Cremation Services

A cremation service is an alternative to the burial process and is chosen by many people due to religious beliefs, the desire to preserve the environment, financial obligations, or because it was requested by the person who passed. 

A cremation service is not a substitute for a funeral service, but rather an alternative to a burial or other form of disposition.  There are many different options available where cremation services are concerned, ranging from direct cremation to a more traditional cremation service. A direct cremation service means that there will not be a viewing or service which tends to be the least expensive option of cremation (cremation is a less expensive option in comparison to a burial).  A traditional cremation service option can include having a viewing/wake or service pre-cremation or post-cremation.  Remains can be present in the funeral home or at the church service or you have the option of having your loved one embalmed and laid to rest in a casket for the wake and services.  After the services have commenced, the cremation process will be completed and the ashes can be buried in the cemetery, mausoleum, or kept with the family.

The step by step processes of a cremation service is as follows; the remains are placed in a container that is combustible and placed in a special furnace called a cremation chamber.  This takes place at a crematory, where through extremely high heat, the remains are reduced to bone fragments that are then crushed and pulverized to resemble course sand.  The cremated remains are then placed into an urn (a black, plastic box) in order to transport back to the funeral home.  From there, it is the family‚Äôs choice to transfer the remains to a more presentable, fashionable urn.  The cremated remains of an average adult body will weigh about 7 to 8 pounds.

Cremation services have evolved considerably over the last 50 years.  Some religions welcome the process, while others forbid it.  The Catholic Church had banned cremation until 1963, preferring the burial ritual of remains to be their main form of disposition.  In other Christian denominations, cremation was historically discouraged, but today, the acceptance has significantly increased. In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism cremation is mandated, while in Islam it is strictly forbidden.  Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option. 

Cremation FAQ

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.  Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

NO, a casket is not required.  Most states do require an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard, however, in other states a container is not required. Connecticut is one of the states that require an alternative container.  The Farrell Funeral Home provides our families with many different options of alternative containers to choose from.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

NO.  In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise. However, many service options require embalming.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

YES.  The immediate family members of the deceased are allowed to briefly view their loved one prior to cremation.

Can the family witness the cremation?

YES, the family can view the cremation process.  Some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber.  Some religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom.

Can an urn be brought into church?

YES. Nearly all churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service.  It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service. Here at the Farrell Funeral Home, we offer an Urn Bier included in our services for remains to properly be presented at the church.


How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error.  Since it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time, the vast majority of crematories can only cremate one body at a time, and it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It all depends on the weight of the individual.  For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do I need an urn?

An urn is not required by law; however, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be buried in a cemetery.  If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container. This container must meet all of the regulations and requirements of the cemetery for proper burial.  We offer many different options of urns in multiple materials and styles.