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simple cremation

What is a simple cremation?

A simple cremation is often called a direct cremation in the funeral industry term. A simple cremation is also sometimes called a “no ceremony cremation” or “basic cremation.” Simple cremation is the final disposition of a body performed soon after a death either at a crematory or a funeral home that houses its own crematorium.

Reasons why people consider simple cremation

  • A simple cremation is often the least-expensive cremation option.
  • A body gets cremated in a simple container, and it is not necessary to purchase a casket.
  • The body does not need embalming if there will be no wake or visitation service prior to the cremation.
  • Often, a cemetery and a headstone are not part of a cremation, as cremated remains are generally kept by family members or friends.
  • Transportation of the body is lessened as it only needs to be delivered to the crematorium.
  • Funeral homes provide a simple container to return the cremated remains to the family, or a decorative or keepsake urn can be purchased.
  • A memorial service after a simple cremation is possible.

Some people find traditional funerals to be depressing and for their end-of-life plans they may choose to include a memorial or celebration of life service taking place days, weeks or even months after the cremation. Often, these gatherings take place in family homes or favorite places of the deceased, such as a favorite bar or a hall.

Having a more traditional service prior to a cremation, where the body is present, is not part of a simple cremation, but rather a traditional cremation.

Funeral home assistance with a simple cremation

Cremation laws do vary state to state, including how a body is transported, and a funeral arranger can assist with aspects such as:

  • State or county cremation regulations
  • Transportation arrangements
  • Refrigeration prior to the cremation
  • Obtaining signatures from the next of kin
  • Preparing and filing a death certificate

A funeral home can also assist if your end-of-life wishes include having your cremated remains interred at a columbarium niche, a public location often built into a wall where urns with cremated remains are stored.

Often, loved ones prefer to keep the cremated remains, and a funeral director can assist in helping you find an ideal memorial container or can advise on unique alternatives for cremated remains.

With a simple cremation, you can also make your wishes known about what should happen with your remains. It is still very common to have cremated remains scattered.

Cremation process

Cremation reduces the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flames. After a body has been exposed to the heat and flames, the material left is referred to as cremated remains (not “ashes” as they are sometimes called). Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are white to light gray in color. The remains of an average-size adult generally weigh between four and six pounds.

Here is an overview of our 10-Step Identification, Security and Control Cremation Process:


  1. A member of our team escorts the body of the deceased to our cremation facility.
  2. A unique ID medallion is assigned to the body and remains there throughout the process to ensure that proper documentation is maintained at all times.
  3. Our tracking system maintains the unique ID information, and  your loved one’s personal items are inventoried.
  4. A medical examiner conducts an evaluation.
  5. All forms and records related to the death and cremation are examined.

During and post-cremation

  1. Your loved one’s record will be updated with the exact time and date of the cremation.
  2. All cremation remains are cooled and processed.
  3. An identifying number is designated to the urn. Both the remains and identifying medallion are placed in the urn.
  4. Your representative will meet with you when you pick up the urn. They will sign our two-part cremation certificate, giving one copy to you and retaining a copy for our records.
  5. All information collected throughout the cremation process is entered into our database and retained as a permanent record.

Please note there is a mandatory 48-hour waiting period from the time of death until the cremation process may begin in New Hampshire and a 24-hour waiting period in Vermont.


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