorities. If the death is at a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, the officials there will know what to do and will make the report for you. If you are at home, or have no other options, call 911.

2. Prepare To Work With A Funeral Director or Cremation Attendant – You will need the assistance of a funeral director to complete the death certificate, transport and store the body. Take note if the deceased made pre-arrangements for his or her cremation, and be prepared to relay these wishes to the director.

3. Pick a Type of Service – There are several service options you need to be prepared to choose from:

  • Funerals, in which the service is held before the body is cremated or buried and the body is present
  • Memorials, in which the service is help after the body is buried or cremated and therefore not present

4. Make Cemetery Arrangements – If you choose to inter the cremated remains after the cremation, you will need to make cemetery arrangements. Decide where the burial will take place, and if necessary purchase a plot. If you’re unsure where to start, your cremation attendant will most likely be affiliated with a cemetery and can help you find a plot. You could also check with your church, synagogue or other place of worship for further guidance.

5. Make Service Arrangements – Feel free to get creative when making memorial arrangements to make the service personal and meaningful. Flowers, music, pre or post service events and other special touches help make the service personal for you and the deceased.

6. Plan Formal Transportation – You will need to make arrangements for the body to be transported from the place of death to the crematory.

7. Inform The Family and Write Death Notice – Personally inform all close family, friends and loved ones of the death, ideally over the phone or in person. If you’re nervous, take the time to write a script to help you make key points. Don’t forget to write and release a death notice to notify the rest of the friends, coworkers, associates etc.

8. List Pre-Service Tasks – Make a list of what you need to accomplish before the service to help you stay organized and not forget anything important. This list could include your attire, personal items or collecting photos.

Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc, located at 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641, can help you with making your loved one’s State College, PA cremation arrangements. Please give us a call today at (844) 427-3672 to learn more.