Clark Associates Funeral Home Cremation Services
Cremation and Memorial Planning:
Specific Options & Considerations
people have either considered cremation, or are curious about
this very personal choice of disposition. Clearly, you are not
alone. You may be surprised to learn that cremation, is fast
becoming a choice of a growing number of families throughout
To answer some of the questions you may have on the subject,
we have gathered some background information and explanations
of the types of services, memorials, rituals and other concerns
asked most often about this method of disposition.
Cremation is a very personal choice to make, and only you can
determine if it is right for you and your family. Whether you
select earth burial, entombment or cremation, it is wise to
consider the emotional needs of the survivors. By including
your family and loved ones in your decisions, you may be able
to avoid some of the stresses that so often accompany this emotional
and difficult time.
Authorization/Legal right to control the disposition of
deceased human remains is defined by state law where the death
occurred. Generally accepted legal heirachy for burial or cremation
in descending relationship are:
- Person designated in written instrument (final disposition “agent”);
- Domestic Partner;
- Any Child 18 or Older;
- Either Parent;
- Any Brother or Sister 18 or Older;
- Authorized Guardian;
- Person 18 or Older now Eligible to Receive an Estate Distribution, in the following descending order:
- Nieces and Nephews;
- Grand-nieces and Grand-nephews;
- Aunts and Uncles;
- First Cousins;
- Great-Grandchildren of Grandparents;
- Second Cousins;
- Fiduciary (Executor);
- Close friend or other relative who is reasonably familiar with the decedent’s wishes, including his or her religious or moral beliefs, when no one higher on the list is available, willing, or competent to act, and who completes the “At-Need Written Statement” form;
- Public administrator (or the same official in a county not having a public administrator); or, anyone willing to act on behalf of the decedent who completes the “At-Need Written Statement” form.
NOTE: A person - whether next-of-kin or appointed “agent” - who: (1) at the time of the decedent’s death, was the subject of an order of protection issued to protect the decedent; or (2) has been arrested or charged with any crime allegedly causally related to the death of the decedent is automatically prohibited from having or exercising control of the disposition of the deceased’s remains.
The Cremation Process
by definition is used to prepare the human body for final disposition.
Ultimately disposition can be earth burial, entombment, placement
in a niche or in a garden within a cemetery, scattering at sea,
or holding in safekeeping by a family member or their designated
Before the cremation can take place, certain medical devices
or implants must be removed from the body, such as pacemakers,
prosthesis, or mechanical and radioactive devices. Not removing
these items could cause damage to the cremation chamber or crematory
personnel. We would also need to know if the deceased was treated
with any radioactive medication.
Next, the deceased is placed in a wood casket or cremation container.
The casket or container and the body are then put in the cremation
chamber and are consumed by the intense heat and flames (1800
degrees F ). All soft tissue are vaporized, and the skeletal
body framework is reduced to bone fragments and particles. These
bone fragments are further broken down with a process called
The cremated remains are then placed in a temporary urn or a
container that is provided. Cremated remains normally weigh
between four and eight pounds, depending on the size of the
Services and Gatherings
think choosing cremation means you are limited to holding only
a simple service – or holding no service at all. This
is not the case. The fact is, choosing cremation in no way prevents
family and friends from participating in the life affirming
traditions, ceremonies or rituals of a funeral service. Cremation
is simply an alternative to earth burial or entombment of the
body of the deceased. Those who opt for cremation still can
participate in the elements of the personalized funeral or memorial
service by holding:
- a service or ceremony at church, funeral
home chapel, lodge , country club, or other location
- a visitation, viewing or wake
- or a graveside service.
Again, like earth burial or entombment, there are many ways to
honor a life lived for those who choose cremation. Choices include:
- cremation with public or private viewing
with viewing and/or ceremonies
- cremation with memorial service and no viewing
- cremation with full ceremonies only
- cremation with no ceremonies
are the most common choices, but you can personalize
services to suit your family traditions or customs.
When people realize these choices are available, the majority
select some type of ceremony, viewing, etc. such observances
are intended to help survivors by providing an opportunity to
acknowledge the loss and begin the healing process, allowing
loved ones to release their feelings and share their grief.
Clark Associates Funeral Home can provide information to help
you make the decision that best fits your needs, no matter what
type of services you choose.
Survivors often regret not having some form of service, ceremony,
or viewing that would allow them the opportunity to say good-bye
to the deceased. It has been proven that taking part in the
process of arranging and attending funeral ceremonies can be
therapeutic. So consider your options carefully before making
this important, irreversible decision.
question of what to do with the cremated remains is another
important decision you’ll need to consider. Here you have
several options. Some prefer to keep the cremated remains in
their personal possession, while others feel it is appropriate
to place them in a formal or permanent location.
It is common to bury the urn as you would a casket. This allows
families to remain together in a burial plot, regardless of
each family member’s choice of final disposition. The
burial site offers loved ones a permanent place to visit and
reflect on the life of the deceased. Burial also can be in an
urn garden or private crypt.
A columbarium provides another permanent place for the family
to visit. The columbarium niche is marked with a name plate
listing dates of birth and death. This choice is ideal for those
who prefer above-ground entombment.
Dividing and scattering is yet another option for final disposition
of cremated remains dividing allows families to bury as well
as scatter. Cremated remains are often spread over a lake, ocean,
field or scattering garden. If you are interested in scattering
or dividing remains, Clark Associates Funeral Home can explain
the environmental regulations in your area and can help you
make the arrangements. This decision should be made carefully,
because once it is done, it cannot be reversed.
Selecting the appropriate memorial to honor a loved one is another
important decision. The type of memorial itself should be given
considerable thought, as it will represent a permanent dedication
to the deceased and will serve as a formal place of reflection
for future generations.
Cremation offers several options in terms of memorials. Our
funeral directors can offer ideas based on your circumstances
and wishes. Popular examples include bronze memorials, monuments
and plaques, or living memorials such as a garden, tree grove
or community park. Some prefer a plaque to be placed on a fraternal
or veteran’s memorial, grave or niche, or on a tree or
bench at the cemetery or memorial park.
Choosing cremation in no way prevents family and friends from
participating in the life-affirming traditions, ceremonies or
ritual of a funeral service.
When Embalming or Refrigeration is needed
for embalming vary, depending on the services selected by the
family and local, state or provincial law. If the family chooses
viewing and visitation, embalming is generally necessary according
to funeral home policy, in the case of direct cremation, embalming
is normally not required but refrigeration may be necessary.
earth burial or entombment, the expenses of a cremation can
vary greatly depending on your choice of services, final disposition,
cremation container and urn selection. Clark Associates Funeral
Home will discuss all of your options and costs with you to
help you reach the right decision for you and your family.
It’s your choice
We hope to have provided some insight in to the many options
you have and decisions you need to make when choosing cremation.
Just remember: Cremation is a very personal choice, which in
the end is yours to make. If you have further questions or if
you need additional information to help you make a decision,
please speak with one of our funeral directors at Clark Associates
Funeral Home. We will take time to listen to your concerns and
answer your questions openly and honestly.
Cremation, Cautions and Respectful Standards
Although its history dates back thousands of years, in modern
times cremation has only recently become a popular practice
– and its popularity is now increasing. Cremations have
triples in North America since 1973, and it is predicted that
they will top 40% in the United States by 2010. Cremation, however,
should not be considered memorialization but as only a part
of the preparation for memorialization. With 80% of all cremations,
a memorial service is held before, or directly after, the cremation
take place. Memorialization has evolved since cremation’s
early history. Today there are a wide selection of memorialization
options available to help you express your faith, grief, reconciliation,
Our Cremation Services are unique and cery thorough. We go above and beyond most funeral homes.
are very concerned that no mistakes should be made with the
irreversible decision of cremation.
wish to always reassure our client families that their wishes
and decisions will be carried out to the letter of the law and
philosophy, ethics, practice and procedure are far beyond Federal
or State mandate.
The policies and procedures we offer greater consumer protection
and reduce the possibility of error.
The trust client families place with us is sacred. We treat
all deceased as if they wear one of our own family members.
We feel that cremation is a dignified funeral rite and should
be treated with all the reverence that has been given to ground
(Next is an example of our oversight to further reduce the
risk of error.)
Clark Associates Funeral Home Minimum Cremation Service -
without scheduled visitation or service
- Cremation is final and irreversible; therefore
our mission is never to make a mistake with identity and offer
our services with dignity and respect.
- The cremation may be attended by the family
at NO additional charge.
- The deceased is topically disinfected cleansed,
and dressed for identification at NO additional charge.
- The deceased is dressed in clothing supplied
by the family or wrapped in clean sheeting if clothing is
not available at NO additional charge.
- Identification of the deceased is always
scheduled to accommodate the family at NO additional charge.
- Identification of the deceased is always
made in our chapel – NEVER in our preparation room,
refrigeration room or garage.
- The cremation container or casket is ALWAYS
- The family is always welcome to have a private
committal/farewell at the Ferncliff Crematory Chapel at the
time of the cremation
- The deceased is transported to the crematory
in a hearse Not a van or truck.
- It has been our policy to ALWAYS request
“immediately serviced” at the crematory so that
the deceased is placed into the first available retort upon
arrival at Ferncliff.
- The deceased is NEVER left over night lingering
in a holding area at the crematory waiting to be cremated
the next day.
- The cremated remains are ALWAYS picked up
personally by our staff at the crematory and returned to our
funeral home at NO additional charge - NEVER shipped by mail
to our funeral home or to the family mailbox.
- The temporary cremated remains container
is ALWAYS inspected upon arrival at the funeral home to verify
that the crematory identification number inside the container
matches the number stamped on the cremation receipt received
at the time of the initial delivery to the crematory.
- The cremated remains are personally handed
to the designated family member at our funeral home.
- Our cremation services are performed, arranged
and supervised by our staff of New York State Licensed Funeral
- We offer a money back guarantee if these
services are not fulfilled.