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Cremation Information

  Cremation has become, and will continue to become, more and more popular in the United States. Reasons for the shift from burial to cremation vary from personal preference to economics. We at O’Brien Funeral Home are here to help you plan the Funeral that will best reflect the wishes of both you and your loved one, and to do so without incurring a financial strain on your family.

For this reason, we have created this section to answer some questions about Cremation and to highlight the different Cremation Packages we have created for you to ease your burden in the days to come. Let us start by explaining some things about cremation.

       CREMATION is simply a type of disposition (other types are burial, entombment, etc.). It was never intended to replace the funeral rite, but merely offer an alternative to ground burial or entombment. Most commonly, a family will choose to have a traditional viewing and visitation, followed by a service (either in a church or at the funeral home), and then have a cremation. Financially, this will SAVE THOUSANDS of dollars because there is no need to purchase a casket, burial vault, cemetery space, or to pay for the opening and closing of the cemetery space. This still allows for friends and family to visit, grieve, say goodbye, and find closure. We have created a special package (TRADITIONAL CREMATION) to ensure that your loved one receives all of the dignity of a full-service funeral & to help save the family even more money.

What does the Catholic Church say about Cremation?

        Many people have chosen to have a cremation in place of the funeral. We here at O'Brien Funeral Home realize that this may be the request of the deceased and/or the family due to personal or religious beliefs. We also realize the potential financial strain that a funeral can bring, so we will work with you and your family to create a meaningful and dignified service which fits into your budget. However, we do not want a family to choose to have no services and an immediate cremation simply because it is the cheapest option. We believe in the value of a funeral, and will work with you (and your budget) to create a meaningful service that adheres to your traditions, beliefs, and wishes. That being said, if you simply do not want your loved one present, we would be more than happy to accommodate that as well.Although the Church earnestly recommends the custom of burying the bodies of the dead, it does not forbid Cremation.  However, Cremation “does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body.” (Order of Christian Funerals) Historically, Cremation was seen as sacrilegious by the Church, however, the tenants of the Church have been modified to allow for Cremation (with certain guidelines to be adhered to).

The body was present for all Sacraments, and should be for the Funeral as well.
Cremation is merely the Final Disposition, not a substitute for a Funeral.
Cremation should take place after the Funeral Liturgy. This allows for Religious Rites, a Visitation, and the Funeral Mass. It is only after the Funeral Mass that the Church sees Cremation as fully acceptable.

Is a casket required for a cremation to take place?

   For the cremation itself, a casket is not required. A cremation container is the minimum acceptable container that is allowed by law to surround the body for a cremation. These are available at the funeral home and are included in all of our cremation packages. While a casket is not required for purchase during any cremation, we do offer two beautiful caskets that can be used for your loved one during their visitation and service. We offer these rental caskets to all, and the rental cost is included in our Traditional Cremation Package.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

   Although deceased persons are embalmed before the visitation portion of the funeral, it is not a legal requirement if there is no visitation. However, NJ Law requires that deceased persons be embalmed if the final disposition is to take place more than 48 hours after the time of death. Embalming will be required prior to a public visitation if you choose to have one.

Are urns required to collect the cremated remains?

   There is no law requiring the purchase of an urn. The cremains will be returned from the crematory in a cardboard container that is suitable for transport home. A more traditional urn may be desired if the cremated remains are to be memorialized at home, at a public memorial service, or the remains are to be interred at a cemetery.We offer a nice selection of urns at the funeral home. Please inquire if you would like to view them.

What options are available with the cremated remains?

   After the cremation, the cremated remains will be returned to be kept at home, scattered or buried on private property, or released to a cemetery for burial or above-ground entombment. Cremated remains can be divided to satisfy various memorialization requests. There are smaller urns and even jewelry which hold “keepsake” portions of cremated remains. **The Catholic Church insists that the cremated remains of the body should be reverently buried or entombed in a catholic  cemetery or mausoleum.

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