Location,Gauteng,South Africa

What is Cremation and Why People Choose This Over Burial?

Best Funerals Services Johannesburg

What is Cremation and Why People Choose This Over Burial?

JHB Funeral Services Cremations

The Cremation Process Explained…

Cremation Explained

Why Do People Choose Cremation and What Happens in the Process?

Cremation has become a common means of disposition after death and besides this, it is far cheaper than a burial where you will need a plot, headstone and all the extras for these preparations. Some even call cremation a green funeral …

After cremation, you will be provided with an urn with your loved one’s ashes to dispose of according to their wishes.

Here are some facts about cremation that will help you understand the process:

The cremating process of a dead body is carried out in what is known as a crematorium and done at temperatures ranging between 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit or 700 to 950 degrees Celsius.

This intense heat contributes to reducing the body to its basic elements and bone fragments leaving just ash as the residue afterwards.

Where Does this Process Take Place?

The process takes place at a crematorium inside a special cremation chamber, which is also known as a retort, of the crematory. Initially, this chamber is preheated to a set point and then the body is placed into it through a special mechanized door very quickly to prevent heat loss.

Cremation Urns


During the incineration process, the body is will be exposed to a column of flames produced in the crematory furnace mostly fuelled by natural gas, oils, or propane.

  • The corpse is placed in a suitable casket or container (preferably within a combustible material), so that the container will burn away.
  • The intense heat firstly dries the body, burns off the skin and hair, body oils and chars the muscles.
  • The high temperature further vaporizes the soft tissues and bones are calcified which causes them to crumble and become ash.
  • The gases released during the cremation process are discharged through a state of the art exhaust system.
  • The bodies are cremated one at a time after which the ash is collected for the loved ones once the remains have cooled down enough.

After cremation is complete within the ash there can be metal objects such as the screws, nails, hinges, handles and other parts of the casket or container. (Some crematoriums remove these objects  initially to keep the remaining ash as pure as possible.)

.Suitable Cremation Coffins

In addition, the remains can also contain dental work, dental gold, surgical screws, prosthesis, implants, and other metals and these are removed using strong magnets and forceps and disposed of according to the laws applicable.

Mechanical devices, like heart pacemakers, are removed beforehand because they can explode due to the intense heat, thus causing damage to the crematorium and even endangering the staff.

Finally are the cremation, the dried bone fragments and ash are ground into a finer sand-powder like consistency with a machine called a cremulator.

The cremation times range from one to three hours to fully cremate a human body, reducing it to 1 to 3 kilograms of remains which are pasty white or greyish in colour.

These ashes or remains are transferred into an urn and given to the relative or the representative of the deceased.

Factors That Can Affect Cremation Time.

The duration of the cremation process usually depends on certain factors. They are:

  • How busy the crematorium is
  • The weight or size of the body
  • The amount of body fat and lean muscle weight
  • The performance of cremation types of equipment used
  • The operating temperature of the cremation chamber,
  • The type of cremation container, coffin or casket in which the body is placed.

One Cremation at a Time! 

A false belief is also that funeral crematoriums have a desire to pile in a heap of bodies into a cremation chamber all at once to speed up busy periods.

Thus some believe they may be getting back mixed remains rather than their loved ones re,ains which are completely false.

The facts are that the law only allows one body in the chamber at a time and will only do any different at express requests of a family when they want two bodies cremated simultaneously. Most crematorium furnaces can also only accommodate a single body at a time.

There are some exceptions when family specifically requests that two people be cremated together. Even in this case, only one body can be placed inside the chamber at a time so the two bodies will then be cremated in separate chambers side by side simultaneously.

In certain religions, cremation is no accepted and some individuals are against in altogether for personal reasons.

Funerals in Johannesburg


The reality is that many cultures all around the world have been cremating their dead for thousands of years.

Is Cremation safe? 

Some people still believe that being buried alive could be something that happens to them or their loved ones and so choose cremation.

Today state of the art technology and testing ensures that a person has completely passed away before being allowed to be buried or cremated.

Funeral homes also don’t want the liability of messing up a cremation, or burial and all due processes both medical and of the law are followed to the letter.

Cremation and Funerals.

Families of their loved ones can still hold proper funerals services using coffins procession to the funeral venue and services.

However, instead of proceeding to a cemetery afterwards, the coffin is removed by the funeral directors to get it prepared for cremation.

The only difference will be that there is no burial procession to the cemetery afterwards.

Burial services Johannesburg

The reason that many people choose cremation today over burials is that it saves space, is cheaper, and leaves behind a smaller carbon footprint on the planet.

Today all funeral directors offer both options to clients so you can choose what you deem is the best option if you have not had express wishes from your loved one.

As for the costs of the funeral, you can also investigate both options asking the funeral directors what the costs are going to be for either one.

*Sureway Funeral Directors will help you with either option you choose for the funeral of your loved ones either cremations or burials.



Leave a Reply