What is a Cremation Container?

By: Joseph Greenidge
Monday, June 10, 2019

If you are planning a service for yourself or a loved one and are considering cremation, you may find yourself overwhelmed not only by all of your emotions but also by all the decisions that must be made prior to the cremation or memorial service. One of these decisions is choosing a cremation container.

The Difference Between a Cremation Urn and a Cremation Container

While cremated remains can be placed into a decorative urn for the service and/or burial, a cremation container is designed with more practical needs in mind. The container is simply used to encase the body to transport it to the crematory in a safe and dignified manner and is used during the cremation process.

The Cremation, Internment and Funeral Services Act states the cremation container must be strong enough to contain and remove the remains; must prevent the remains from posing a health hazard; must be capable of being closed so the public cannot see the remains; must be constructed so it does not leak; and must be combustible and rigid.

There are a variety of options available to choose from, depending on budget and taste. Some basic containers are made of heavy, reinforced cardboard that is large enough to fit an average-sized body. While such a container would not be suitable for viewing during a funeral service, it does serve as an affordable cremation container.

There are alternative options available, however, that are more ornate. Some, for example, can be made of wood. They cannot, however, be constructed from plastic, fibreglass, foam/styrofoam, rubber, polyvinyl chloride or zinc.

Explore all the options that are available, and take the time you need to choose what you feel is most suitable with the assistance of your funeral director.

Cremation Caskets

If you would prefer the body to be present during the service, you may opt for a decorative cremation casket. The material of cremation caskets varies - some are made of wood, while others are made from other natural materials. Typically, these containers have handles on them, which are removed prior to entering the cremation chamber.

How To Choose

The type of cremation container you select is entirely up to you. Before making your decision, you need to ask yourself if you or your loved one would prefer something more elaborate and ornate as a cremation container, or if a simple and affordable cardboard vessel would suffice.


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