Many families are currently choosing cremation. It gives peace of mind knowing that we own and operate our own private, on-site crematory. We have the only crematory in Armstrong County and the only crematory in our immediate service area. Because of our significant investment, you will receive the highest standard of care, comfort, and accountability… but also the serenity of knowing that your loved one will never leave our care. We are able to complete cremations at a quicker pace than any other cremation provider because we control all aspects of the cremation process.
Many funeral homes advertise “cremation services” but don’t be fooled! Most of the funeral homes in our immediate service area subcontract out this important service to distant common, off-site industrial crematories. We do not! Your loved one never leaves our care and no one but our funeral directors who are certified crematory operators will care for them.
Considering we are an actual crematory operator and are privileged to serve more cremation families every year, you have the peace of mind in knowing that you have retained a “cremation expert”.
We have an “open door” policy, drop by anytime and we would be proud to give you a private tour. As an introduction to cremation, here are some answers to some commonly asked questions.
What is cremation?
Cremation is a process by which the body is reduced to its basic elements, bone fragments. The cremation process usually includes mechanically pulverizing the bone fragments, with the final result being a quantity of cremated remains.
Can I have a service with cremation?
Absolutely. For those that choose cremation, you would have more options and flexibility when it to services options. Every service option that we provide would be available to you. Traditional ceremony followed by cremation then burial to a “Celebration of Life” or Memorial service after the cremation has occurred.
Is embalming required?
No. However, most states insist on embalming under certain circumstances such as when the death is caused by a contagious disease or if final disposition isn't made within a certain time frame. Embalming preserves the body, often allowing more time for arrangements. It is required if there will be a public visitation. If the deceased is to be directly buried or cremated, embalming is not necessary. If embalming is refused, we have a refrigeration unit you loved one would be placed in until the cremation would take place.
Is a casket necessary for cremation?
Our crematory does require that the body be encased in a combustible, rigid container. Any wood casket will satisfy this requirement. Some wood caskets are designed specifically for cremation. You can also choose to use alternative containers of cardboard, particle board, etc. This requirement is to assure the safety of the crematory operator as well as provide proper covering and meet reasonable standards of respect and dignity of the deceased.
Can we witness the cremation?
Absolutely; it becoming more common practice, and we welcome you to do so. We have an “open door” policy, drop by anytime and we would be proud to give you a private tour.
Can I be cremated if I am Catholic?
Yes, as long as the cremated remains will ultimately be buried or placed in mausoleum or columbarium per the Catholic Church.
What are the legal requirements for cremation in Pennsylvania?
The legal requirements are as follows, 24 hours must elapse between time of death and time of cremation. A legal authorization has to be signed by and individual, they must give permission for the cremation in writing. (We require immediate next of kin, whether that is one individual or several.) The Medical examiner or coroner of the county the deceased died in must give approval for the cremation which would require a completed death certificate for their review.
How can we be sure that we receive the correct cremated remains back?
Many families are concerned that they will not receive the correct cremated remains back from the crematory. This stress arises from the simple fact that cremation is an irreversible process, and cremation destroys all DNA evidence in the remains. To ease your concerns, our crematory places the utmost importance on our identification process. We require an identification to take place before the actual cremation. If you prefer to witness the cremation, we welcome you to do so.
How long does the cremation process take?
The cremation process begins with placing the casket or cremation container in the cremation chamber. It is subjected to intense heat and flame, reaching temperatures between 1400 and 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat will consume everything except bone fragments (calcium compounds) and any non-combustible materials such as jewelry, dental gold, prostheses, latches or hinges or other casket hardware, etc. that were not removed prior to the cremation. During the cremation process, it is sometimes necessary to open the cremation chamber and reposition the deceased in order to facilitate a complete and thorough cremation. Cremation is usually accomplished in 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the size and weight of the deceased. After a cooling period, the remains are swept from the cremation chamber. Every effort is made to remove all human remains; however, a small residue may remain. This will result in some commingling with other cremated remains.
What happens following the cremation process?
Once the cremated remains are removed from the cremation chamber, all non-combustible materials are separated from the bone fragments using a magnet. These materials will be disposed of in a non-recoverable manner. The bone fragments will then be further processed to reduce the size of the various fragments to uniform particles. Depending on the size of the decedent, cremated remains will weigh between 4 and 8 pounds and are usually white in color with a sand-like texture. The cremated remains will be placed in an urn or temporary container, and returned to the family or the funeral home or cemetery that was designated on the cremation authorization form so that arrangements for final disposition can be completed.