Frequently Asked Questions

Do you own your own crematory?
Yes, we have a state-of-the-art crematory system. We are one of the few funeral homes in Lancaster County that own and operate its own crematory.

Are your crematory operators certified?
Yes, our certified crematory operators have received certification from CANA (Cremation Association of North America) to ensure best practices for safe, proper, and ethical crematory operations to ensure your loved one is treated with dignity and care while minimizing the environmental footprint.

Are you locally owned?
Yes. Cremation Services of Lancaster is locally owned and operated.

How are your prices so much lower than other funeral homes?
Simple.  We have very low overhead costs which allow us to pass these savings on to you.  There is no need for expensive vehicles or elaborate facilities as they are not needed in the business model.

What is cremation?
To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn’t. Cremation is not considered final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.

How long does the actual cremation take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F.

What happens after the cremation is complete?
All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are “swept” into the front of the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, hip joints, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.

What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between four to eight pounds.

In what kind of container are the cremated remains returned?
Cremation Services of Lancaster shall place the cremated remains in a plastic bag (when suitable) inside a rigid temporary container provided by the crematory or by the next-of-kin. We offer a  variety of affordable urns or the family may choose to provide a container in which the cremated remains will be placed.

Are all the cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.

What can be done with the cremated remains?
There are many options. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property. Our staff will be happy to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements.

Are there any laws governing cremation?
Cremation regulations vary from state to state.

Can two cremations be performed at once?
Never. Cremation Services of Lancaster will never cremate more than one individual at a time.

Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes. Our state-of-the-art cremation facility gives family members, for an additional fee, the option to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?
We have developed the most rigorous set of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize our level of quality and minimize the potential for human error. We only allow certified crematory operators to operate our cremation equipment.

Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or the cremated remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not selected, the cremated remains will be placed in plastic bag, then placed in a temporary container or a suitable vessel provided by the family.

Is a casket needed for cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. However a cremation container, which is made from cardboard, is required. This container is intended to avoid leakage or spillage and aids in the handling.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?
Absolutely not and it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.