In the not too distant past, people considered cremation distasteful. Focused on financial savings alone, cremation represented an obscure choice of people without the luxury of choice. Those days are gone.
Today, the national rate of cremation is increasing steadily, from 26.2 percent in 2000 to 47 percent in 2014 and 48.6 percent in 2015. In fact, if the trend continues, the National Cremation Association predicts that cremations will surpass burials by the year 2020. And the Funeral Directors Association believes that, by the year 2030, 70.6% of final dispositions will be cremations.
History of Cremation
In 1969, archaeologists found the 20,000-year-old remains of a partly cremated body near Lake Mungo in Australia. These ashes are now considered among the world’s oldest known cremations. This 1969 finding shows that cremation, as well as complex burial rituals, might have existed in early human societies.
Only two documented instances of cremation exist in the United States prior to 1800. Early crematory openings in the 1800’s were influenced by Protestant clergy and doctors who wanted to reform burial practices. One reason was concern about health conditions in and around early cemeteries. Crematories soon sprang up in Buffalo, New York, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit and Los Angeles. By 1900, 20 crematories were in operation, and in 1913, there were 52 crematories in North America, with over 10,000 cremations taking place in that year.
Today, loved ones choose cremation for a variety of reasons:
Services including full body burial or sprinkling ashes at sea are now available through many reputable funeral homes, including Foothill Funeral & Cremation (FFC) in Glendora, California. FFC also offers full body burials at sea. Arguably the greatest impact of burial is relative to land use. If everyone opted to be buried in their own plot of land, we could not keep up with land use requirements. Green cremation choices at FFC include bio and natural salt urns.
Cremation was popular throughout Greece and Rome between 1000 B.C. and 395 A.D. because slain warriors on the battlefield posed a health risk. But the rise of Christianity saw a sharp decrease in the practice, as early Christians considered cremation pagan. At the time, traditional sepulcher entombment remained the preference of Jewish cultures. By 400 A.D., burial replaced cremation except in rare times of plague and war.
While funeral directors used to direct people toward embalming and burial, today’s funeral professional, such as the staff at Foothill Funeral & Cremation, works with loved ones to make sure that they feel comfortable with the very personal choice of whether to bury or cremate a loved one. Most funeral homes now offer the option of burying ashes. Many find this comforting, since it provides a place to go to mourn or communicate with loved ones who have passed, without the necessity of storing the cremated remains, also known as “cremains.”
Cremation is the most economical choice for handling a loved one’s remains. Foothill Funeral & Cremation offers a plethora of cremation choices, which are as individualized as a person’s life. Minimal plastic urns, which are required for releasing cremated remains to the public, are just $25. And direct cremation starts at $995.
Foothill Funeral & Cremation is centrally located at 402 West Baseline in Glendora. We proudly serve the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Basin, Orange County and the Inland Empire. With 21 years of experience in the industry, we work hard to build a reputation of quality, sincerity and trust. Please let us help you at your time of need or in the future. Call today (626) 335-0615 or drop by our showroom.