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In Quebec, cremation is one of the most commonly used techniques, along with burial, for the disposition of a body.

What is cremation?

Cremation is a process by which a body is exposed to flame and intense heatand reduced to ashes. The body is placed in a casket or container, which is itself inserted into a cremation chamber that is preheated to 1,200 degrees Celsius. The cremation process can take between two and two and a half hours. After cremation, the remaining bone fragments (cremated remains) are transformed into ashes, cooled and then pulverized into a fine powder. These remains are placed in the funeral urn purchased by the family. The whole process takes approximately three hours.

Is it possible to attend a cremation?

Yes, relatives can attend the cremation.

Are funeral arrangements necessary if the body is going to be cremated?

One of the advantages of cremation is that it allows for a great deal of flexibility in making funeral arrangements. The memorial ceremony may be held with the deceased displayed in a casket prior to cremation, at the time of cremation, or afterwards, with the urn present.

Do we have to purchase a casket if we decide to have a memorial service before burial?

Most funeral homes offer casket rentals. “Shell caskets” are now available in which a more standard coffin with fabric and padding is placed. The standard coffin will contain the body and burn with it. Only the “shell casket” is left behind and can be used several times.

What choices do we have for the disposal of ashes?

You may choose to bury your urn in the ground, in which case a bronze plaque or monument can be used to mark its location. Many cemeteries also have columbariums—structures made of alcoves (niches) designed to store and display urns. There are several options for ash disposal when a body has been cremated. The ashes can be buried in the ground, displayed in a niche, kept by a family member or laid to rest in another location chosen by the deceased.

Is there any other way to dispose of my ashes?

You can have your ashes scattered in a meaningful place as long as this ritual is permitted by local authorities. However, it’s best to discuss this option with your loved ones, as they may find it difficult and too emotional. In addition, they may prefer to have a fixed place where they can go to pay their respects.

Can the ashes be kept at home?

Of course! Funeral urns are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and materials. This makes it easy to keep your loved one’s urn at home, if you so choose. If you or the deceased did not choose a burial site and you want to take some time to think about it, you can keep the urn in the meantime.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding cremation, feel free to  contact us.