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Cremation has become the more popular option for many people in our area. 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. Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to full body burials.
Some funeral homes who also own crematoriums try to make the claim (or at least insinuate) that cremating with them is "safer", stating that "your loved one doesn't leave our care". Such a claim is merely trying to instill unfounded fears surrounding the use of a third party crematorium.
All licensed crematoriums in Ontario are subject to the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002 (FBCSA) and answer to the Bereavement Authority of Ontario. Obtaining a cremation license involves a rigorous application that incorporates approval from the crematorium's municipality, or approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources (for operations on Crown land). A copy of an environmental compliance approval under Section 9 of the Environmental Protection Act is also required, effectively involving the Ministry of the Environment. Following this, they need to have a set of crematorium by-laws approved by the Registrar of the Bereavement Authority. The Registrar will also require proof that provisions are in place for the proper identification of cremated remains.
Whether or not a crematorium is owned/operated by your chosen funeral provider does not have any bearing on the exceptional level of care that you can expect from that crematorium, as the very license it holds has been vetted by the abovementioned regulating bodies.
Cremated remains can be scattered, buried, or they may be kept with the family. There are many ways to distribute cremated remains today: they can be placed in an artificial coral reef in the ocean; they can be launched into space or spun into glass pieces of art or diamonds. There are always new and innovative ideas emerging in the industry.
Some religions welcome cremation, while others forbid it. The Catholic Church had previously banned cremation up until 1963. 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. The Greek Orthodox Church and Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation, while other sects of Judaism support cremation.
What is cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing the human body using high heat and flame. Cremation is not a type of funeral service.
Is a casket needed for cremation?
No, a casket is not required. However, the province of Ontario requires at least an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
No. It is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes, most crematories allow immediate family members to view the deceased prior to cremation. We can also arrange a private viewing for immediate family members at Eternal Care, prior to transferring to the crematorium within 48 hours of the death.
Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes they can; some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber. Some religious groups ask for this as part of their funeral custom.
Can an urn be brought into church?
Absolutely. Including cremated remains as a part of the funeral provides a focal point for the service.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
In Ontario, remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered.
How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?
All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error. Since it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time, and the vast majority of crematories can only cremate one body at a time, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.
Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. An urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.