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Why Cremation?

At Jefferson Memorial, we own and operate our own crematory located within our facility so that your loved one never leaves our care. We take ownership of the body and control all aspects of the cremation process. You can be comforted and assured that your loved one is always with us and cared for until they are returned to you. You may choose to witness the cremation, and arrange for the cremated remains to be returned back to your care or for memorialization in the cemetery.

If you would like to learn more about cremation or view our crematory, please call (412) 655-4500 to arrange a tour and learn more about cremation memorialization and inurnment at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery.

 

What is Cremation?


Cremation, by definition, is the process by which the remains of a body are reduced to its basic elements - bone fragments, not ashes - through a process of heat and evaporation. Cremation is carried out by placing the decedent’s remains in a casket or alternative container, which is then placed into a cremation chamber where intense heat and flame is applied. Afterwards, the cremated remains are removed from the chamber and placed into a temporary container unless an urn or other receptacle has been provided by the family.

 

 

The Cremation Process


When a death has occurred and cremation has been chosen, a positive identification must be made before the cremation process can begin. Per Pennsylvania State Law*, the closest next of kin or a representative for a class of next of kin, is referred to as the "Authorizing Agent," and this person is responsible for signing the cremation authorization. Please be aware that there must be unanimous agreement for cremation to proceed by the entire class of next of kin. In Pennsylvania, a spouse has the ultimate right of choice, followed by children over 18, followed by parents, followed by siblings. If all surviving heirs are deceased, then a next degree of kinship must be proved.

 

You have the option to oversee the cremation of your loved one at the crematory by witnessing the cremation container be placed into the cremation chamber from the viewing window. After the cremation has been completed, cremated remains are returned in a temporary, non-decorative plastic container. As such, it is very common for family to place cremated remains in a decorative urn before inurnment, which we can provide if you would like to purchase a memorial urn.

 

Please keep in mind that in Pennsylvania, 24 hours must pass before the cremation can take place, permission must be received from all Next of Kin as determined by the State's class hierarchy, and permission must be received from the Medical Examiner or Coroner of the county that the deaceased passed in. 

 

*Pennsylvania Probate, Estates and Fiduciary Code, 20 Pa. C.S.A, Section 305.

 

 

 Cremation should be treated like a burial...

 

We strongly feel that giving a family the chance to gather together with their extended family, friends, and community to share memories, remember, and say goodbye to a loved one who has passed on is paramount in beginning the complicated journey through grief.  At Jefferson Memorial, nearly 50% of families who choose cremation also choose to hold a viewing or memorial service either before or after cremation. There are many options available for cremation services, from traditional visitation and viewing services, to graveside memorials and celebrant services. Let our licensed staff help you choose the best option for your family and give yourself the peace of mind knowing you made the right decision.

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