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What is a Funeral Pyre?

Funeral Pyres

Let’s learn about funeral pyres and open-air cremation.

What is a Funeral Pyre?

A funeral pyre is a construction of wood (sometimes with a base of stone) on which a human body is burned.

Also known as “open air cremation,” the use of funeral pyres is common in some traditions but is not common (or even legal) in most of the modern Western world.

What is Open-Air Cremation?

Open-air cremation is the process of cremation (reducing a body to ash by use of fire) set out in the open. This is done by placing the body on a funeral pyre, then stoking the fire and burning until the corpse is reduced to ashes.

What is a funeral pyre?
Digital rendering of a funeral pyre – Copyright USUrnsOnline

Is Open-Air Cremation Legal in the USA?

No. Open-air cremation or burning human bodies on funeral pyres is not legal in most of the Western world.

However, there is an exception. In Crestone, Colorado, the Crestone End of Life Project operates a legal open-air cremation site where people can be legally cremated on a funeral pyre. You would have to be both a member of their organization and a resident of Crestone in order to qualify for their open-air cremation ceremony.

What Countries Still Use Funeral Pyres?

Other countries that practice open-air cremation include:

Will Funeral Pyres Ever Be Legal in the USA?

Possibly. Attitudes and ideas about death practices are changing rapidly in the Western world. Contemporary cremation in a crematorium has only been around since the late 1800s. Polite society frowned upon cremation for decades following its introduction.

However, in the last two decades the rate of cremation has risen tremendously. In 2016, the rate of cremation in the USA increased to 50.2, meaning that for the first time more than half of all decedents were cremated.

Now there are many other options for final disposition available and being researched. People ask about “Viking funerals” and being cremated on a funeral pyre all the time, so interest is clearly growing.

But will open air cremation ever be legal in the USA, Canada, Europe, or other areas of the Western world? Only time will tell.

Read more: Here’s the complete list of everything you can do with your body after you die

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What is Open Air Cremation?
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Cremation Meaning, Definition, Process, and More

Cremation Meaning - Cremation Definition

Today we’re going to be discussing the meaning, definition, and process of cremation. Not just those things, but we’ll start with cremation meaning and go from there into all sorts of fascinating topics.

In short, we’ll tell you what to expect when it comes time for the cremation.

Along the way, you’ll learn the answers to these common questions:

  • What happens just before cremation?
  • How does the crematory identify the body?
  • What goes on during the cremation process?
  • How long should I expect it to take?
  • What happens right afterward?
  • When can I expect to pick up my loved one’s ashes?
  • What do I do with the remains after that?
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Can Catholics Be Cremated? Cremation & The Catholic Church

Can Catholic Christians be cremated?

Can Catholics be cremated?

The short answer is yes, the Catholic Church permits cremation. However, the Vatican has issued guidelines on cremation and what can be done with the ashes.

Let’s learn about what the Catholic Church teaches about cremation.

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The Cremation Process: How Does Cremation Work?

The Cremation Process

So, how does cremation work? What’s the cremation process like?

Whether you are researching for end-of-life planning, preparing for a career in the funeral industry, or are simply curious, you want to learn about the cremation process.

Today we’ll answer these questions and more.

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Inurnment Definition & Everything Else You Need to Know

Inurnment Definition

Inurnment is simply the placing of cremated remains into a container to store or bury them. Cremated remains or “ashes” are typically inurned in a plastic or cardboard container and given to the family. The family can then purchase a permanent cremation urn and transfer the remains into the new urn.

In this fairly typical scenario, inurnment happened twice. Both times the ashes were put into a container (first into the temporary urn, then into the permanent urn), the ashes were inurned.

That’s the simple, easy answer. But if you are like most people, this is the first time you’ve dealt with body disposition and you probably have many more questions about the process.

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20 Reasons Why People Are Choosing Cremation

Reasons why people are choosing cremation

More and more people are choosing cremation as a final disposition method.

Cremation is on the rise, and there are many factors involved in this trend – from cost to claustrophobia, from religious considerations to the increasing personalization of funerals, there are not only broad trends but also uniquely specific reasons why more and more people choose cremation over burial.

Here are five general, broad-brush reasons why people are choosing cremation, followed by specific comments from actual people on why they have decided to go with cremation.

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Here’s the complete list of everything you can do with your body after you die

Contemplating what can be done after death

If you’re not already thinking about dying, you should totally consider it.

Well, maybe not the dying part, since that’s inevitable; more specifically, you should think about how you are going to arrange your affairs for when the inevitable comes.

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How do I arrange a cremation?

In this article, we’re going to talk about how to arrange a cremation.

Once you or your loved one has decided on cremation as the best option for final disposition, the next steps are to arrange for the actual cremation to take place. Here is a step-by-step guide for you to plan or arrange a cremation with simplicity, affordability, and peace of mind.

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Final Disposition Options: Cremation, Burial, and More

Burials, cremation, and more

Planning ahead and making your final arrangements in advance is a great idea. This will save your loved ones from tons of stress, and it will probably save them money as well. The first decision you’ll face in thinking about your funeral arrangements is the question of what to do with your body.

Here are all the mainstream final disposition options:

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The Poetry of Calvin Coolidge’s Funeral

Calvin Coolidge Funeral

Poetry played a large role in Calvin Coolidge’s funeral. The former president was remembered and honored in a short ceremony that lasted a brief 22 minutes and featured all of two hymns, prayers, and reading of Scripture, which included more poetry in Psalms 46 and 121.

At the grave site, a few brief words and a poem by Robert Richardson, and that was all. The funeral featured little pomp and circumstance, and it was not held in Washington, Boston, or New York but rather in his adopted home town of Northampton.

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