Cremation, the process of subjecting a dead body to direct flame and extreme heat to turn it into ashes, has become the first and top choice among American families when it comes to funeral services. To the traditional family, it is a cheaper alternative to coffin or casket burials. Crematory services are but unusual in today’s time.
Many funeral homes, most especially at www.gentrygriffey.com, offer cremation services.
Cremation came from the Latin word “cremo” which means “to burn”. Literally, cremation is the burning of a dead person’s body. Cremation has tremendously changed over the years. From a cultural tradition in the 3000 BCE to a funeral service option in the 21st century, we at www.gentrygriffey.com will discuss a brief history of cremation.
It is said that records of the partly cremated Mungo Lady in Lake Mungo, Australia prove that the method of cremation dates back to at least 20,000 years ago. However, many modern archaeologists refer to the Near East and Europe as the origin of cremation practices. They believe that cremation was already present in the 3,000 BCE during the Stone Age. Furthermore, archaeologists discovered decorative urns and they concluded that cremation has reached the boundaries of northern Europe during the later period of the Stone Age.
The dawn of the Bronze Age (about 2,500 BCE) showed that cremation began blooming in Portugal and Spain. Crematory cemeteries began developing in northern Italy, and cremation began spreading until it reached Ireland. Furthermore, cremation has become the most widely-used method of disposing dead bodies during the 800 BCE in Greece. This process was highly encouraged during this time because of its convenience in burying fallen warriors.
Romans followed the trends of the Greeks. They adopted cremation during the 600 BCE. It has become a prevalent practice but officials had to issue an anti-cremation decree against it because of religious purposes. When Catholicism took over Rome, the only accepted form of funeral was the traditional burial.
In several parts of Europe, performing cremations was considered a crime. Moreover, cremation was used by authorities of the Catholic Church to punish Protestant heretics and those who defy the doctrines of Roman Catholicism. One of the most controversial examples is the burning of John Wycliff’s exhumed remains. Because of his outspoken denial in the belief that the wine and bread served in the Holy Communion become the blood and body of Jesus once these are blessed, John Wycliff’s remains were burned to ashes and were thrown into a river.
Even though cremation was accepted by the general public, cremation was used only in rare situations of war or plague.
However, for the following 1,500 years, cremation made its way to be recognized as Europe’s means of body disposition.
Fast-forwarded, modern cremation was born when Italian Professor Ludovico Brunetti successfully designed and created a cremation chamber. In 1873, the model was shown at the Vienna Exposition. Crematoriums, a facility with cremation chambers or crematories, began to spring up. These facilities can also be found at funeral homes, just like ours at www.gentrygriffey.com.
The first crematoriums in Europe were founded in Gotha, Germany and Woking, England in 1878. In North America, Dr. Julius LeMoyne founded the very first crematorium in Washington, Pennsylvania a year prior to the founding of the crematoriums in Europe.
Later on, the number of crematoriums all over the world continued to grow. Cremation started to rise again; however, there had been instances when mass cremation was necessary to use. For example, in Nazi Germany, the remains of the victims of the Holocaust were needed to be cremated. Additionally, victims of contagious diseases, famine, wars, and plague were also cremated out of fear for the health of the public.
Modern cremation services are still used for funerals. Today, cremation has been generally accepted by American families. Although critics argue that cremating a deceased person’s body is unethical, many people prefer cremation over the traditional burial because of its affordability and convenience. For example, the traditional burial costs about $6,000 while cremation costs only 1/3 of it. In our website www.gentrygriffey.com, we offer the best cremation services for an affordable price.
Cremation has undergone a lot of changes over the years. It received both negative and positive feedbacks, and until now, many are skeptic when it comes to the ethics of cremations. However, it will all go back to the preferences and culture of a person and his or her family. Anyone who wishes to be cremated has the right to choose this means of body disposition.
Choosing the right funeral home and crematorium is as important as funeral planning. Visit www.gentrygriffey.com for more details.