Home > Types of Funeral > Organising a Cremation

Organising a Cremation

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 28 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Death remains deceased cremation

Cremation or the burning of a body and reducing it to ash, is a popular alternative to a burial in the United Kingdom, with a large segment of society choosing cremation for their own remains. Cremations may only be carried out after a death has been registered and proper certification issued from the relevant authorities - the General Register Office (GRO) in England and Wales, the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Scotland and the General Register Office (Northern Ireland). Each individual has the opportunity to leave instructions for cremation in their own wills, or to let their friends and relatives know of their wishes. What is to be done with the ashes is also something that may be stipulated in a will, or left up to relatives and friends to decide.

Registering a Death

In order to register a death and procure the necessary certificates to go ahead with a cremation, certain information must be given to the relevant authorities. In England and Wales any medical certificates stating the cause of death, the deceased’s birth certificate, any marriage or civil partnership certificates and the deceased’s NHS card should be brought the local register office. In Scotland, the medical certificate stating the cause of death, the deceased’s birth and marriage certificate (if there is one), the deceased’s NHS card and any documents relating to the deceased’s government pension should be brought to the local registrar office. In Northern Ireland, a medical certificate stating the cause of death should be brought to the District Registrar. Upon completion of all necessary forms and proof of all required document, relevant certificates will be issued allowing a cremation to commence.

Cremation Options

Most crematoria in the United Kingdom are run by local authorities. Chapels are usually on the grounds, and short ceremonies are often conducted before the cremation. Usually these services are less than an hour long, and the family can work together to decide what will take place during that time, whether it be music, speeches, readings and/or quiet remembrance and prayer. After the service the cremation will take place. Some cremations do include a coffin, though cheaper alternatives such as cardboard may also be allowed. The ashes that result from a cremation are then collected and housed in the chosen vessel, and they are released to a designated individual. What is to be done with the ashes may be stipulated in the individual’s will, such as released into the wind on their land, scattered at a favourite spot or buried in their garden or a chosen churchyard. If nothing is stipulated, family members can decide how best to honour their loved ones.

Hosting a Memorial Service

Some crematoria offer the option of purchasing a small plaque with which to honour your loved one, but many families choose to host a memorial service with their own memorial monuments at a later date. Whether it be a small statute in the back garden or a special bench in the local park, memorials should be particular to the deceased and pay tribute to his or her memory in a special way. A small ceremony may accompany the “unveiling” of these memorials, in which someone close to the deceased reads a short piece or gives a short speech, and a gathering or reception following this ceremony is a wonderful way to finish the day.

Organising a cremation is no harder than organising a funeral, it just requires slightly different documents and decisions. If you are interested in cremations, contact your local register office or registrar for further information.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Connie
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    My mom passed away June 2nd 2019 she had no will, my sister's name is on the deed because of a loan that they were paying back. So…
    18 September 2019
  • Len
    Re: The Stages of Grief
    Kubler-Ross devised the stages of grief applying them to people coming to terms with terminal illness. Only later did others recognise these…
    18 September 2019
  • Jan
    Re: Coping with Multiple Deaths
    After reading some of your heartbreaking comments,I feel mine is just another sad story.....married very young 17..Iv five…
    16 September 2019
  • Tara
    Re: Coping with Multiple Deaths
    I lost my dad the day after my birthday from sepsis 8/22/19, then my grandma 18days later from cancer 9/9/19, and then last night…
    12 September 2019
  • Tiahn
    Re: The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?
    My dad passed away 3 years ago and his family said they would get him a headstone but never did and I as his daughter I…
    6 September 2019
  • Joy
    Re: Coping with Multiple Deaths
    My grandma who is my best friend and someone who I look up to passed away in April this year suffering from an illness. In June…
    5 September 2019
  • Andie
    Re: The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?
    Can I get the current headstone for my dad who has recently passed engraved as my mother died first and there is already a…
    3 September 2019
  • WillyVera
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    I'm writing to inform the world that KING ZEUS has the skills to repair bad credit score. Within a week, 14 collection…
    27 August 2019
  • Kim
    Re: Coping with Multiple Deaths
    First, my heart goes out to everyone on this site. Although the circumstances are different, we all share in a unique and intense…
    22 August 2019
  • Tam
    Re: Coping with Multiple Deaths
    Brother, 2012 Mom, 2015 Best friend, 2015 God mum, 2016 Dad, 2017 Brother, 2018 (last family member) Today, 2019…
    21 August 2019