Learn More About Cremation

Many funeral homes in New Haven, CT offer cremation services as they have become more popular in recent years. Interested in cremation? Keep reading to learn more.


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

  1. Body Preparation - There are a lot of steps that need to take place before a body is cremated. These steps fall under the category of body preparation. First, a funeral director or cremation specialist needs to obtain a cremation authorization document, usually signed by the closest surviving family member. The funeral director then goes through a series of checks to ensure proper body identification to prevent ashes from ending up in the wrong place, or with the wrong family. The body then goes through more checks and processing to remove any items that the family doesn’t want cremated with the body like jewelry, or things that cannot be cremated including artificial limbs or pacemakers. Once prepared, the body is put inside a cremation casket. A metal identification tag that won’t burn or melt is also placed inside the casket to help with identification. The body goes through another check, and then is declared ready for the cremation.
  2. Cremation - Cremation chambers are built from fire resistant bricks and special masonry compounds designed to stand up to extremely high temperatures. First, the chamber is pre-heated for a few hours to reach the desired temperature, and then the cremation casket with the body inside is placed in the chamber. Cremation chambers reach over 1800 degrees Fahrenheit from burners fueled by propane or natural gas. It usually takes around 2 to 3 hours for a body to be reduced to bone fragments and ash. However, the cremation time can vary depending on factors like the body size, cremation casket material, or even the percentage of body fat to lean muscle.
  3. Processing and Final Disposition - After the incineration, the bone fragment remains are left to cool for about 30 minutes. The remains are then processed and checked again to ensure proper identification and to double check for any remaining medical debris and are then put through a processor that grinds them down into a fine ash. This final ash is what is returned to the family for funeral services or interment. There are many different things the bereaved can do with their loved one’s cremated ashes, like casting, or tossing the cremated remains into the wind; raking, a process in which the ashes are pored over loose earth and raked into the soil; trenching, or burying the ashes in a shallow grave, or water scattering, or simply scattering the ashes into a body of water.


If you want to learn more about cremations and other New Haven, CT funeral home services contact Howard K. Hill Funeral Services. We offer a range of services designed to help you through your time of loss. Please stop by or give us a call today to see what we can do for you.

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