The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About Cremation

Joe Carter | September 20, 2017

For the first time in American history, a majority of Americans (50.2 percent) have chosen cremation rather than burial (48.5 percent) after their death. The National Funeral Directors Association expects the trend shifting from burial toward cremation to continue over the next 20 years, with the projected rate of cremation reaching 78.8 percent of deaths by 2035.

Here is what Christians should know about cremation:

What exactly is cremation?

Cremation is a funerary process in which intense heat is used to transform the human body back to its basic elements. Most of the body, such as tissue, is vaporized, leaving only the remains of bone. The remaining bone particles are commonly referred to as cremains or ashes.

What is the cremation process?

The cremation process occurs in the cremation chamber (sometimes called the retort), a masonry-lined enclosure that can produce and withstand temperatures in the range of 1800°F to 2000°F.

The deceased body is placed in a casket made of wood or cardboard and placed in the chamber. Within a few hours the body is vaporized and reduced to bone fragments. These fragments are removed from the cremation chamber and placed on a table where the crematory operator removes, by hand or…

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