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Cremation in Pennsylvania

Cremation in Pennsylvania

Cremation is a popular choice for many individuals in Pennsylvania, offering a dignified and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burial. If you're considering cremation for yourself or a loved one, it's essential to understand the laws, regulations, and options available in the Keystone State. In this article, we'll provide an in-depth look at cremation in Pennsylvania, covering everything from the process itself to the various choices you can make along the way.

Top Rated Cremation Service in Pennsylvania

The best cremation service based on user reviews and rating

Neptune Cremation Service

800 West Mac Dade Blvd. Suite A 800, 800 MacDade Boulevard suite a, Milmont Park, PA 19033, USA
(484) 228-7075
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Cheapest Cremation Service in Pennsylvania

The best creation service is you are on a budget

McCafferty Funeral & Cremation Inc.

6709-11 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19135, USA
(215) 352-5661
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Cremation Society of Pennsylvania

714 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422, USA
(610) 354-9800
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Cremation & Burial Society of Pennsylvania

4100 Jonestown Rd, Harrisburg, PA 17109, USA
(717) 910-6507
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Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc.

728 Main St, Avoca, PA 18641, USA
(570) 457-2872
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Cremation Services of Pennsylvania

320 Blue Rock Rd, Millersville, PA 17551, USA
(717) 392-3900
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Philadelphia Cremation Society

1500 Market St 12th floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
(610) 572-7078
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Cremation Society of Pennsylvania, Inc.

11269 Perry Hwy Suite 222, Wexford, PA 15090, USA
(878) 217-8664
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Cremation Services of Lancaster

2024 Marietta Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603, USA
(717) 273-6283
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PA Simple Cremation

113 N 3rd St, Clearfield, PA 16830, USA
(888) 602-7976
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Allentown Funeral & Cremation Services, LLC

3438 PA-309, Orefield, PA 18069, USA
(610) 841-3700
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Delaware Valley Cremation Center

7350 State Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19136, USA
(215) 543-9339
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Central Pennsylvania Cremation Society

3125 Walnut St, Harrisburg, PA 17109, USA
(717) 671-1289
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Corey Brian Strauch FH & PA Cremation Services, LLC

602 Birch St, Scranton, PA 18505, USA
(570) 343-0413
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Buhrig Funeral & Cremation, Ltd.

37 E Main St, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, USA
(717) 766-3421
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Dimon Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

644 E Grand Ave, Tower City, PA 17980, USA
(717) 647-2741
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Eternal Life Cremation Services LLC

555 Valley Kitchen Rd, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666, USA
(724) 547-2468
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Naugle Funeral & Cremation Service, Ltd.

135 W Pumping Station Rd, Quakertown, PA 18951, USA
(215) 536-3343
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Pittsburgh Cremation & Funeral Care

3287 Washington Rd, McMurray, PA 15317, USA
(724) 260-5546
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The Cremation Process in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, cremation involves the use of high-temperature heat to reduce the body to its basic elements. The process typically takes place in a crematory, where the body is placed in a specialized chamber and exposed to temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This reduces the body to a small amount of bone fragments and ash, which are then processed into a fine powder known as cremated remains or ashes.

Before the cremation process can begin, the deceased must be identified and authorized for cremation by a licensed funeral director or coroner. The funeral home or crematory will also require a death certificate and any necessary permits before proceeding.

Laws and Regulations Governing Cremation in Pennsylvania

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In Pennsylvania, cremation is regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of State's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA). The BPOA oversees the licensing of funeral directors, funeral homes, and crematories, ensuring that these professionals adhere to strict standards and guidelines.

One important law to note is the Pennsylvania Funeral Director Law, which requires that all funeral homes and crematories be licensed and inspected regularly. This law also dictates that funeral directors must disclose all costs associated with cremation services upfront, ensuring transparency and fairness for consumers.

Types of Cremation Services in Pennsylvania

When it comes to cremation services in Pennsylvania, families have several options to choose from. These include:

Traditional Funeral with Cremation: This option combines a traditional funeral service with cremation. The body is present at the service, and then cremated afterwards.

Memorial Service with Cremation: In this scenario, the body is cremated first, and then a memorial service is held with the urn present.

This is the most affordable option, where the body is cremated immediately after death without any formal services or ceremonies.

Cremation Costs in Pennsylvania

The cost of cremation in Pennsylvania varies depending on the type of service chosen and the provider. On average, direct cremation can cost between $1,000 to $2,000, while traditional funeral services with cremation can range from $3,000 to $6,000 or more.

Families should also consider additional expenses such as:

Urn selection: Urns can range from simple containers to elaborate works of art, priced accordingly.

Burial or scattering fees: If you plan to bury or scatter the ashes, you may need to pay for a cemetery plot or scattering permit.

Cremation Containers and Urns in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, there are no specific laws governing the type of container used for cremation. However, most funeral homes and crematories require a rigid container made of combustible materials such as wood or cardboard.

After cremation, families can choose from a variety of urns to hold the ashes. These range from simple containers made of plastic or metal to decorative urns crafted from materials like marble or crystal.

Burial and Scattering Options in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, families have several options for disposing of cremated remains. These include:

Burial: Ashes can be buried in a cemetery plot, often with a headstone or marker.

Scattering: Families can scatter ashes in a designated scattering garden or at sea (with proper permits).

Niche placement: Ashes can be placed in a columbarium niche or mausoleum.

Environmental Impact of Cremation in Pennsylvania

Cremation is often considered a more environmentally friendly option than traditional burial. In Pennsylvania, many funeral homes and crematories are adopting eco-friendly practices such as using natural gas instead of propane for cremations.

Families can also opt for biodegradable urns or containers made from recycled materials. Additionally, some cemeteries offer green burial sections where ashes can be buried without embalming fluids or metal caskets.

Cremation is a popular choice in Pennsylvania, offering families flexibility and affordability when it comes to saying goodbye to their loved ones. By understanding the laws, regulations, and options available, individuals can make informed decisions about their own final arrangements or those of their loved ones. Whether you're planning ahead or facing an unexpected loss, knowing what to expect from the cremation process can bring peace of mind during difficult times.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cremation?

Cremation is a process of final disposition where the body is reduced to its basic elements through high-temperature burning, leaving only bone fragments and ash. This process typically takes place in a cremation chamber, also known as a retort, at a temperature of around 1400°C to 1800°C.

How does the cremation process work?

The cremation process involves several steps. First, the body is prepared by removing any medical devices, such as pacemakers, and dressing it in a suitable container. The body is then placed in the cremation chamber, where it is exposed to high temperatures for about 1-2 hours. After the process is complete, the remaining bone fragments are processed into a fine powder, known as cremated remains or ashes.

What are the benefits of cremation?

Cremation offers several benefits, including cost savings, environmental concerns, and flexibility in memorialization options. Cremation can be more affordable than traditional burial methods, and it also reduces the land required for cemeteries. Additionally, cremation allows families to scatter ashes in a meaningful location or keep them in an urn, providing more flexibility in memorializing their loved one.

Yes, cremation has become an increasingly popular choice for final disposition in recent years. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the cremation rate in the United States was around 53% in 2020, and it's expected to reach 70% by 2030.

Can I still have a funeral or memorial service with cremation?

Absolutely! Many families choose to hold a funeral or memorial service before or after the cremation process. This can provide an opportunity for friends and family to gather, share memories, and say goodbye to their loved one.

What happens to the ashes after cremation?

The ashes, also known as cremated remains, are returned to the family after the cremation process. They can be placed in an urn, scattered in a special location, buried in a cemetery or columbarium, or divided among family members.

How do I know that I'll receive my loved one's ashes back?

Reputable crematories follow strict identification procedures to ensure that the correct ashes are returned to the family. This includes using identification tags throughout the process and verifying the identity of the deceased before returning the ashes.

Can I witness the cremation process?

Some crematories offer witnessing options for families who want to be present during the cremation process. This can provide closure and help families understand what happens during cremation.

Is embalming required for cremation?

No, embalming is not required for cremation. In fact, most states do not require embalming for cremation unless there will be a public viewing or visitation prior to the cremation.

Can I pre-plan my own cremation?

Yes, you can pre-plan your own cremation by making arrangements with a funeral home or crematory ahead of time. This can help alleviate financial and emotional burdens on your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are respected.

How long does it take to complete the cremation process?

The entire cremation process typically takes around 2-4 hours, depending on various factors such as the size of the deceased and the type of equipment used.

Can I choose a biodegradable urn?

Yes, many biodegradable urn options are available, made from materials such as recycled paper, bamboo, or salt. These urns are designed to break down naturally over time, reducing environmental impact.

Can I scatter ashes in a national park or other public place?

In some cases, yes. However, it's essential to check with local authorities and obtain any necessary permits before scattering ashes in a national park or other public place.

Can I divide the ashes among family members?

Yes, many families choose to divide the ashes among family members or close friends. This can be done using specialized containers or keepsakes designed for holding small amounts of ashes.

How do I transport ashes on an airplane?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows passengers to transport ashes on airplanes in carry-on luggage or checked baggage. However, it's essential to check with your airline for specific policies and guidelines.

Can I bury ashes in a cemetery?

Yes, many cemeteries have designated areas for burying ashes. You can also consider burying ashes on private property with permission from the landowner.

What is alkaline hydrolysis?

Alkaline hydrolysis is an alternative method of final disposition that uses water and alkali to break down human remains. It's often referred to as "green cremation" due to its environmentally friendly nature.

Alkaline hydrolysis is legal in some states and countries, but its availability varies widely. It's essential to check local laws and regulations before considering this option.

Can I donate my body to science if I choose cremation?

In some cases, yes. Some organizations accept donations of bodies for scientific research and education purposes. After the donation period ends, the remains are typically cremated and returned to the family.

How do I know if a funeral home or crematory is reputable?

You can research online reviews, ask for referrals from friends or family members, and check with professional associations like the NFDA or International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) for accredited providers.

What kind of support services do funeral homes offer for grieving families?

Many funeral homes offer support services such as grief counseling, support groups, and online resources to help families cope with their loss.

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Get a Personalized Professional Eulogy Written For Your Loved One

Writing a eulogy for a loved one you have just lost, can be both challenging and painful. Alongside the pressure of delivering a meaningful tribute in front of other funeral guests.

Let our expert Funeral Speech Writers create a heartfelt & personalized eulogy, that captures the amazing life and memories of your loved one.

Learn more about our Professional Eulogy Writing Service today, and see how we can help you.


About Jeffery Isleworth

Jeffery Isleworth is an experienced eulogy and funeral speech writer who has dedicated his career to helping people honor their loved ones in a meaningful way. With a background in writing and public speaking, Jeffery has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting heartfelt and authentic tributes that capture the essence of a person's life. Jeffery's passion for writing eulogies and funeral speeches stems from his belief that everyone deserves to be remembered with dignity and respect. He understands that this can be a challenging time for families and friends, and he strives to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Over the years, Jeffery has helped countless families create beautiful and memorable eulogies and funeral speeches. His clients appreciate his warm and empathetic approach, as well as his ability to capture the essence of their loved one's personality and life story. When he's not writing eulogies and funeral speeches, Jeffery enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and traveling. He believes that life is precious and should be celebrated, and he feels honored to help families do just that through his writing.