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
  • Soupie
    Re: Questionnaire: Do You Need Bereavement Counselling?
    My husband had a massive heart-attack early hours of the 21 feb, he had been experiencing some…
    17 June 2019
  • Olga
    Re: Announcing a Death
    My husband passed away in Scotland in May of this year. I live in Spain. .. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and was having an treatment…
    17 June 2019
  • Mim
    Re: The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?
    My son was buried with my grandmother a number of years ago I have been trying to erect a headstone to him for a long time…
    17 June 2019
  • DOOGY
    Re: The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?
    I am wanting to put an headstone on my fathersgrave who died over35 years ago but as i only want to put my mothers/his wifes…
    16 June 2019
  • eatmeanddie
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    what the hey, my love, my life is gone. the whole world can rot as far as i'm concerned.
    15 June 2019
  • Thorny
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    Hi my mother just died i am an only child only had my mum. Who lived with her partner for 35 years how would my mothers assets be…
    10 June 2019
  • Alexa
    Re: Understanding Probate
    My brother died earlier this year. He was not married but had two sons (9 and 10). He was survived by his parents and siblings. We applied…
    7 June 2019
  • Summerbreezeanne
    Re: Death Certificates
    My friend is estranged from her daughter, her grandson tragically died on the 29/05/19. My friend wants to cancel a holiday, to grieve, the…
    2 June 2019
  • RufDiamond
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    So sad reading through these. Some one dies NO WIll . NO WAY. Why the greed gets the better of ppl and why these ppl fall out with…
    29 May 2019
  • Nrl
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    I've just read this article following the death of my father 5 weeks ago. It was sudden and unexpected. Since then I've…
    25 May 2019