People sometimes have a difficult time discussing end-of-life events. The topic is hard to think about, and the vocabulary is sometimes not clearly defined. For example, let’s discuss cremation ceremonies – what they are and how to plan one.

What Is a Cremation Ceremony?

“Cremation ceremony” may refer to several different types of events. If your loved one chose cremation as a method of disposition, here are some of your options for their end-of-life services.

Traditional Funeral

It’s a common misconception that those choosing cremation can’t have a traditional funeral service. This is simply not true.

What is a cremation funeral service?

You can have a traditional service for your loved one – including an open-casket visitation – followed by cremation. In most cases, facilities allow this option to use a rental casket. Following the funeral, the body is cremated, and the remains are returned to the immediate family members later.

cremation caskets

How much does a cremation funeral cost?

The crematory will charge a cremation fee, which is generally around $400. The funeral home will also charge fees for preparation and services, ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. In addition, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the casket, headstone, and cemetery plot.

Cremation Memorial Service

A “cremation ceremony” may sometimes refer to a memorial service. During this cremation service, the cremated remains may or may not be present.

What is a cremation memorial service?

Memorial services can be immediately following the death or plan for a more convenient time. They may conclude by scattering the deceased’s ashes or with a graveside service as the cremated remains are buried.

How much does a cremation memorial cost?

The cost of a cremation memorial service can vary depending on what you want to use as your ceremony location and who will perform it. A basic fee for using their facility, which includes staff time involved in setting up the area needed, plus any services the cremation provider may offer like hearse transportation or grief counseling, is around $400.

However, some funeral homes charge higher rates when additional needs must be met, with fees ranging from $500 to $1000 depending on how elaborate things become. If holding outside instead of at church, which usually comes equipped without breakdown times, there might not be any fees at all except for an officiant.

Graveside Service

A cremation ceremony may also refer to a graveside service held at the burial site.

What is a cremation graveside service?

During a graveside service, the cremated remains are buried, and a service is held at the graveside. A casket may be used for the cremated remains like a traditional funeral. Unlike a cremation funeral, the cremains and cremation urn is buried at the gravesite.

cremation burial ceremony

How much does a cremation graveside service cost?

The cost of a cremation graveside service can range from $400 to as high as $1,000+. This will depend on how you want the graveside service done and whether any fees are involved with using the facility or services by the funeral home. Other items, such as a casket and headstone, may add an additional expense too.

Scattering Ceremonies

“Cremation ceremonies” sometimes describe a scattering ceremony. This type of ceremony may be a stand-alone or one that follows other services.

What is an ash scattering ceremony?

Some scattering ceremonies are private gatherings where family and friends say a few words and share stories as they spread the remains in nature. Other times, scattering ceremonies are a bit more formal in nature.

Witnessing the Cremation

In some instances, a “cremation ceremony” may refer to when the body is placed in the retort at the crematorium. Although some crematoriums allow families to be present during this process, this is still not a common practice in the U.S., and only the deceased’s family is typically present.

How to Plan a Cremation Ceremony Funeral Service

The most important aspect of planning a cremation ceremony is defining what the term means to you. Whether you view a “cremation ceremony” as a funeral or memorial service or an informal gathering of friends and family, know that having a ceremony to honor your loved one is an important part of the grief process for all involved.

Schedule a Consultation With a Funeral Director

It is our honor to help you with your grief journey. We understand that some families choose dress clothes while others prefer less formal attire. We also appreciate many families with creative ideas for celebrating their loved one’s life.

Do you have questions about cremation funeral services in Alabama? Fill out this form with your contact information and questions, and the caring professionals at Alabama Funeral Homes and Cremation Centers will get back to you quickly.

We will do all we can to fulfill your loved one’s final wishes, whether a private ceremony followed by the burial of the ashes or cremation services that look more like a traditional funeral.

You are not alone. For cremation funeral planning in Alabama, call us 24/7 at 334-835-3601.