Cremation is an alternative to the burial process and it is chosen by many people because of religious beliefs, the desire to preserve the environment or it was requested by the person who died. Cremation is often a slightly less expensive option in comparison to a burial, the casket and the added cost of a burial plot are the main reasons for this. With cremation. the remains are placed in a container (a simple casket) that is combustible and placed in a special furnace called a retort or a crematory where, through intense heat, is reduced to bone fragments that are then crushed and pulverized to resemble course sand. The cremated remains of an average adult will weigh about 8-10 pounds. Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial.
Cremated remains can be scattered or buried, or they may be kept with the family in a decorative urn, a personal homemade urn, several keepsake urns, or cremation jewelry. There are many new and different ways to dispose of a persons' ashes today, Cremated remains can be placed in an artificial reef in the ocean, they can be launched into space or scattered from an aircraft, they can be spun into glass pieces of art, turned into diamonds, fireworks, and new ideas are being proposed all the time.
In British Columbia there is no legislation governing what a person can or cannot do with the cremated remains of a loved one. Canadian Federal or Municipal regulation may however apply in certain situations so it is best to ask your funeral director or the appropriate agency for further information regarding your plans.
Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it. The Catholic Church had banned cremation up until 1963, and burial remains the preferred form of disposition today. In other Christian denominations cremation was historically discouraged but nowadays it is more widely accepted. In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism cremation is mandated, while in Islam it is strictly forbidden. Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option.
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and mechanical processing. In British Columbia, the moment of cremation is considered final disposition and what happens after this moment is therefore a private matter for you and your family. Cremation is not a substitution for a funeral, memorial or celebration of life but only an alternative form of disposition to burial.
Is a casket needed for Cremation?
Yes. In British Columbia, some form of combustible rigid container is mandatory for cremation. At Clayton's we use a simple plywood cremation casket though families have chosen, to use a combustible casket for the service prior to the actual cremation or have used what is called a "Rental Casket" which is a nice casket with a removable combustible liner that is then cremated after the service. Homemade caskets can also be used if they meet the regulatory standards of manufactured or craftsman caskets. Some families have even "personalised" our basic wood caskets with personal messages, decorations, or painted hand prints prior to cremation.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
No. Embalming is not a legal requirement before any service, however it may be desirable for services that need to take place before the actual cremation. Embalming does not prevent anyone from being cremated.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes. At Clayton's Funeral Directors, if approximately no more than 72 hours have passed since a persons death and the person is "viewable" without extensive preparation, a brief viewing by immediate family can be arranged at no additional cost. This can be a very complex and nuanced issue for certain families and under certain situations depending upon time passed since death and condition of the deceased. At Clayton's we firmly believe that viewing your loved one is a very important and deeply personal part of your grief journey and we will make every effort to meet your needs and make your wishes possible.
Can we witness the cremation?
Yes you can. With Clayton's. at no additional cost, you can escort your loved one to the crematorium, spend some time with them and then be present when their body is placed in the cremation chamber. This is a deeply personal moment and exactly how much you participate in this process is entirely your choice. Some religious groups even include this as part of their traditional funeral custom.
Cremations in Quesnel take place at Claytons Crematorium located (behind the Quesnel and District Municipal Cemetery) at 2511 Quesnel Hixon Rd, Quesnel BC V2J 5Z5; next to Tranquility Gardens.
Can an urn be brought into church?
Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass. It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
In the province of British Columbia, final disposition (legally) takes place at the moment of cremation and no BC legislation currently exists governing what you do with cremated remains returned to you. Canadian Federal and Municipal regulations may contain restrictions upon where cremated remain may be placed or scattered; Foreign and other Provincial jurisdictions of course have their own rules . It is best to talk about what is possible and where with your funeral director and/or the appropriate authorities as you make your plans.
Flying with cremated remains inside Canada is permitted as long as the appropriate documentation is brought along and the urn is of a material that may be x-rayed. Flying with cremated remains outside of Canada, requires further information depending upon your route and destination. It is best to contact your airline for advice on this issue.
For the most part, remains can be buried in a cemetery plot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered in a favored location.
In Quesnel, through Clayton's Funeral Directors, your loved one can be scattered, placed in a below ground garden plot, an above ground garden plot, or into a niche in a columbarium, in our private cemetery called Tranquility Gardens. In all locations in Tranquility Gardens, the cost of the placement chosen includes a bronze plaque with, at the very least, your loved one's name and dates. This website has a page dedicated to Tranquility Gardens including options and prices. Please click here to see Tranquility Gardens
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. At Clayton's, a cremation disk with a unique ID number goes through the entire cremation process with your loved one and is inside the primary urn selected by you for their cremated remains and is your assurance of their authenticity.
How long does the actual cremation take?
It all depends on the weight, age, and physical makeup of the individual. For an average sized adult, cremation can take about three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,400 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, with an hour of cool down and some additional time for external cooling and mechanical processing before being placed into the urn of your choice.
What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish or tan to light grey in color. This can vary greatly depending upon casket used, body composition, clothing etc. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 8 to 10 pounds.
Are all the cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are returned to the family.
Do I need an urn?
A traditional urn is not required by law. However, 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.
Almost anything the right size and structure, can be an urn. We have had families choose, tea pots, coffee or tobacco containers, tackle boxes, ammo boxes, lunch kits and jewelry boxes as urns. The more personal and reflective of your loved ones' personality the better.
We, at Clayton's, would be pleased to help you pick out one or more of our available urns, assist you to find one you like from anywhere in the world, or place your loved one, at no additional cost, into whatever personal urn you have found or created. Just ask us and we can help you with size and design considerations.