Posts Tagged Cremation

Cremation by water

cremation by water

Water cremation has been around for years and is now gaining attention as people seek greener alternatives to cremation. On TheFuneralSite.com we’ve call this form of  disposition Resomation others call it Water Resolution or Bio-Cremation.

California is looking at amending the law to allow this form of cremation. Sounds like funeral directors like the idea. It supposed to be significantly less expensive than traditional fire cremation. Another advantage to funeral directors is that they do not need to go through the difficult and expensive procedure for obtaining air emission permits from local air pollution agencies that are necessary with fire cremation.

Right now Florida is the only state allowing this form of cremation. The first commercial bio-cremation facility is expected to become operational in St. Petersburg in the next few months.

I predict that in this new form of cremation will be the next big thing in the funeral industry.

It makes sense – – it’s less expensive, creates less pollution and is more, gentle, than fire cremation.  People will love it. – AC

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Cremation by funeral pyre, now available in the USA

Cremation by Funeral Pyre in Crestone, Colorado

Cremation by Funeral Pyre in Crestone, Colorado

Cremation by funeral pyre or “open-air cremation” is now available for a few people in the United States. We’ve just added an article on it in our Disposition Resource Center.

A funeral pyre is one of the world’s oldest cremation traditions. A body is placed upon a structure packed with flamable materials and ignighted.  The pyre is designed to burns at a very hot temperature in order to reduce a human body to a few pounds of ashes.  Pyres are used for the cremation in Hinduism & Sikhism. Vikings disposed of their dead with funeral pyres.

A group in Crestone, Colorado, the Crestone End of Life Project,  has done the research, obtained the necessary legal permissions and created a permanent cement pyre structure to perform around 12 “open-air cremations” a year.  At this time you must be a member of their community in order to proceed with an open-air cremation.  For more information contact the founder of the Crestone End of Life Project, Stephanie Gaines at (719) 588-7415.

A video tape of a cremation by outdoor funeral pyre shows a dignified procession of people placing a shroud wrapped body on top of a pyre. One by one, individuals placed juniper branches on top of the body. They approached the body similar to the way people do at a viewing. With somber deliberation each stepped forward to say good bye to their loved one by placing the juniper branch on top of the pyre. Some placed flowers on the heaping pile of juniper. At the conclusion of this procession, a huge pile of greenery and flowers rested on top of the cement pyre.

When lit, the pyre burst into flames. The group sang Christian songs and prayed; sometimes a cantor sang. As the sun set, the group remained to witnessed the pyre burn for hours. Some members occasionally placed additional wood on the fire. It was  a beautiful heart felt ceremony.

There is some controversy on how green this type of cremation is. There was a lot of smoke when the pyre was first ignighted. The narrator explained that this was caused by the fresh juniper branches.

Could funeral pyres be the next “hot” new thing in the funeral industry? Could they compete with green burial?  Probably not, I wonder how many people choose to witness a cremation at a regular crematory? I understand that there is more interest in witnessing this procedure and some crematorys have developed spaces for the family to observe the cremation. But I’d be surprized if there is much demand for this.

The more funeral options the better. I’m glad to hear that cremation by funeral pyre is happening in the USA and hope it becomes available in more locations  throughout the USA. It’s certainly not for everyone but for some it’s the perfect send off.  People should be allowed to honor their loved ones however they like.
-AC

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