At the E. Merrill Smith Funeral Home, Inc. in Altoona, PA, we offer many options for those who prefer cremation as a means of final disposition. The only difference between a funeral service followed by burial and one followed by cremation is that the remains are taken to the crematory after the service instead of to the cemetery for burial. This means that families have the option to have visitations and funerals where the remains are present and still choose cremation as a means of disposition.
We offer a range of caskets suited specifically for visitations and funeral services followed by cremation.
These are constructed of hardwood or other completely combustible material. For families that want the remains present for visitations or funeral services but do not wish to purchase a casket, we have a specially designed solid oak casket which has a self-contained removable interior. The casket shell is rented for the services and then the remains are removed in the self-contained interior and taken to the crematory. This option makes cremation with services a very economical alternative.
In addition we also offer cremation services with a memorial service, meaning that the remains are not present. This service may be held at a place of worship, in our Memorial Chapel or any other appropriate location. Some families choose to have the cremated remains present at the memorial service while others do not.
Direct cremation is an option where the remains are cremated without any formal visitation, funeral or memorial services.
We offer a range of cremation urns for families to choose from. The cremation urn serves the same purpose as a casket in that it contains the cremated remains and serves as focal point for memorialization. Cremation urns range in both style and construction. They range in composition from solid hardwood, marble, bronze, porcelain, stainless steel and others. Styles range from traditional rectangular and vase shaped to contemporary pieces of art.
There are several options when considering a place of final disposition. One choice for the final resting place of cremated remains in an urn is a niche in a columbarium. Columbaria are generally located in a cemetery and may be a room or wall very similar to a mausoleum in which urns are placed. Some people prefer earth burial of the cremated remains. This option is very practical for those who already have a family cemetery plot or whose spouse or other family members do not wish to be cremated. Some cemeteries require the cremated remains to be buried in an urn vault, which we can provide. It is not required that the urn be interred by one of these options. The urn may be taken home. This is often only a temporary situation pending permanent placement of the remains. Also, guidelines exist for interment of cremated remains for some religious faiths.
While these descriptions cover the general types of cremation services and options, The Stevens Mortuary encourages families to pick and choose services that will create the most meaningful and expressive memorialization experience for their family. We will be pleased to arrange the options best suited to your loved one’s wishes and your family’s needs.
Joseph J. Stevens III
Joseph J. Stevens III