1What is Cremation?
Cremation is an alternative to traditional burial. It is a process that uses heat to reduce human remains to small fragments, often referred to as ashes.
2How Does the Cremation Process Work?
Harmonia Gatineau’s process of cremation is strictly controlled to ensure the dignity of each individual. First, the identity of the deceased, cremation date and other vital details are recorded in registries according to legal requirements. Next, the casket or container is placed in a cremation chamber, where the temperature is raised to approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit until all organic matter is consumed by heat or evaporation leaving behind only bone fragments, known as cremated remains. Finally, the cremated remains are carefully removed from the chamber and processed into fine particles, often referred to as ashes, before being placed into the container or urn selected by the family. The whole process takes about three hours.
3Why Choose Cremation?
People may choose cremation for many different reasons. For some, the decision is a financial one. Cremation typically costs 50% to 60% less than a traditional funeral. Harmonia Gatineau prices start at $1,800. Others may choose cremation because it eliminates the need to make immediate decisions after a death. A memorial service may be planned up to one year after cremation allowing time for a fitting tribute to be created and ensuring all loved ones can attend. Finally, some people find cremation more ecologically friendly as it allows space on earth to be used by the living.
4How Popular is Cremation?
In 2012, the cremation rate in Quebec was approximately 70%, compared with just 2% in 1963 (the year when the Catholic Church’s ban was removed by Pope Paul VI.) Today, over 80% of those making funeral prearrangements opt for cremation compared to other methods.
5Can a Cremation Funeral Be Personalized?
There are endless ways to personalize a cremation funeral. At Harmonia Gatineau, we offer many opportunities to honour the unique life being celebrated. If loved ones choose to gather in the presence of the urn, the location and atmosphere of this event are totally customizable. It could take place in a house of worship, a culturally significant venue such as a museum or historic site, or even on private property. The speakers, decor and symbols can also be specially selected to represent the person being honoured. Other elements of a cremation funeral that can be personalized include the urn, the final placement of cremated remains and the type of memorial.
6Does Choosing Cremation Mean No Visitation?
Of course not. At Harmonia Gatineau, no one goes to their final resting place in solitude. We know that some people may feel remorse if they cannot view a loved one after his or her death. We can prepare the body for viewing at the crematorium, providing a final opportunity for those who wish to say their goodbyes then to do so. Unlike traditional funeral home visitations, it is a private gathering, exclusively for family and close friends who are invited to attend.
7Is a Casket Required for Cremation?
The only requirement for cremation is an enclosed, rigid container made of a combustible material. A simple wood or cardboard container can be purchased for a fraction of the price of a more traditional casket. The choice depends on personal preference. Harmonia Gatineau offers a variety of caskets to suit all needs.
8What Can I Do with My Loved One's Ashes?
Choosing a final resting place for cremated remains is important for both the deceased and the bereaved. Harmonia Gatineau offers several options for interment including cemeteries, cinerary parks and columbariums. Selecting one of these permanent spaces for your loved one’s urn makes it possible to continue the tradition of visiting the departed and will allow future generations to do the same. Other possibilities include scattering ashes, or using them for a memorial diamond.
9How Can I Express My Wishes for Cremation?
You can make your wishes for cremation known by completing a cremation will. This written document does not require a financial commitment and allows you to record your preferences. Please call 819-663-8383 to request a cremation will.
10How Much Does Cremation Cost?
Typically, cremation costs 50% to 60% less than a traditional funeral. Harmonia Gatineau’s prices start at $1,800 for a direct cremation. Additional personalization options are available. Your Harmonia counsellor can work with you to create a package that suits your needs and budget. Please click here to view a detailed pricing list.
11What is the Funeral Co-op?
Learn more about the funeral co-op here.