While cremation traces its history to ancient times, the modern cremation chamber wasn’t invented until 1873. It wasn’t until 13 years later that the first cremation chamber was used in the United States, in Washington, Pennsylvania. While these chambers made cremation more efficient, the process still lagged far behind traditional burials for over 100 years. In the 1980s however, cremation began to soar in popularity not only in the U.S., but across the globe. In 2015, cremation exceeded traditional burials for the first time, and its popularity continues to grow.
There are multiple factors contributing to the increase in cremations.
Greater Acceptance by the World’s Religions
Initially, many of the world’s largest religions didn’t embrace cremation. In fact, some discouraged it. As we’ve become more enlightened however, there has been less resistance to cremation from religious groups.
Families Have Been More Accepting
It wasn’t that long ago that many family members were reluctant to have a loved one cremated, even if it was the wishes of the deceased. To be fair, some family members may still be less accepting than others when it comes to cremation, but it is far less of an issue today than decades ago.
It Is Considered More Environmentally Friendly
Overall, many consider cremation more “green” than a traditional burial. Less space is used and there is less fuel used for transporting caskets and vaults. No embalming chemicals are used. Many who are cremated even choose organic urns that will quickly decompose once buried.
Cremation is Less Expensive
Cremation can be less costly, in some cases, significantly less expensive, than a traditional funeral and burial. Cremation can save on the costs of a casket, vault, burial plot, embalming and more. Some simply view spending money on a traditional burial as wasteful. Because cremation is simpler, associated costs are more transparent.
Offers More Flexibility
Cremation allows for more flexibility in timing of the services and burial or disposal of ashes. This can be particularly helpful when many friends and family members are out of town or in regions where the climate can be extreme. Final services can even be adjusted to avoid major holidays.
Creative Options for Disposal of Ashes
There are an array of creative options for ash disbursement that many families appreciate. Ashes can be scattered at a meaningful location, placed in an urn or divided into miniature urns for family members and even be made into jewelry, tattoo ink or even fireworks. These options can be meaningful for loved one’s left behind.
It is a More Comfortable Choice for Some
For some, the thought of being buried in a coffin can be uncomfortable. In some cases, those who come to see us to pre-plan final services will choose cremation for this very reason.
If you are considering cremation or are beginning to think about pre planning your final services, we invite you to contact us with any questions you may have. It is part of our mission to clear up misperceptions about cremation and help families make the right choice for them. Contact our Cremation Society of Greater Cincinnati today.