Overview of Cremations

Cremations in Rockford, IL are becoming an increasing popular option for end-of-life plans. There are many reasons for the rise in the rate of cremations nationwide. 

Cremations are strictly regulated at the state level. Most states require that at least 24 hours elapse between death and cremation. They also require that a legally-authorized person (spouse, child, parent, power of attorney, etc.) gives written permission for the cremation. Identification of the deceased must be done before the cremation. This can be done by a family member, a trusted friend, or a current photograph.  

Once the cremation is complete, the cremains (the remains of the deceased, which are bones that are finely crushed and resemble “ashes”) are given to the family in a temporary container or a permanent urn that the family has selected. The family can then choose whether to bury the cremains in a cemetery (or urn garden), to store the cremains in a columbarium (designed specifically for cremains, in an urn with a grave marker), to make memorial jewelry with some of the cremains, or to scatter the cremains in a special place. 

When someone is cremated, a traditional funeral service or a memorial service can be held. In the traditional funeral service, a visitation is usually held a couple of hours before the actual service. With cremations, during the visitation the deceased can be absent or the deceased can be displayed in either the cremation casket or in a casket rented from the funeral home. After the visitation, a traditional funeral service with readings, eulogies, and music is held. The deceased is not cremated until after the funeral service. 

A memorial service, on the other hand, takes place after the cremation. There are no time limits on when this service is held nor is it bound by structure the way a traditional funeral service is. Therefore, the memorial service can be held at a later date and in some place that was special or meaningful to the deceased. This gives people time to make arrangements for time off of work and for travel to get together to remember the deceased. 

Cremations are more environmentally-friendly than traditional burials, which is why more people are choosing it for their final disposition. Cremations use fewer resources than traditional burials and no harmful chemicals (such as those used in embalming) are used. Eco-friendly caskets and urns made of biodegradable materials, which further reduce the environmental impact, are also available. 

Another reason for the increase in cremations is because the stigma, especially religious, around it has been removed. The religious stigma is rooted in a misreading of scripture about idolatry and worship to pagan gods (Molech in the Old Testament was one of pagan gods that people sacrificed their children to by burning them in a fire). Christianity under Constantine prohibited cremations, and that prohibition filtered down through the Protestant Reformation, and came to this country with the Puritans. 

However, cremation of dead people and burning living sacrifices to a pagan god is an apples-to-oranges scenario, and, at some point, logic and critical thinking appeared to notice this and to realize that there’s nothing inherently sacrilegious about cremation. In fact, in times of worldwide pandemics, such as the numerous bubonic plague outbreaks that plagued the world for almost 800 years and the influenza outbreak of 1919, cremations ensured that the virus didn’t spread any further. 

For additional information about cremations in Rockford, IL, our compassionate and experienced team at Collins & Stone Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 128 S 5th Street, Rockford, IL 61104, or you can call us today at (815) 965-1515.  

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