Cremation & Funeral Services FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are your costs so much less than the average funeral home?

The reasoning for this is simple, our facility and staff compliment is smaller than most funeral providers, which allows our costs to be much less and allowing us to pass these savings on to the consumer.

Q: Does the consumer receive the same quality service with you as we would with a larger funeral home?

Most definitely, just because we are smaller does not mean you receive less service. We provide exactly the same services and products as everyone else. Our staff has 40 years of funeral experience.

Q: Do you perform cremations at your facility?

Yes. Simply Cremations and Funeral Services operates and owns its own crematorium.

Q: Can the family arrange its own service and just use you for the basic services?

Yes. It is very common for families to arrange their own private services. We are able to provide you with all the necessary services and products that you would require. We also provide a small intimate chapel for 30 people (Edmonton), if the need requires a larger facility we can help with those arrangements.

Q: Is it possible to prearrange cremation services?

Yes. You can prearrange your service with us or if you so wish the services can be prepaid which locks in the prices. We have an open house policy at our facility which means you can drop by and view our establishment or call anytime for information.

Definition of Funeral Terms

Cremation

Cremation is the rapid oxidation of the deceased through the application of intense heat and flame reducing it to bone fragments (not ashes) with a few hours.

Cremation Container

Cremation Container is a casket like container that the deceased is placed into for the purpose of the cremation process. This is done for the ease handling for the crematoruim operator and the dignity of the deceased. Cremation containers are made of many different products ranging from cardboard to the most exotic woods.

Cremation Urn

Cremation Urn is the vessel for which the cremated remains are placed into after the cremation has taken place. An urn can be the very basic such as a simple plastic box or they can be made of wood, bronze, brass, marble or even biodegradable material that joins with the earth after time.

Professional Staff and Services

Includes personnel available for the initial call, arrangement conference, various clerical duties and preparation of the obituary notice (cost not included) and funeral directors statement of death.

Registration and Documentation

Includes the preparation of legal documents for the purpose of registering with the Province of Alberta and the delivery of permits and documents.

Transportation

Transfer of the deceased from the place of death to the funeral facility.

Facilities

Includes use of the funeral facility for clerical functions and arrangements and possible service. Also includes sheltering of the deceased at the funeral facility until time of disposition.

Embalming

Disinfection, preservation, and restoration of human remains for the purpose of viewing. (This is completed at the families discretion).

Direct Cremation

Direct Cremation is the simplest forms of funeral services provided. This type of service provides the very basics and is decided upon when a family desires to have a cremation performed, but does not desire to have any type of formal funeral or memorial service.

Memorial Service

Memorial Service is for the family that wishes to have the cremation performed first and then conduct a service afterwards, usually with the urn present. The funeral home is usually involved in the arrangements of these services, but if families so wish they may arrange the service on their own with the funeral home providing the basics, such as service folders, register books, flowers and catering.

Traditional Service

Traditional Service mans that the deceased is present at the service in a casket with cremation or burial proceeding the service. Caskets may be purchased or rented for this type of service.

Staffing and Directing

Coordination and directing of the memorial service, arranging the minister, floral tributes, catering and other miscellaneous services.

About Cremation

Benefits of Cremation

It is a more economical choice in general and in fact, 65% of all Canadians choose cremation. Besides cremations being less expensive than burials, cremation urns are considerably less expensive than caskets.

Burial costs of cremated remains are much less than the cost of burying a loved one in a casket. The costs involved with the burial of a casket are fees for the purchase and perpetual care of a grave plot, the opening and closing fees of the plot, a grave-liner and a grave-marker.

Also, cremation allows a much greater choice of location for the final resting of a loved one’s cremated remains. This also allows families to choose a place of significance to scatter the loved one’s remains.

Burial Versus Cremation

This question is asked of our funeral directors often, and it really comes down to what a family prefers. We are more than happy to facilitate either of these options and we offer direct simple burials and environmental options for those who choose burial. Please note that burial prices can differ due to the variation of fees in different cemeteries. The general pricing guide for our cremation option would remain the same.

What is Cremation

The word cremation comes from the Latin word “cremo” which means “to burn”. Cremation involves the application of high temperature, typically between 1400 and 2100 Degrees Fahrenheit (760 to 1150 Deg. C), to a wooden box or casket which holds the deceased. The deceased and container are consumed by the heat. The entire process takes about 4 hours.

History of Cremation

Archaeologists believe that cremation started around 3000 BC. It was most likely used first in Europe or possibly the Near East. Between 800 BC and 600 BC in Greece and Rome, cremation was the most common method of final disposition. In other cultures however, other methods were being used:

The Christian church rejected cremation, partly because of its similarities with the pagan societies of Greece and Rome. The Christians buried their dead in graves. In ancient China, they were buried. Ancient Egyptians embalmed their bodies then buried them in tombs.

When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, other religions were exiled or exterminated. Burial then became the only method of disposition throughout Europe. An Italian, Professor Brunetti, developed the first modern cremation chamber in the 1870’s. This caused movement towards cremation in Europe and North America. In 1886, the Roman Catholic Church banned cremations. Church members were excommunicated for arranging them up until World War II. The Eastern Orthodox ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople stated in 1961 that “There is no formal Orthodox rule against cremation, but there is a heavy weight of custom and sentiment in favour of Christian burial”. There are approximately 1,100 crematories and 470,915 cremations per year in North America.