When a loved one dies, one of the decisions is what to do with their remains. Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular option, and for good reason. This process results in cremains, the ashes and other fragments of bone left after cremation. This blog post will explore what cremains are. We will also look at the cremation process in North Carolina.

What Are Cremains? 

Cremains are the products of cremation. This includes everything that the cremation chamber leaves behind after the fire finishes cremating a body. That may sound like ashes, but it’s not quite that simple. 

The cremains are the bone fragments and other organic material not burned up in the cremation process. These fragments are then ground down into a fine powder and placed in an urn or container of your choice.

How Cremation Works

The cremation process takes place in a special chamber called a retort within a crematory. 

The retort exposes the body to intense heat for 2-4 hours. The length of the cremation process depends on the size of the body and the crematory. 

After the cremation is complete, the facility grinds down the bone fragments and any other solids into a fine powder. Your crematory then places the powder into a container such as a box or an urn. 

Cremation Rates on the Rise

Cremation has become an increasingly popular choice for disposing of remains in recent years for many reasons. 

The cremation rate in the United States has been rising steadily for the past few years. In 2015, the cremation rate was 50.0%. However, “in 2021, the US cremation rate was 57.5%. By 2025, the US cremation rate is projected to reach 64.1%.” (1)

Cremation is a popular choice for many reasons. First, it is generally less expensive than a traditional burial— no need to pay for a cemetery plot or vault when you choose cremation.

“Cost is most definitely a significant factor in the rising cremation rate. An average burial costs $7,848 (NFDA 2021), which doesn’t include the cost of the cemetery plot, whereas an average cremation service costs around $3,000.” (2)

Cost concerns lead the way when individuals choose cremation over a traditional burial. However, there are other reasons cremation is gaining popularity.

Cremation Planning is Easier

Cremation is often less to plan for when handling the details of a death in the family. 

Families who choose cremation don’t always hold a visitation or need a casket for a funeral. Without an open casket, there is also no need for cosmetology or embalming.

Instead, many families choose to have a memorial service without the body present. With only the cremains needed to have a service, you can plan a Memorial service when the time is best for everyone in your family, including the out-of-towners!

Cremation Offers More Flexibility

Cremation also allows for more flexibility in disposing of remains. For example, you can scatter cremains in a place that was significant to the deceased or keep them in an urn as a reminder of your loved one.

You can even send them to a company that transforms them into jewelry, music, or beads!

No matter what you choose to do with cremains, there are many ways to remember your loved one with love and celebrate their life.

Where to Plan Cremation in North Carolina

In North Carolina, you can find the best cremation services at funeral homes that also offer cremation. Direct cremation allows you to be a part of the process and know the individuals who will handle the process from start to finish.

With over 1,000 funeral homes in the state of North Carolina, you may wonder which can give you the best service. It’s crucial to realize that some funeral homes send individuals’ bodies to another provider for cremation.

When you choose a funeral home with direct cremation on-site, you can rest assured that there will be NO gaps in service or confusion about timelines.

Suppose you plan a memorial service, but the funeral home has not received the cremains back from their provider on the day you need them. You call your funeral home, but they have just contracted with a new vendor for their cremations. The vendor is not getting back to them, so they have no answers for you other than to reschedule the memorial or present an empty urn to your family members!

The last thing you need during a time of grief is a stressful and emotionally disturbing situation! Instead of a funeral home that farms out cremation, choose a funeral home with an on-site crematory so that you know the location of your loved one’s body and cremains at all times.

Cremation Costs in North Carolina

Cremation costs can vary depending on the funeral home you choose and their cremation package rates.

The cremation process is more expensive when done through a funeral home that does not have an on-site crematory because they must outsource to another provider. A direct cremation from a funeral home with an on-site crematory will be more affordable because they own the equipment and don’t need to contract with another company.

At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory in Raleigh, a simple cremation package includes much more than the cremation itself! 

At Renaissance, a simple cremation package starts at $3,125 and includes:

  • Professional Services
  • Transfer of Your Loved One to Our Care
  • On-Site Cremation at our Crematory
  • Cardboard Cremains Box
  • Cremation Certificate
  • Private Goodbye Viewing
  • Legal Document Filing
  • Social Security Notification
  • Obituary Page on our Website
  • Weekday Memorial Service in Our Chapel

At Renaissance, you and your family can participate in the cremation process if you desire, and even attend the cremation itself! Direct cremations occur on-site, and you can contact Renaissance for a tour of their Cremation Tribute Center.  

We Can Help

Cremation is a beautiful way to honor a life. At Renaissance, we work with families across the triangle area to create beautiful celebrations of life. Talk with us and find out how we can help you make plans for yourself or a beloved family member. We look forward to serving your needs and helping your family grieve well together.