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
  • Jac
    Re: Questionnaire: Do You Need Bereavement Counselling?
    Hi. My mum got diagnosed sept 12th 2016 Acute myeloid leukaemia passed away 10th July 2017..im heart…
    22 November 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    Neil - Your Question:5 years ago my father passed away due to his long standing alcohol addiction it's something I have…
    22 November 2017
  • Steve
    Re: Inheriting Property
    Ny wifes mother left her and her sister the house. The will states that her unmarried partner is allowed to live in the house until he dies.…
    21 November 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    ks - Your Question:Hi Im divorced for over 10 yrs, but I have children with my ex, he is living with someone else, but concerned his…
    21 November 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: Coping with Multiple Deaths
    Sprout - Your Question:My only brother shot and killed my twin 16 Year old Nieces 4-days before their 17th, Birthday and then shot…
    20 November 2017
  • Sprout
    Re: Coping with Multiple Deaths
    My only brother shot and killed my twin 16 Year old Nieces 4-days before their 17th, Birthday and then shot and killed himself. One…
    19 November 2017
  • Anie
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    My dad who was a loner was diagnosed with dementia 1 1/2 years ago, my sister who didn't talk to him for years quickly took over POA…
    18 November 2017
  • Neil
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    5 years ago my father passed away due to his long standing alcohol addiction it's something I have dealt with my whole…
    18 November 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    hapla - Your Question:I have been paying back 7 different debt companies £1 month for years as I got myself in to trouble with a bad…
    17 November 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: Questionnaire: Do You Need Bereavement Counselling?
    Annaboys3 - Your Question:My mom passed away February 22nd of this year the same day I gave birth to…
    17 November 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the FacingBereavement website. Please read our Disclaimer.