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What is cremation?
Cremation, like burial or entombment, is a method of final disposition for how the body is handled after a death. With burial, the remains are placed in a casket and buried underground at a cemetery. If a body is entombed, the casket containing the remains is placed in a mausoleum above ground at a cemetery. Cremation is a process that reduces a human body to ashes. This process is done at a facility called a crematory. The body is typically brought to the crematory in a container and placed inside a device called a retort. When the retort is turned on, the extreme temperature inside of the unit eventually reduces the body to ashes, or cremated remains. Once the cremation process is complete, the ashes are removed from the retort and then placed into a container and returned to the family. Often, the family chooses to place the cremated remains into an urn as a memorial. If the ashes are scattered, the family may keep the urn in remembrance of their loved one. With cremation, it is still possible to have alternative services such as a visitation, a funeral, or a memorial. Any of these options allow the family and friends to remember and acknowledge the life of the deceased.

It is important to recognize that your choices are not limited should you choose cremation as a method of final disposition. For more information, you can contact us directly or visit our Cremation Options. With any of these options, the cremated remains may be buried, scattered at a special area or placed in a memorial urn for return to the family. Any of our licensed directors can help you explore these choices and decide which option may best suit your individual needs.

Are there differences between cremation and a funeral?
Many believe they must make a choice between cremation and a funeral. In reality, cremation and a funeral are two different choices. People also believe that cremation is a less expense alternative to having a funeral. Cremation is a choice made regarding the final disposition of human remains; it does not take the place of a funeral.

When considering cremation, the underlying decision is whether one prefers to be cremated or buried. Either choice can be done in a cost-effective manner. A funeral is ultimately a decision made regarding the way in which the death of an individual is acknowledged. Funerals can be held for individuals who choose either cremation or traditional burial. The funeral service can be held in a number of places and can be as simple as one or two people meeting to remember the individual, or, as elaborate as a gathering of many people over a period of several days. If cremation is chosen, the funeral service can be held prior to the cremation or following it. Whatever you choose, it is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to plan for a cremation or a funeral.

Who does cremation?
Bekavac Funeral Homes maintain and operate Jefferson Hills Crematory: a state-of-the-art facility reflecting the level of service and professionalism expected from our family and staff. This allows our funeral home to offer to you what very few can: the fact that your loved one will be under our care throughout the entire cremation process. The cremation is performed by our funeral directors: experienced professionals who perform this task with the same respect, attention to detail, and quality as a traditional funeral. If you choose cremation as your method of final disposition, Bekavac Funeral Homes can ensure you and your family our highest level of care because we never leave the person's side. 

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