What Is Involved in the Cremation Process?

Frequently Asked Questions About Cremation

The Cremation Society of Texas is pleased to offer some answers to your questions about cremation. Many people have similar questions about the process. Please feel free to call us if your questions are not covered here or if you want more information.

What is cremation?

Cremation is not a type of funeral service or burial. Cremation is a process that reduces the human body to very small fragments using high heat and flame.

Stone Angel

How long does cremation take?

Depending on the individual’s weight, cremation of an average–sized adult takes two to three hours. The normal operating temperature is between 1500 and 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.

What happens next?

The fragments of bone that are left are very brittle. These, along with metal pieces that are not consumed, are moved from the cremation chamber into a cooling pan made of stainless steel. Items such as metal from clothing, hip joints, or bridgework are removed both with a magnet and thorough visual inspection. Minute particles of dental gold or silver are commingled with the rest of the cremated remains. Any larger bone fragments are processed to a size more consistent with the cremains and then all is placed into an urn chosen by the family.

What are the cremains like?

Cremated remains, also called cremains, look like whitish to light gray coarse sand. The cremains of an average-size adult weigh between four and eight pounds.

What will you do with the cremains after cremation?

We will assist you in making choices about what you want to do and will follow your written instructions.

How will the cremated remains be returned?

All of the cremains, with the possible exception of minute particles that cannot be removed from the cremation chamber, are returned to the family in an urn they select. The Cremation Society of Texas has a wide variety of urns from which to choose from.

What can I do with cremated remains?

The options are wide ranging. Cremains may be buried in a cemetery plot or cremation garden or placed in a columbarium, which is a specially built structure that can hold the urns of many people. The cremains may be kept at home or you may want to scatter them on your private property. The Cremation Society of Texas can also offer you such services as scattering in the Gulf of Mexico, inclusion in an eternal reef, or having a diamond made of your love one’s cremains. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to discuss the options with you and make the arrangements you select.

Will the body need to be embalmed before cremation?

No. The Cremation Society of Texas has modern refrigeration and other facilities that make embalming unnecessary. However, embalming might be needed if you decide on certain funeral services such as a public viewing.

What kind of container will the cremated remains be in when they are returned?

The cremains are carefully placed in a temporary urn. The Cremation Society of Texas has a large selection of both permanent and scattering urns available for you to choose from, or you may supply your own.

What is the Cremation Society of Texas?

Society members come from all different backgrounds. What they have in common is their attraction to the simple rite of cremation. They choose not to have the costly and unnecessary display that is associated with the traditional idea of funerals and rather opt for a straightforward, dignified disposition at their time of death.

Is the Cremation Society of Texas licensed?

Yes. All directors of the Cremation Society of Texas are licensed by the State of Texas. Also, the Cremation Society of Texas is a member of CANA–Cremation Association of North America.

How does the Society work?

The Cremation Society of Texas is notified at the time of the death. The loved one is transported into our care and held in a state-required cremation container at our facility. The cremation may only happen after a doctor or medical examiner signs the death certificate, a cremation permit has been issued, and the documents are on file with the State of Texas. When we have the documentation in place, we will proceed with the cremation.

If I want some other kind of service, can the Cremation Society of Texas help me?

Yes. We can give you options for traditional funeral services with a ceremonial casket followed by cremation or earth burial, as well as information on caskets and burial vaults. If you are concerned about funeral costs, we may be able to save you thousands of dollars.

How do I join the Cremation Society of Texas?

Fill out the membership application and mail it to our office with a one-time registration fee of $45. This will defray the costs of setting up and maintaining your records. You will receive wallet-sized membership cards and will be able to call or write to us with any questions. Should you wish, you may pre-fund your cremation and freeze the cost of today’s prices. Pre-planning allows families to avoid making decisions while they are in a state of grief. Your survivors will never be charged more for your direct cremation arrangements.

If I change my mind, may I change my instructions?

Yes! You may change any instructions that you wish. Notify us in writing of the changes you want and we will update your records.

What other services will you offer my survivors?

A Cremation Society of Texas staff member will help your survivors arrange a memorial service, submit obituaries, file death certificates, apply for death benefits, and choose a cremation container as required by Texas law. Charges for these, as well as any other services or merchandise, are payable at the time the arrangements are made.

What if I die when I’m on vacation out of state?

The Cremation Society of Texas wants you to be protected wherever you may travel. For an additional pre-funded fee (non-refundable and on top of the membership and pre-funded direct cremation fee), the Cremation Society of Texas offers travel protection plans that will help you get the same quality service anywhere you go in this nation or around the world.

Do you have anyone on staff who speaks Spanish?

Yes! The Cremation Society of Texas has Spanish-speakers on staff who are available to assist you.