Funeral Home Cremation Process

Posted on June 30, 2017 by MayFuneral under Uncategorized
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Funeral Home Cremation ProcessCremations costs

Deciding to have a burial or a cremation for a loved one can be a tough decision. To help you make a more informed decision here is what happens during the cremation process. In preparation for the cremation, the family must sign a legal document which authorizes the funeral director to perform the cremation. Then any items you do not wish to cremate must be removed from the body. This includes things like jewelry, or any medical devices that reside in the body such as a pacemaker or things of that nature, even dental gold. This is so they do not explode inside the chamber. The funeral director should also be made aware if the deceased had previously had any radioactive medical treatment, as that may result in explosion as well.


The body is then placed in a special casket meant specifically for cremating. The casket is usually made out of wood or cardboard. These types of materials help the burning process. Then the container is put in the cremation chamber or retort ad the door is closed. The door is about 6 inches thick and the walls of the chamber are made out of fire resistant bricks. Once turned on, the chamber starts warming up to first heat up the body. After the warm up period, the main burner turns on and begins to incinerate the body. Temperatures inside the chamber can reach up to 2000°F. This process can take anywhere between 1-1/2 to 3 hours depending on the size and weight of the body. Some local funeral homes may  put the body in a second burner to fully cremate the body.


After the process has been completed there is an hour cool down period before the funeral director can process the rest of the remains that did not burn in the chamber. The remains are swept up from the chamber in such a way that nearly every particle is taken. Some ruminants do not burn, such as bones, calcium compounds, or metal. Items like screws, surgical pins, or joints may be removed from the remains either by hand or with a magnet. Then the bone remains are put on a work table and placed inside a special machine that turns the bones into a fine powder. Then all of the ashes are placed in an urn or another type container made out of plastic or wood and returned to the family.


After the cremation the family may decide on a few things to do with the urn and the ashes. Some options include placing the urn in family mausoleum, having a burial of the urn in a family plot or in special urn gardens. The family may also chose to scatter the ashes, which you may do as long as it is in accordance with state laws and restrictions. Some families like to scatter the ashes on land or at sea. There are also special gardens meant for scattering ashes of loved ones.


After the scattering is done the family may wish to have a final resting place for the loved one. The family may have a plaque made or a tree planted in memory of the loved one. All of which are beautiful ways to celebrate the life of your family member.

May & Son funeral home has helped families and loved ones through the grieving process for more than a century. We have locations in Columbia, Boonville, Sedalia and serve the Fayette Missouri area. To find out about how to plan ahead, contact us today.

The funeral business that became H.T. May & Son was founded in Boonville in 1911 by Riley Martin; great-great uncle of Tom May. Following the death of Riley Martin, his nephew; Holwell J. May took over the reins of the business and continued to operate it until his death in 1974. After the death of Holwell, his son H.T. May began to run the business. When H.T. died in 2005, son Thomas E. May began to run the business and is now the fourth generation to operate May Funeral Homes. The newest location, in Columbia, opened in April 2009. Thomas, was married in November 19 of 2011 to Pastor Jennifer Baker. Jennifer is a pre-need specialist for the business and currently pursing her funeral directors license. Thomas also has two sisters; Kathryn May who is a licensed funeral director and Melodia Whitmore. Thomas has three children; Holwell J. May II, who graduated from KCKCC with his Mortuary Science Degree, and is now a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, Brittany N. May, and Jeremiah Baker. May and staff are are dedicated to serving families from all ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs in a personalized manner, with knowledgeable, caring, and professional staff.

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