More and more families around the country are choosing cremation. Last year, the cremation rate exceeded 50% nationwide for the first time, and Reading, PA Cremations are in line with that number. According to the Cremation Association of North America, about 40% to 50% of deaths in Pennsylvania are cremated, which is a sharp uptick from the early 2000’s. Cremations have increased so much in popularity over the past two decades because they’re less expensive than a traditional funeral. To avoid larger expenses and to gain access to more versatility in services, more people are turning to cremation. If you’re thinking about a cremation service, however, where should you begin?
The following will answer common questions about the kinds of cremation providers and services available.
You can arrange for a cremation by contacting a traditional funeral home, a cremation society, or an online arrangement service. The latter option isn’t as personal as the other two and isn’t available everywhere, but arrangement services are all staffed with professional funeral directors. Arrangement services are also the least expensive of the three options.
The type of provider you should contact may depend on what kind of cremation you wish to have. There are two basic types of cremation services. The first is called a direct cremation, where the body is cremated shortly after death and before any kind of funeral or memorial service has taken place. The second kind of cremation service is more in line with a traditional funeral. If they so choose, families can have a funeral service along traditional lines, such as a wake where the body is viewed, a eulogy with family and friends in a funeral home or church, and then a burial. Either way, both will be less expensive than a full, traditional funeral.
The reason cremations are less expensive is because they permit families to avoid some or all of the expenses associated with a traditional funeral service, such as a casket, a gravestone, a burial plot, and embalming fees. A direct cremation avoids all of these expenses while a creation which follows a funeral service will avoid some of them. For example, if you decide to hold a cremation which follows a wake and eulogy service, you can avoid paying for a casket, because you’ll be able to rent one for the service, instead of buying one to contain the body for burial afterward.
When thinking about Reading, PA cremations, contact Kevin Bean of the Whelan Schwartz Funeral Home. We can go over a variety of packages with you and see what suits your needs best. There are no right or wrong answers about the decisions you have to make. Anything you choose will honor your loved one with respect. You simply have to make an informed decision as to what is best for your family. Give us a call at (610) 374-0962. The Whelan Schwartz Funeral Home can be found at 444 N 9th St. Reading, PA 19601 and we welcome you to stop by and see our facilities.