Can I have a Cremation and a Visitation?

By: Bill Laing
Monday, May 23, 2016

If you’re thinking about planning for the day when you pass on or are in a situation where you know you will have to start planning for a funeral very soon, you need to look at your options. Cremation is an increasingly popular choice for many people, as there’s a certain amount of flexibility with what you can do afterward. Some people who prefer to memorialize their loved ones and keep them close will bring the ashes home. Others prefer to scatter them at some location with deep personal meaning to the deceased. Still others may bury them in the family plot, or install them in a columbarium at a cemetery. There are many choices.

However, one thing that some people may not realize is that there are options before cremation as well as after. There’s a belief that just because the deceased is going to be cremated, there’s no chance to say goodbye to the deceased. This simply isn’t true.

A Funeral As You See Fit

A viewing or visitation is often seen as the prelude to a burial. During the visitation, attendants get a chance to mourn properly, see the body, and share their condolences with the bereaved. Then the actual burial takes place, with attendants going to the cemetery where the deceased is finally committed to his or her final resting place.

With cremations, a visitation is still perfectly acceptable, provided you allow time for it in your schedule. This can be just as elaborate as a regular burial visitation, and some funeral services even allow the option of renting a casket expressly for this purpose. Because this is a rental, you don’t need to pay the full price for the casket as part of your funeral services, which is especially important considering the deceased will be cremated.

Depending on your preferences, the visitation can be just as elaborate or as simple as you like. Because the deceased will be cremated, embalming the remains is not a legal requirement. However, this is an appropriate step to take if there is to be a viewing or visitation. It’s important for the deceased to be properly prepared for a viewing.

Alternatively, you can conduct a similar viewing or visitation after a cremation has taken place. It varies from one individual church to the next, but most churches will accept the presence of a cremation urn.

All of this is, ultimately, up to you. If you have more questions, or would like more details about cremation and visitation procedures, don’t hesitate to contact us at Laing Funeral Home. We have years of experience helping people to organize and carry out funeral arrangements during what is a trying, emotional time. We’d be happy to provide you with the same professional courtesy and guidance.


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