What Are The Different Types of Cremation Services?

Memorial Cremations Funeral

When it comes time to honor the memory of our loved ones, family, and friends, the process can become overwhelming. A good way to limit the stress on yourself is to gather information and use it to make a decision about how to proceed with the cremation service.

There are three main types of cremations services:

  • Traditional Funeral Service (prior to the cremation)
  • Memorial Service (after the cremation)
  • Direct Cremation (no service)

What is a Traditional Funeral Service?

A traditional funeral service is where the deceased is made to be available for the family and friends to see in a viewing before the cremation.

Typically, this service will need to be within two or three days after the death. Oftentimes, a traditional funeral service is held at a religious facility, church, or funeral chapel. Sometimes, the deceased or the family may decide that a home or meaningful location can be used as the service location.

Due to the nature of having the deceased made to be viewed or seen by the public, the deceased must be embalmed in order for a traditional funeral service to make sense. Funeral professionals have been embalming the deceased for many years.

You can rest confident as each state or region will have its own governing body requiring specific licenses in order to embalm the deceased.

This is the process by which the deceased is treated to slow down the decomposition process. It also is very important to ensure the deceased does not have an overwhelming smell and ultimately creates the best possible experience for family and friends to honor and respect the deceased.

After the traditional funeral service is completed, the body will be transported to a crematory to begin the cremation process. When this process is complete, the crematory remains will be delivered to the family, buried, or scattered.

While the traditional funeral service is often a wonderful service type, it is quite costly. You have to consider the additional costs related to having the deceased embalmed and prepared for the viewing during the funeral service. Also, there will be additional transportation and logistics costs associated as well.

The traditional funeral service is widely considered the best (if possible) but the costs are certainly the most of the three types of cremation services. Please shop around in your specific city and region as costs are heavily related to the geography of the funeral. There are some important tips to consider with regards to cremation!

What is a Memorial Service?

The main difference between a traditional funeral service and a memorial service is when the body is cremated.

A memorial service occurs without the body, meaning the body has already been cremated.

In this scenario, the deceased will have been cremated within the first day or two after passing. But since the body was already cremated, the family has a lot of flexibility of when to gather friends and family in memory of the deceased. For this reason, a memorial service has a greater level of time flexibility versus the traditional funeral service.

Another benefit to opting for a memorial service is location flexibility. If the deceased were to have passed away in one state or region, it would be quite difficult and costly to bring the body to another state or region for the traditional funeral service. However, if the deceased body was already cremated and the remains were captured in an urn, the memorial service could easily be held nearly anywhere while still having the cremated remains present.

A memorial service could be held at a home, church, graveyard, or nearly anywhere since the deceased will have already been through the crematorium and safely stored in a hand-picked urn.

After the cremation and the memorial service, the cremated remains in the urn can be buried in a selected grave at a cemetery with a gravestone, placed in a cremation niche, or brought home to be with the family. All options are used depending upon the religion and beliefs of the family and each can have important benefits. For example, you may want to think seriously about where you may select your cemetery.

Do you have family buried somewhere else nearby? It would be incredibly helpful to ensure as much of the family is buried together so that visitors can visit all the deceased family members together.

With the memorial service option and with the body being cremated within the first day or two of passing, there will be no need for embalming. This will save in the cost of the service so be sure to consider this when you are asking for quotes from your local funeral homes and cremation services.

What is Direct Cremation?

Direction cremation is the most simple of the three cremation service types. This is largely considered the cheapest way to handle the passing of a loved one.

While the traditional funeral service and memorial service will have both a gathering and other logistics and preparation costs, the direct cremation service type is simply a cremation of the body. Of course, after the cremation, the cremated remains are returned to the family in an urn.

Direct cremation does not require that the body is embalmed but oftentimes, the funeral home director will go ahead with embalming while the family is deciding what to do. So if you want to ensure your deceased family member is not embalmed, be sure to let your wishes be known early to the funeral home director.

If the body is embalmed, this will certainly add costs to the process and may not even be needed depending upon what cremation service type you choose, especially if you chose the direction cremation or memorial service options.

This can be a great option for those on a budget. Nearly everyone is living on thin means and a budget of some type or another. There is no shame in opting for direct cremation.

Sometimes it may be the request of the deceased to not have a funeral service or a memorial service. Some people do not like having the spotlight on themselves and that is perfectly ok. Do not put any unneeded pressure on yourself if the family member that passed away would not want it that way.

Direct cremation will typically be the cheapest option of the three cremation service types. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t popular either. In fact, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, direct cremations accounted for nearly 37% of all cremations. Source If you happen to choose direction cremation, you are in good company.

Is a Cremation Service a Popular Option?

Cremation, in general, is becoming more and more popular and everyone has their own options of how best to handle the memories of their family and loved ones. Religion and traditions play a large part in the choice to use cremation or a direct burial.

Across much of the United States, cremation is quickly becoming the typical practice. By 2025, it is expected that the number of cremations will exceed a direct burial by more than double! As of 2018, in Canada, the percentage of cremations is nearly 70% while in the United States cremations are a little more than 50%.  Source

Cremation will continue to grow as a trend globally. Cremation growth is attributed to factors such as a reduced interest in religious beliefs and traditions and a general desire to be more frugal and simplistic.

Are People Doing More and More Cremations?

According to Google search data, in the United States and from 20o4 to today, 2018, the average consumer is searching for “cremation” two times more often. Source

In Canada, consumers searching for “cremation” are doing so are nearly a rate of two times in the last five years. Source Seemingly, Canada has generated an accelerated environment leaning towards cremation.

Globally, and not surprisingly, “cremation” is a very popular search on Google as well. Source The data would show the people around the world are thinking more and more about cremation.

Cremation funerals cost nearly half or a third as much as a burial funeral. So naturally, as the average consumer looks for ways to reduce costs and become more efficient, cremation becomes more important to everyone.


One great option to consider is cremation jewelry. You can have your loved one with you all the time. Some people do not like this but I personally believe this is a great option to consider.

Be Prepared

It really is important to do your homework ahead of time as much as possible. When a loved one passes away, there will be many items and checklists to handle. You do not want to be dealing with all of this at once. If you can prepare ahead of time, you will have much less stress and be able to make the best decisions possible.

However, we do not always have the luxury of being prepared.

Life happens are that is one of the reasons why Memorial Cremations was born. It is our goal to give you important information in a quick manner. For us, we didn’t have access to all the information quickly and it becomes a struggle to make the right decision.

It is our goal to arm you with all the different types of cremation service types and also as much information about cremation as possible so that you may be able to review with your family quickly and efficiently.

Sometimes being the most cost-effective is not the goal during the passing of a loved one but ensuring the memory and celebration of life is the best possible. We will do all in our power to be the resource to ensure you have the best experience given the challenge of losing a loved one.

Cremation Staff

We are a group of cremation and funeral professionals seeking to share our knowledge and help save you some time, some energy, and hopefully some money.

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