Funeral Cremations

Cremation is fast becoming the preferred choice of many families in America today.  In fact, the cremation rate has been steadily growing for the last 10 years and has now reached 60%. It is expected to reach nearly 75% in the next 5 years.

Of course, in some states, the cremation rate is much higher (such as California), but in most states now, the interest in cremation is increasing fast. There are several reasons for this, including environmental concerns, religious beliefs, and, most importantly, the costs. The COVID pandemic also helped drive an increase in the cremation rate.

Here, we explore some key reasons why cremation is now preferred and look at the cremation process and how that may be changing.

Affordable Cremation Services USA

Cremation is generally far less expensive than a traditional funeral burial service.  Cremation is an age-old disposition tradition in many cultures, and as modern culture and traditions are changing, so are attitudes to cremation. 

In many heavily populated metropolitan areas in the United States, we are simply running out of room to bury bodies, which is driving up the costs for burial plots and is yet another reason why more Americans are turning to cremation.   The acceptance of cremation by the Catholic Church has also contributed to a growth in cremation rates.

Defining the Cremation Process

Most of us today are familiar with what a cremation is.  The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) defines it as “The mechanical and/or thermal or other dissolution process that reduces human remains to bone fragments.”  The “thermal dissolution” is the typical cremation process that we are all familiar with, which produces the cremated remains or ashes (the ground bone fragments).

Cremation is beginning to be re-defined in modern culture as new means of conducting the “dissolution process” are invented. Water cremation is now a legal disposition alternative to flame cremation and is available in some 22 states.

More funeral homes in the U.S. have been turning to ‘Aquamation’ – which is formally known as alkaline hydrolysis cremation. 

You can read more about water cremation in our Guide to Aquamation.

What happens to Medical Implants during the cremation process?

You should be aware that modern medical aids, such as pacemakers, need to be removed from the deceased before a cremation can be conducted. Some cremation providers charge an additional fee for this.

The benefit of water cremation is that implants do not need to be removed before the cremation process. Due to the less harmful process, many implants can be extracted following alkaline hydrolysis and recycled for future medical use.

How does choosing Cremation affect a funeral service?

In general, the actual cremation usually takes place after a funeral service; it just replaces the burial aspect of the disposition. So, a viewing or visitation can be held, a funeral service held with the deceased present, and then the cremation is carried out. The cremated ashes are then given to the family in an Urn. Cremation is just as dignified as a full-service ‘traditional’ burial.

Cremation – The Cheaper Funeral Alternative

Cremation service options

The costs of a cremation can vary quite significantly in the U.S., depending on which State you live in and what type of memorial service, if any, is required. The actual cost of the cremation can often depend on whether your selected funeral home has its own crematory and can perform the cremation or whether it needs the services of a local crematory. 

In the U.S., cremations are generally the least expensive in the states with a higher cremation rate. In Florida, for example, a cremation can be conducted for as little as $800.

If you need a simple direct cremation service, please visit the DFS Memorials network of affordable cremation providers. 

Select your state and city, and you can check your local affordable price for cremation and connect with your local cremation provider now!

Do you need a casket for a cremation?

No, cremation is far cheaper than burial because no casket is required – usually the single most expensive item of a funeral.

If you decide you require a viewing or plan to have an open-casket funeral service, many funeral homes offer a ‘rental’ casket, which enables you to have your loved one laid out without the large expense of purchasing a casket.

The cremation container or Urn type can greatly affect the costs.  Some very simple urns can be purchased for under $30, and the market is now quite saturated with cremation urn retailers. 

Most funeral homes keep a small selection of urns, or, of course, you can purchase them directly online, sometimes with significant savings. You generally do not have to have an urn immediately for the cremated remains (or ‘cremains’ as they are often called), as the funeral home can return the remains to you in a basic container, allowing you time to purchase your chosen urn without feeling rushed. 

With the rise in cremation, there has also been a growth in customized or personalized urns, which obviously can take longer to order.

What is Direct Cremation? – The cheapest disposition method

buy cheap cremation urn online

A direct cremation is a simple cremation where no ceremony or service is conducted by the funeral home. It is by far the least expensive funeral option. 

A direct cremation is just as it states, you deal directly with the cremation provider, who simply collects the deceased from the place of death, cremates the deceased, and then returns the cremated remains to the family, along with the death certificates.

Many may choose not to conduct any funeral service whatsoever, but many families opt to arrange their own memorial service once they have received the cremated remains. 

This drastically reduces funeral expenses and enables the family to gather and hold a memorial tribute as and when it suits them.  It is, in a way, returning to how we used to practice death care, whereby the family looks after the care and memorialization of their deceased loved one, not a funeral home.

How do I choose a Cremation Service Provider?

Funeral or cremation

These days most funeral homes can conduct a cremation for you, whether on-site or off-site.   Some funeral homes have already installed their own crematories, and more are doing so as the cremation rate continues to climb.

DFS Memorials offer affordable cremations across the United States.  They are a network of local, independent funeral homes that understand the need for simple, affordable cremations as an alternative to expensive full-service funerals. 

The price of direct cremation differs due to the location. As mentioned above, the higher the cremation rate in a state, the more competitive the industry is, so you will find a more competitive cremation price.  

To find your nearest DFS Memorials provider, visit the DFS Memorials website.  You can search for your State and City to find your local cremation provider and their direct cremation price.

What to do with the cremated remains or ashes

Cremated ashes can be kept in an Urn, kept as a keepsake, or scattered in the deceased’s favorite place. They can also be buried or entombed at a local cemetery, where other family members are. 

In fact, more cemeteries are converting land into ‘Memorial Gardens’ or Columbariums with cremation urn niches. However, do beware, as in some cases, the costs of interring ashes can be quite expensive.  

A whole industry of niche products and services for cremated remains is now evolving. 

Visit our section on ‘Ash Scattering’ to learn more about scattering options.

A death away from home – transporting cremated remains

Aside from having a large immigrant population, we have become more of a transient society, so it is inevitable that more people are dying away from home.  Unfortunately, the transportation of a body can be costly, especially if it requires international shipping. 

For this reason, many families choose to have a direct cremation conducted at the place of death and then arrange for the cremated remains to be shipped back home or even collected in person.  Cremated remains can be carried on in hand luggage on most airlines. 

For more information on transporting cremated remains, read our guide to Transporting cremated remains.

If you have more questions about cremation, check out more articles about cremation in our Funeral Resources section.

Further Reading:

The Ultimate Guide to Cremation

Understanding Cremation Laws

Written by

Sara is the Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death care industry in the US for the last 15 years.