When a family has chosen cremation and upon the passing of a loved one, the funeral home will receive the loved one and in the state of Pennsylvania cannot cremate until twenty-four hours after time of passing. We are pleased to use Pomfret Manor Crematory in Sunbury which is a board run crematory and have proudly used them for over thirty years for our loved ones.
Cremation is a form of disposition, just as burial is. Choosing cremation neither eliminates nor does it require a funeral service. Traditional or contemporary services may be planned before or after the cremation process. A funeral service followed by cremation may be exactly the same as a funeral service followed by ground burial.
Cremation Following a Funeral Service is just like a traditional funeral service except it is followed by cremation in lieu of a procession to the cemetery. Following the visitation, service or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safe keeping.
Cremation Preceding a Funeral Service is like a funeral, only it is a service of remembrance without the body present. Often the urn, pictures and other personal items will be on display to serve as a focal point for the memorial service. Even when cremation is selected before the service, there will be a time for immediate family to spend with their loved one. This is a very important step in acknowledging that the death has occurred.
Cremation without Service is the prompt cremation following death, without a formal memorial service. With every cremation there will be two selections that need to be made. Our crematorium requires the minimum of an alternative container.
Another selection is what the cremated remains will be placed in after the cremation. We carry a wide variety of urns that are constructed for permanent memorialization and a variety of urns for temporary memorialization prior to scattering. Urns are constructed of metal, stone, wood, ceramics and biodegradable materials. Many of the urns may be personalized. If an urn is not selected, the cremated remains will be returned in a plastic bag within a plastic black box within a white cardboard box.
After cremation, it’s common to scatter the ashes in a place that was significant to your loved one. Sometimes the place is specified in a will; sometimes it’s the choice of you and your family, who feel the location complies with your loved one’s wishes.
Families can personalize the ritual to create a tribute that’s meaningful and relevant to their loved one’s life. The family of an avid fisherman might scatter the ashes of their loved one near a favorite fishing spot. Others choose a location with natural beauty – a park, meadow, mountain trail, or the ocean.
If you’re considering scattering the ashes of a loved one on public land, it’s best to contact the agency that has jurisdiction over the area. Depending on the location, there may be local and governmental restrictions, prohibitions, or permit requirements on scattering ashes in populated areas and certain public areas.
No laws prevent scattering on private land. If you don’t own the property, be sure to obtain permission from the owner before scattering the ashes there. In some cases, a permit may be required as well.
National parks, public beaches, federally owned land, and controlled public lands, suchas city parks and greenways, may have rules and regulations. Before deciding to scatter the ashes in a public place, check laws that may prohibit it. Many national parks require a written, formal request describing what you plan to do. If approved, they’ll send a letter back explaining the requirements. If you want to scatter the ashes in a park, contact the municipality and ask if they require a permit. You should not scatter within 100 yards of public roads, walks, or trails.
When scattering the ashes by boat into an ocean, lake, or other body of water, check to make sure any professional service you use is aware of and complies with state and federal laws. The federal Clean Water Act requires that cremated remains be scattered at least three nautical miles from land, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not permit scattering at beaches or in wading pools by the sea. If you don’t wish to scatter the ashes, you can place a biodegradable urn or container in the water that will dissolve without doing environmental damage. The EPA requires a report on any scattering in the ocean within 30 days of the event. If you’re scattering the ashes on your own, check with the EPA about further rules on burial at sea.
Aerial scattering can be done from a plane, hot air balloon, drone, or other airborne device. A number of private and commercial companies across the country provide this service, a creative option that allows you to scatter their loved one’s ashes over scenic and remote areas that might not otherwise be accessible. An easier, more affordable option that doesn’t require professional knowledge or equipment is to scatter the ashes from a cliff or mountain.
A scattering garden, land set aside for scattering the cremated remains of humans or pets, is usually owned by a cemetery or crematory. Along with the scattering garden, the facility may offer memorial options: a memorial plaque, wall, or piece of art on which the names are inscribed, or a living memorial, such as a tree with a plaque. Some scattering gardens maintain a “Book of Remembrance,” a register containing the names of the people whose ashes have been scattered in the garden.
Traveling by Air Within the U.S.
Many airlines will allow you to transport cremated remains, but check with your airline beforehand about their rules and whether they allow carrying the remains as air cargo, checked luggage or carry-on.
Go to your airline’s website and search for “cremated remains.” Don’t wait until the day of travel to check the airline’s policies. Some airlines require seven days’ advance notice before shipping as air cargo and have the right to refuse if you do not comply.
Review the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements which mandate that the container or urn be able to be scanned. The TSA will not permit a container that returns an “opaque image” through security.
Even after complying with all regulations, it is important to arrive earlier than usual to allow enough time for security clearance so you don’t miss your flight.
When going through security, in addition to your airline documents and personal ID, show the death certificate, certificate of cremation, and other funeral-related documentation; attach a copy to the container or urn.
Check with a licensed funeral director both at your origin of travel and your destination to determine if there are local regulations that you must consider.
Transporting Cremated Remains Internationally
Traveling internationally is more complicated and will take some research on your part. Every country has different policies regarding the transport of cremated remains. Germany, for instance, requires that cremated remains can only be sent to a licensed cemetery, and only a licensed funeral director can send them. Some advice to start your research:
-First, contact the embassy for the country you are taking cremated remains to or from. Ask about their specific rules and legal requirements. Don’t rely on a website. Policies can change with world conditions.
-Ask the embassy contact if the country you will be entering will require additional authorizations. If so, ask if the embassy can provide you with the forms or if you will have to contact a licensed funeral director or an attorney to comply with the country’s laws.
-When completing this process, allow at least two weeks or more.
Transportation Security Guidelines
The TSA staff will never open an urn or container containing cremated remains, even if you give them permission. If the TSA cannot properly scan the container in which the cremated remains are stored, they will not allow you to transport them by air and you will have to ship them by U.S. Postal Service registered mail.
Some Helpful Suggestions:
-Store the ashes in a temporary container that can be scanned while traveling, and then transfer the cremains into an urn or other container after reaching your destination.
-Urns that can be scanned include cardboard, cloth, fiberboard, and most wooden urns, plastic and transparent glass. Ask your funeral provider for suggestions on urns that are certified as airport-travel safe.
-Urns that cannot be scanned are those made of stone, granite, some ceramics, and metal.
-If transporting an urn that cannot be scanned, consider putting the cremated remains in a plastic bag inside the urn so that the items can be properly scanned and meet TSA requirements.