Category Archives: cremations

cremations in Greenbelt, MD

Understanding Cremations Terminology

The terminology associated with cremations in Greenbelt, MD is important to know to gain insight into the cremation process. Many people know about cremation, but they don’t understand what’s involved and what to expect when cremations are the funeral option that’s chosen. We’ll give you a basic guide to cremation terms.  

Cremation is the process of exposing human remains to intense heat for a period of time to decompose the body down to bone fragments. All metal has to be removed during this process, so the casket itself contains no metal and glasses, watches, and devices like pacemakers are removed before the cremation starts.  

crematorium is the structure where the cremation chamber is housed. These structures may be solely devoted to cremations and funerals or they may offer cremation and funeral services in addition to other types of services that are not funeral-related.  

Cremation chambers are small enclosures that are designed to withstand very high heat and temperatures. They are most often lined with brick or tile. This is where the actual cremation takes place.  

cremation container is the enclosure that the body is cremated in. It can be a fully-combustible casket or a heavy-duty cardboard box. It must be rigid, so it can be easily handled and large enough to fully enclose the body.  

Memorialization refers to how the cremains are handled after the cremation. Cremains are given to the family when the cremation is done, and the family can decide what to do with them. Common options are burying them with previously-deceased family members (usually spouses), scattering them in a special place, storing them in an urn in a columbarium, keeping them in a decorative urn at home, or turning some of the cremains into wearable jewelry.  

An urn is the traditional receptacle for cremains. The history of the use of urns to hold the remains of loved ones goes back as far as the Roman Empire. Urns can be made out of a variety of materials, including wood, glass, and clay, among others. Urns are also high-customizable and many unique and creative options are available.  

Cremation boxes are what the crematorium uses to present the cremains to the family if they have not yet chosen a memorialization option, such as an urn or storage in a columbarium.  

columbarium is a space specifically designed and built to hold cremains. Columbariums have niches where the cremains, in an urn or cremation box, can be placed. A grave marker or gravestone is added to mark the final resting place of a loved ones cremains.  

Scattering gardens are common space outdoor areas that are specifically designated for scattering cremains. The cremains are mixed in with the existing soil. While most scattering gardens are public common spaces, some cemeteries are starting to add them as a place for families to scatter the cremains of their loved ones. 

An interment is the act of putting cremains in a permanent container, such as an urn. The container can then be housed in a mausoleum, a columbarium, or it can be displayed at the family’s home.  

Cremains are the cremated remains of the deceased. These are not ashes, as is commonly assumed, but instead bone fragments – which are all that is left after cremation – ground finely into a powder-like consistency.  

direct cremation is a type of cremation where the body is cremated immediately after death occurs. The body is not embalmed, nor are there viewings, visitations, or funeral services. Often, memorial services are held at a much later date.  

If you’d like to know more about terminology related to cremations in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

cremations in Beltsville, MD

Personalizing Cremations

Personalizing cremations in Beltsville, MD is part a major part of the funeral process. One misconception that causes people to hesitate to choose cremation as their funeral option is that no services – memorial or funeral – can be held if someone is cremated. That’s not true. Personalizing cremations is an integrated part of saying goodbye to someone you love.  

With cremations, there are many options available that can remember and memorialize your loved one.   

One option is to have a funeral service. You may or may not choose to have a casket viewing of the deceased (if you do, it can either be the cremation casket or a casket rented from the funeral home just for the viewing). If you don’t, and it’s before the cremation has taken place, then it will follow a traditional funeral service format, which usually includes secular and/or religious readings, eulogies, and music. If you have the funeral service after cremation, then the urn is usually displayed at the front of the room where the service is being held. 

Another way to personalize cremations is to have a memorial service. These usually take place after the cremation and are designed to be more casual and flexible as the deceased is often remembered in stories and memories. 

You can also personalize cremations by setting up a display that reflects hobbies or personal interests that were important to your loved one. Ideas might range from artwork they did or crafts that they created. Some people are avid sports fans, so you can display the sports memorabilia that your loved one collected. Use your imagination to create a personalized display that captures the essence of your loved one.  

Cremations can also be personalized by creating photo tributes to the deceased. You can do this with a beautiful cardboard background, using pictures that capture key moments in your loved ones live. Write a little bit underneath each photo to give it context (date it was taken, what was happening at the time, and why it’s important) and to make it a special display. You can also create a digital photo album using PowerPoint. PowerPoint lets you add audio, so you can narrate the photo album, or you can simply add some music that was special to your loved one. Once you’ve created the digital photo album, you can set it up to play automatically and you can also save it as a video file that can either be uploaded to YouTube (you’ll have to create a channel) or saved on flash drives for people who may want a copy.  

A fourth way to customize cremations is by the urn you choose to hold your loved one’s cremains. Urns can be engraved or have plaques added with things that highlight your love one’s personality, traits, and interests.  

Even after cremations, you can further personalize and honor your loved one’s memory. You can have an invitation-only ceremony to scatter your loved one’s ashes in the place they chose or a place that was significant to them. You can also turn some of the cremains into jewelry that you can wear all the time.  

If you’re interested in personalizing cremations in Beltsville, MD, you can speak with our empathetic and experienced staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

Burtonsville, MD cremations

Ways to Mark Significant Anniversaries

After Burtonsville, MD cremations, loss and grief will walk hand-in-hand at the forefront of your life in the days, weeks, and months to come. Although the intensity of grief lessens as time passes, it’s still a constant part of your life after you lose someone you love.  

Anniversaries of all sorts can be particularly difficult to deal with, because that is when the loss comes back in full force. The anniversary might be a birthday, Mother’s or Father’s Day, a holiday that was special to your family, or the day your loved one died. However, there are ways to turn what may be grief-filled days into opportunities for healing through meaningful acknowledgements of your loved one and your loss.  

One way to mark significant anniversaries is to be with your loved one. If, after cremation, your loved one was buried in a cemetery plot, stored in a columbarium, buried in an urn garden, or the cremains were made into jewelry or scatter, then go to or wear your loved one and spend time with them.   

Another way to mark significant anniversaries is to create a memorial. If you are a writer, set up a blog and use anniversaries to talk about your loved one and why those anniversaries are important to you and were important to them. Writing can be very cathartic and it can give you an outlet to express grief, sorrow, and loss, as well as a venue to remember the good times, the good memories, and what you loved most about the person you lost.  

If writing’s not your thing, then create a slideshow or a movie with music and pictures of your loved one. Choose music that fits your mood, or that you both liked, or that captures sentiments about your love one. Create a free channel on YouTube, upload the video, and share it with family and friends.  

A third way to mark significant anniversaries is to host a gathering of family and friends to remember your loved one. Make it easy on yourself by having everyone bring food and drinks. Sit down and share stories and memories. Laugh. Cry. Smile. Remember.  

You may need some quiet time on significant anniversaries. That’s okay. Take some time to be alone with your feelings. Go outside and take a long walk or go to a park and walk through wooded paths or go to the beach (if you’re lucky enough to be close to a beach) and walk the beach and listen to the constant ebb and flow of the waves as the go back and forth on the shore. Just find some place that gives you peace and spend some time alone there to process your thoughts and feelings.  

A final way that you can mark significant anniversaries is to go through the things you kept from your loved one’s life. That may mean photo albums, family heirlooms, recipe cards or books, or cards and letters they wrote. Going through these familiar things can be very comforting and can help you remember your loved one is a very positive way.  

If you’d like other significant anniversary strategies after Burtonsville, MD cremations, you can speak with our experienced staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

Greenbelt, MD cremations

The History of Cremations

When you’re considering Greenbelt, MD cremations, it might interest you to know that the process of cremations has a long and extensive history as a way to dispose of the dead. Greeks introduced cremations to the Western world as early as 1000 BCE. It is probable that the Greeks adopted this funeral option as an imperative of war to make sure that warriors killed in enemy territory were able to have a funeral at home in the communities where their families were.  

Greeks chose to do their cremations on an open fire. Soldiers were cremated where they died, and the cremains were gathered up and sent back to their homes where the cremains were entombed after a funeral ceremony. Cremations did not replace ground burials – even a sprinkling of dirt over the body was considered an underground burial – but they did become associated with military service and the virtues of valor and patriotism.  

In Homer’s Iilad, cremations are seen as important and there were elaborate ceremonies associated with them. Zeus, the chief god of the Greek gods, forces Achilles to return Hector’s body to his father, King Priam of Troy, so that he could cremate it royally.   

The more heroic in battle someone was, the bigger the fire was for his cremation. Achilles himself gives his friend Patroclus a funeral pyre of 100 square feet (30 square meters), and, when Achilles dies, his funeral is even greater.  Mourning for Achilles lasts 17 days, during which the funeral pyre burns. It is extinguished with wine, and the cremains of Achilles are covered with oil and wine and placed in an urn with the cremains of Patroclus. Afterwards, a lavish celebration that includes funeral games and lots of food follows.  

Romans followed the lead of the Greeks – and Trojans – in having cremations for their heroic men of war. In Aeneid by Virgil, there is criticism about the Latin military not having any ceremonial rituals for their dead, nor even worrying about how many are dead. When the cremations are done, the cremains of the war veterans are piled together in a single heap. Roman warriors, however, had very elaborate and respectful rituals for the cremations of their dead.  

Roman citizens followed the example of their army and cremations became a status symbol among wealthy Romans. Because of this, the first columbaria (structures with slots in them to hold the cremains) were built and the enterprise became a lucrative business endeavor.  

However, by 100 CE, the Roman Empire stopped doing cremations. This was most likely because of the spread of Christianity throughout the empire. While cremations were not officially banned, burning a body was avoided because of its association with pagan customs and because it was believed that burning the body would interfere with the reunion of body and soul at the promised resurrection.  

A practical reason, however, for the decline of cremations throughout the Roman Empire was because of potential wood shortages, since so much timber was used to fuel the funeral pyres.  

Scandinavians favored cremations until their conversion to Christianity beginning in 1000 CE, and from that point on cremations were rare in western Europe, except in catastrophic situations, like the Black Death (bubonic plague) that spread like wildfire through Europe in 1656 (60,000 victims in Naples were burned in one week).  

Cremations were highly favored in Eastern cultures because there is much positive symbolism in the process and in the cremains.  

If you’d like to know more about Greenbelt, MD cremations, our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can assist you. You can come to our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.  

cremations Greenbelt, MD

Making Funeral Arrangements

Making funeral arrangements before cremations Greenbelt, MD involves several steps that must be taken once someone has died and continued until after the cremation. It is helpful if the deceased person has left funeral information and instructions, because it will make it easier to do each of these things.  

The first step of making funeral arrangements is make the initial calls after the person has died. The very first call, if the person died at home, is to emergency services or, if the deceased was in home hospice care, to the hospice organization. Hospice will contact the funeral home for transportation of the body; emergency services may or may not do this for you, so if they don’t, you will need to contact the funeral home. You will also need to contact immediate family, close friends, and, if the deceased was employed at the time of death, the workplace.  

The next step is the transportation of the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home. The funeral home will take care of transporting the body.  

If funeral services are to held before cremation, the next step will be to plan the services. If the deceased left instructions for this, that will make this step easier, but if not, a few general elements are part of most funeral services. Funeral home staff will help make the necessary arrangements for the funeral service.  

Someone will need to coordinate the service. Typically, services can include scriptural or literary readings, eulogies, and music that reflect the life of the deceased. You will need to appoint the people who will participate in the service and the order of the service.  

You will need to write an obituary. Since most funeral homes now have digital obituary pages, it will be most cost-effective to have the funeral home put a death notice in the newspaper – newspapers charge by the word, so long obituaries can be expensive to put in the newspaper – with a link to the full obituary on the funeral home’s website.  

Obituaries should include date of death (do not include exact date of birth because it doesn’t take much information for identity thieves to get enough to commit fraud), age, and city and state only. Do not include a street address. Unscrupulous people scan obituaries for houses that will be vacant during funeral services to target them for robbery. Obituaries should highlight milestones in the deceased’s life, include immediate family who died before the deceased, and surviving immediate family. Specify how the deceased’s memory should be honored – flowers or charitable donations – and include funeral service date, time, and location.  

For cremations, you can either purchase a fully-combustible casket from the funeral home for the viewing and funeral service, or you can rent one. If you rent, the body will be transferred to a fully-combustible casket after the funeral service and the body will be cremated.  

After cremations, the cremains will be returned to you and your family. Additionally, the funeral home will supplied death certificates, which you will need to wrap up the deceased’s affairs. Although you’ll have to pay for additional copies, it’s best to get at least 20 copies of the death certificate (if the deceased’s estate was large and extensive, you’ll need more copies).  

Once you have the cremains, you and your family can decide what you want to do with them.  

If you want to know more about funeral service arrangements before cremations Greenbelt, MD, our experienced staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can assist you. You can come see us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

cremations Beltsville, MD

A Basic Primer on Cremations Services

Services for cremations Beltsville, MD are designed to help remember, memorialize, and honor someone who has chosen to be cremated. Too often, people are unaware that there are many ways to remember someone who has died and is being cremated, including having a viewing and a traditional funeral service.  

There are, in general, three types of cremations services.  

The first type of cremation service consists of a viewing, a funeral service, and then the cremation. Your choice of caskets is diverse. Funeral homes will let you rent a fancy casket for the viewing and funeral service. After the funeral service, the deceased will be placed in a fully-combustible casket for the actual cremation.   

However, fully-combustible caskets come in many attractive styles that are acceptable for funeral viewings and funeral services. The funeral home will have several different styles to choose from and they will include a liner and a pillow (which will be removed before cremation takes place).  

The body will be preserved for the viewing. The viewing is the time when mourners can pay their respects to the deceased person and offer support, encouragement, and comfort to the grieving family. Viewings usually last two hours and take place right before the funeral services.   

Funeral services can include scriptural or literary readings, eulogies from friends and family, a pastor’s, priest’s, or rabbi’s discourse, and music (recorded or live). If there is no religious affiliation, the funeral director will oversee the funeral service and coordinate all the parts that are included.  

After the funeral service, if the casket is rented, the deceased’s body will be placed into a fully-combustible casket, and cremation will follow. After cremation, the remains of the deceased will be returned to the family to do with as they wish.  

In the second type of cremation service, the deceased is cremated, and the family holds a memorial service at a later date. Often, the urn containing the ashes of the deceased person is present at the memorial service.  

Memorial service formats are basically free-style. They may consist of a trip to the deceased’s favorite place, or they may take place in a community center where food and drinks are provided and friends and family are encouraged to tell stories about the deceased person. Other times, memorial services may closely resemble funeral services, with a structured presentation that includes readings, eulogies and music.  

Memorial services can be held at any time, which often beneficial for people who live far away or when a trip to a central meeting place is planned. This gives everyone time to make plans to be there without having to hurry through the process of trying to get time off of work and find transportation that is affordable.  

The third type of cremation service is direct cremation. There are many people who simply don’t want either a memorial service or a funeral service. In direct cremation, the deceased is sent from where death occurred directly to the crematory. The body will be prepared, identified by the family, and then cremated with the cremains being returned to the family afterward.  

To request services for cremations Beltsville, MD, talk with our experienced team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can also see us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.  

Burtonsville, MD cremations

What to Wear to a Funeral

For funerals before Burtonsville, MD cremations, what people wear is important because this is a service designed to support, comfort, and encourage a family who has lost someone they love. The focus should be on the family, not on the mourners. So always keep that in mind when choosing clothes to wear to a funeral service. You don’t want to draw attention to yourself.  

Because funeral services before cremations are somber in tone, the best rule of thumb is to dress as conservatively as possible. While you don’t necessarily have to wear black, which is color associated with mourning throughout the world, you should avoid bright colors and prints or designs.   

Necklines, hemlines, and fit for women should be modest. Avoid low-cut blouses or dresses, short skirts, and spandex. Modest skirts and blouses, dresses, and pantsuits that don’t draw attention to cleavage, curves or thighs are acceptable.  

Women should keep their accessories very simple. Do not wear high-heel shoes or open-toed shoes, including flip-flops. Instead choose a basic flat shoe that will enable you to walk quietly inside or navigate easily through grass if the funeral service is outside. The less jewelry you wear, the better. Of course, wedding and engagement rings are appropriate, but it’s best to forego any other type of jewelry except a watch.  

Men who are attending funeral services before cremations should not wear jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps – in fact, all caps or hats should be removed one inside the building where the funeral service is being held – and tennis shoes or sandals. Men can wear black, gray, or navy suits with a dress shirt and tie, but a dark-colored sports coat, a dress shirt open at the collar, and dress pants with dress shoes is also considered appropriate attire for men attending funeral services.  

There are exceptions to these rules, but they are very specific. If the funeral service is for a military veteran, it is appropriate for military personnel to wear their dress military uniforms to the service. Additionally, some creeds and religions require a specific kind of dress, so be sure to honor the deceased person by adhering to those particular dress codes.  

If you’re on the fence about whether something you want to wear to a funeral service is appropriate, there are a few clothing don’ts that should help you make a decision about the clothes:  

  • If it’s your sexiest outfit, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s a cropped top or low-cut pants, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s going to call attention to you, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s big, bright, shiny jewelry, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s not something you would wear to a professional job interview, don’t wear it. 
  • If it’s a sleeveless dress, don’t wear it unless you also wear a jacket or sweater over it to cover your bare shoulders. 
  • If it makes noise, don’t wear it. 
  • If it is an open-toed shoe, don’t wear it. 

A couple of other things to consider when going to a funeral service is to cover any tattoos, and to avoid scent products like perfumes, lotions, and body sprays. Many people are sensitive to the chemicals in these products and have an allergic reaction when they come in contact with them.   

If you need more idea about what to wear to funeral services before Burtonsville, MD cremations, our knowledgeable staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help. You can visit us in person at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.  

College Park cremations

Cremations Statistics

When considering the option of College Park cremations, it is interesting to look at the latest research on how cremations have traditionally been viewed in the United States and how – and why – Americans have changed in a fundamental way what they choose do with their remains after they die.   

Traditionally, cremations were shunned by most Americans because of religious beliefs that it defiled the body, making it impossible for the person to be resurrected into an afterlife with God. This idea has been passed down since the time of Charlemagne, King of France and Holy Roman Emperor (742 AD – 814 AD). Since pre-Christians used fire both in their worship, often sacrificing their children in the process, and in their funeral rituals, Charlemagne wanted to distinguish Christianity from paganism, so he dictated that anyone who cremated a body would be executed.  

Much of that stigma attached to cremations continued through the end of the 20th century. It seemed to take that long for rational, critically-thinking people to question the viability of the belief that cremations somehow eliminated the people being cremated from eternal life with God.  

First, it implied that God’s power was limited, which is a critical problem for Christian believers. Second, people die with more regularity than we might realize in spontaneous fires, such as car fires, house fires, or wildfires, and their remains are reduced to ashes (the same process that happens in cremations), so applying logic means these people are also ineligible for an afterlife with God.  

Once the ideas surrounding cremations were unwrapped and dispelled, more people in the United States began to choose cremations as the way they wanted their remains to be handled after death.   

In both 2016 and 2017, the number of cremations surpassed the number of burials in the United States. There are several reasons why the number of cremations is increasing in American.  

The first reason is practical. Cremations are less expensive than burials. Financially, most people either can’t or are unwilling to take on the additional financial expenses associated with traditional burials, so they are opting for cremations instead.  

The second reason is that American society, as a whole, is moving away from established traditions, and that includes organized religion and traditional funeral rituals, which include funeral services and cemetery burials. With celebrations of life replacing the traditional and more somber honor of the dead, there is less worry about what happens with people’s remains after death.  

The third reason why cremations are surpassing traditional burials is that cemeteries are running out of space and, often, cremations are the only option available.  

A fourth reason why cremations are on the rise in the United States is because many Americans are concerned about the environment and the impact of our actions on it. Cremations are considered to be environmentally-friendly, while traditional burials are not considered to be as good for the environment.  

There are many reasons why the cremations statistics in the United States show a steady rise in American’s preferences for how their remains should be disposed of, but these highlight the most important ones.  

If you want more statistics about College Park cremations, our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can give you the information you need. You can see us personally at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

Greenbelt, MD cremations

Funeral Viewing and Service Protocol

Funeral viewings and funeral services are often a part of Greenbelt, MD cremations. It’s important to understand what the proper protocol is at both funeral viewings and funeral services, because these are long-established ways to honor the deceased person and to provide comfort and support to the family that has lost a loved one.  

For funeral viewings, you should not arrive at the funeral home before the announced starting time for the family to receive visitors. Often, the family will arrive earlier and spend some time with their deceased love one. This is very personal and can be very emotional, but it gives the family some time to compose themselves for the funeral viewing and the funeral service, and it should not be interrupted by visitors coming to the funeral home early.  

Funeral viewings are less formal than funeral services, but it’s still a somber occasion, so loud, boisterous behavior among the mourners is inappropriate and disrespectful. It doesn’t mean you can’t share a light moment with the family, but just joking and laughing loudly with other people who are there is not acceptable behavior.  

With a funeral viewing, the family will be up in front of the room with the casket nearby. Mourners line up to brief talk with the family – please make sure you say something to everyone – and offer their condolences. Even if you are very close to the entire family or to a particular family member, don’t spend too much time talking to them because they or the one person you’re close to will miss being able to talk with everybody in the line, and this can lead to hurt feelings if somebody feels they were slighted.  

Once you’ve gone through the line for the viewing, head to the back of the room and, if you’re staying for the funeral service, find a seat as far back as you can and as close to the end of a row as you are able. You can talk quietly with other mourners, but this is not the time or the place to catch up on all the news from someone you haven’t seen in a while or to discuss work with a colleague.  

Seating for the funeral service, except for the family, always starts at the back. Depending on how large the family is, there may be one of several rows reserved from them in the very front, usually on the right-hand side of the room, where the casket is. If the funeral service is closed-casket, the family will be taken to a private area while the funeral home staff close the casket, and then brought back in for the funeral service.  

Mourners should seat themselves in such a way so that no one has to walk over them to get an empty seat. Generally, the seats should fill in starting with the one furthest from the center aisle, which is where people enter the rows to sit down. This is just a simple courtesy.  

Refrain from talking during the funeral service. The funeral service is usually a solemn service, and talking is not only disruptive, but it is also disrespectful to the deceased and the family of the deceased.  

If you need more guidance on funeral viewings and services before Greenbelt, MD cremations, our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help. You can visit with us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

Beltsville, MD cremations

Understanding Different Types of Cremations

When you’re considering Beltsville, MD cremations, it’s important to know that you have different cremation options that allow you to have control over how your death is handled.  

One choice that determines up front whether you’re cremated is what you want done with your body when you die. If you decide to donate your body for medical or scientific research, your final remains will be cremated.   

This is not true for organ donors. Organ donors have the choice between cremation and burial. Surgeons will simply harvest your organs and, if you want a traditional burial, they will sew your body back up for transport to the funeral home and their final preparations of your body.  

One of the misperceptions about cremation is that no funeral service can be held. Therefore, it’s important to know about cremations options that are available.  

In direct cremations, there is no funeral service. The body is transported to the funeral home, put into a combustible container, and cremated. The funeral home will collect the ashes and return them to the family.  

The family can choose what to do with the ashes from cremations. They can scatter them in the deceased person’s favorite place. They can scatter them at a gravesite (this happens often with spouses). Or they can keep them, either in a decorative urn or in jewelry that they wear.  

Direct cremations are also usually followed by a memorial service. This can be a week after death or two years after death, but it enables family members to plan for a memorial event and for attendees to be able to have the time to make arrangements to be there.  

If you want to have a funeral service before cremation, you can either purchase or rent a casket for the viewing and funeral service. If you decide to purchase a casket, make sure that the casket is fully-combustible so that it can be used for the cremation. A wide range of cremation caskets for every budget are available for purchase online. If you choose to rent a casket, the funeral home will provide the rental casket as part of their funeral services.  

You can have a traditional viewing, followed by a funeral service. Once the funeral service is done, the deceased person’s remains will be cremated and the ashes will be returned to the family to dispose of as they wish.  

Cremations are typically cheaper than burials because the materials used for cremation caskets are less expensive, and many of the costs associated with a burial – the grave site in a cemetery, digging the grave, transportation to the grave, and burial in the grave – are eliminated in cremations. Many people consider cremations to be more environmentally-friendly, as well, so about half of deaths in the United States are now followed by cremations instead of burials.  

You may not need to make a decision today about options for cremation, but it’s never too early to make plans for the future and make sure that your family knows how you want your remains to be handled.  

If you want to learn more about Beltsville, MD cremations, one of our knowledgeable staff members at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help you and answer any questions you may have about the process. You can also visit us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705. We are available any time for immediate assistance, so contact us today at (301) 937-1707.