Reading, PA cremations have been increasing in popularity over the past two decades. Between 40% and 50% of deaths in Pennsylvania are now cremated, according to the Cremation Association of North America. This is a number in line with the national average, which has nearly doubled since the early 2000s. Why is this so and what should you know about this trend?
One of the differences between a cremation service and a traditional funeral is that cremation can save expenses since certain services are no longer necessary. In a traditional funeral, the body is usually viewed by the deceased’s family and friends, a service is held, and afterward, the attendees accompany the body to its final resting place in a cemetery. Families need a lot of services to get all of that completed. There’s the casket purchase, a burial plot, a headstone, embalming, and much more that is involved. With cremation, the only guaranteed cost is that of the cremation process itself.
Cremation, while different than a traditional burial in and of itself, also has options beneath it. Traditional services have to happen right away, but cremation is open to options. You can have a service first, then have your loved one cremated. Or you can go with direct cremation and have whatever kind of memorial service you want later. These options are very alluring to families because they might be worried about traveling to the right location because of time constraints fast enough for a traditional service. With cremation, there are no such time constraints.
A traditional funeral is a full package of services, with fees for each. These include the ceremony itself, embalming fees to prevent the body from decomposing, amenities for guests, a casket to contain the body, a burial plot for it, and a gravestone to mark the plot. Cremation services have a variety of packages from which to choose as well, but in its simplest form, the cremation itself can be the only cost. Families can add to that and plan a memorial in the funeral home, buy a nice urn to display, or do whatever else they’d like, but those are things they can add, not things that are absolutely necessary to get the cremation process completed.
Keep in mind that there are no absolute answers as to whether traditional burials or cremations are better. It’s simply what you feel is right for your loved one, your family, and your specific situation. Both processes honor your loved one and show your respect to them.
Before you plan for a funeral or settle on the kind of service that you want, talk with an experienced funeral director. Contact Kevin Bean of the Whelan Schwartz Funeral Home about Reading, PA cremations, and the different types that exist. With decades of experience in serving Pennsylvania families at their most vulnerable, he’ll answer whatever questions you have with empathy. You can contact him by calling (610) 374-0962. The Whelan Schwartz Funeral Home itself is located at 444 N 9th St. Reading, PA 19601.