Questions about cremation

What exactly is cremation?

Cremation is the physical process of breaking down a human remains by high temperature flame – 1400 degrees to 2100 degrees. Cremations are preformed at a Crematory, which is located at a cemetery or place designated by law to perform cremations.

A combustible cremation container is required for a person’s remains to be placed into and cremated in (necessary for handling, transport, and sanitary purposes). A person’s remains are kept identified at every step of the cremation process. It is illegal to cremate more than one human remains in a cremation chamber at a time (unless the next of kin provides written permission and the crematory can allow it).

When the high flame cremation step has been completed, the cremated remains are removed from the cremation chamber. Larger fragments of the cremated remains are physically processed again and reduced down further so they are as small as possible. Care is taken to remove every bit of cremated remains, but some microscopic dust particles or molecules are physically too small to remove and are disposed of during cleaning. This is common for cremation anywhere.

When ready, the cremated remains are carefully placed into an individual polyurethane container or into an urn that has been selected by the family.

From there the cremated remains are taken to a cemetery for burial, returned to the family residence or scattered at sea as per the families instructions.

Does the Chapel of the Highlands have to send a body to the Neptune Society to be cremated?

No. The “Neptune Society” is a chain of mortuaries that deals mostly in “Direct Cremations”. CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS is a 100% independent family owned Chapel and is not connected to other Funeral Homes or Cremation Societies.

We care for the families that we serve as if they were our own. If a family wishes someone’s remains to be cremated, we use a highly trusted crematory at one of our local cemeteries. They have preformed well for us and have assisted us with their services for many years.

If I compare "cremation societies" to the Chapel of the Highlands, what do you offer that "cremation societies" do not?

Our beautiful Chapel can offer your family a wide selection of cremation offerings to choose from. “Cremation Societies”, unfortunately, are limited to what can they offer the public and are not equipped to provide a full variety of service. We will do our best at the CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS to serve your family and to give you the variety of choice that is expected from a quality and 100% family owned Chapel.

If you are thinking about cremation, here are some of the regularly selected options to choose from:

1. “Direct or Immediate Cremation”: If someone is to be cremated directly, their remains are removed from the place of death (under normal circumstances), and brought back to our Chapel and placed into a “cremation container” (a body is required to be in a combustible container for the actual cremation). After we complete arrangements with the family, and after completing and filing the necessary legal paperwork with the County Health Department, we are then allowed to bring a person’s remains to the crematory for the cremation. From that point it may be several days before the cremation is complete and someone’s cremated remains are ready. The family may choose to keep the cremated remains at their home, arrange to place them at a cemetery of their choice, or scatter them at sea. We will scatter the cremated remains ourselves if the family wishes, or the family may scatter them personally if they wish.

2. “Immediate Cremation followed by a Memorial Service”: Following a Direct Cremation, someone’s family may wish to have a “Memorial Service” for them. A “Memorial Service” is a service in someone’s memory without their remains present for viewing. A “Memorial Service” can be scheduled for any time after the cremation, and can take place at our Chapel, or a Church, your home or at any place of your choosing. (Also see the “Cremation Services” category)

3. “A Brief Viewing or Simple Service followed by Cremation”: If a family wishes, someone’s remains may be embalmed and prepared for viewing and a simple service. In this case, we would need clothing and a good photo of how the person normally looked when alive so they can be prepared properly. The family would also select from us a “cremation container” which is designed to be used for a viewing or service. We would arrange with the family for a day and time for the viewing or simple service, and after the conclusion, we would continue privately to the crematory.

4. “A complete Traditional Funeral followed by Cremation”: Some people who wish to be cremated also would prefer a traditional funeral to celebrate their life for their family and friends. This type of service is easy to arrange. The only difference is that after the visitations and funeral services have concluded, we would continue (usually privately) to the crematory for cremation instead of to the cemetery for burial. After the cremation is complete, a person’s cremated remains may still be buried at a cemetery, taken home and kept with the family, or scattered at sea.

5. “Unique Services”: We can also try to accommodate any special wishes or desires. We can make suggestions and help you to prepare a personalized service that is uniquely designed for your loved one.

Does the Chapel of the Highlands offer cremations?

Yes, we offer a wide variety of cremation options. In fact, the CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS has been a leader by offering cremations since we first opened in 1952, decades before “cremation societies” came into existence. Our charges for a “direct cremation” (no viewing or services) are comparable to, and many times below, what “cremation societies” offer. Also, we offer families the advantage of personalized service and care for someone’s remains. We truly do give care to people in our community.