Cremation is becoming more popular and is expected to increase even more so over the next decade.  At Southern Memorial Funeral Home, our families have numerous options available when choosing cremation services.  Our crematory is located on-site which offers assurance to our families that their loved one remains in our care throughout the entire process.   We have a selection of urns available in our showroom and also provide a catalogue featuring a larger selection.  Keepsake urns and keepsake jewelry are also available through our catalogues.  Most urns can have engraving added and the urn usually arrives at our facility within 2 days.  Our staff will be happy to assist you with your selection or to answer any questions.  Please feel free to stop by or to request a catalogue.

-On-site Cremations

-Memorial Services

-Prearrangement Services

Cremation can be traced back to around 3000B.C.  Itís a practice that has been around for many years and performed in many countries.  The popularity of cremation has increased significantly over the years and is projected to continue in growth. The process of cremation is a very simple one.  Cremation is simply the reducing of the body to bone fragments through the application of intense heat.  The deceased is placed into an acceptable container which provides protection, dignity and respect.  An identification tag is immediately placed with the deceased and stays with it during the entire process. The container is then placed into the cremation chamber and the body is reduced to its basic elements through heat
and evaporation.  The cremains are then placed into a temporary container or urn.

There are numerous services available for the family to choose from when dealing with cremation:

      Basic Cremation

      Cremation with Memorial Service

  • Cremains may be present or not
  • May take place before or after cremation
  • Service can be at funeral home, church, temple, etc.
  • Funeral directors may or may not be requested
  • Visitation 1-2 hrs prior to the service
      Cremation with Visitation
  • Visitation the night prior to the service
  • Cremains may be present or not
  • Memorial Service the next day
  • Service can be at funeral home, church, temple, etc.
  • Funeral directors may or may not be requested
      Traditional Service with Cremation
  • Visitation the  night prior to service
  • Open or closed casket
  • Traditional service the next day at funeral home, church, temple, etc.
  • Cremation takes place following the service
If a family wishes not to have a visitation, there can be a brief viewing for identification.  Only immediate family may view
the deceased if embalming has not been requested.

Caskets may be purchased by the family or use of the funeral homeís rental casket may be requested for a fee and used during visitations and/or traditional services.  The funeral director can answer any questions relating to this service.

Numerous urns are available for purchase.  The urn selection includes a scattering series for cremains that will be scattered. Also, urns are available in single or double occupancy.  Engraving is available and usually the urn will be received by the funeral home within 48hrs from ordering.  Keepsake urns and keepsake jewelry may also be ordered.

Every cremation includes a signed Cremation certificate showing the deceasedís name, date of death, date of cremation and identification number.  The crematory specialist signs the certificate and places the official crematory seal imprint
on each individual certificate.

Memorial packages and monuments are available for purchase.

Prearrangements are available for cremations.

Cremation FAQíS

How is a cremation service different from a traditional service?  It isnít or doesnít have to be any different.  The formality of which it is handled is based on the wishes of the family.  Memorial services usually are held after the cremation.  However, the family may also choose to have an alternate service.

Are caskets required?  Caskets are not required but the body is placed in an acceptable cremation container for respect and dignity.

What is the timeframe of a cremation?  Under Alabama state law, there is a 24 hour waiting period from the time of death before a cremation may take place.  After which, most funeral homes advise 24-48 hours before the cremains are ready.

Who has to sign the cremation authorization?  If a spouse exists then the spouse must sign the authorization.  If there is no spouse, then all blood related children must sign the authorization in agreement.  If no spouse or children exist then parents or next of kin have the right to sign.

What if some of the necessary family is out of state, etc.?  The authorizations can be faxed and the necessary person(s) must sign in front of a licensed notary.

How are your cremations controlled for identification?  Every deceased receives an id medal when they first arrive at our facility for cremation.  This id medal stays with the deceased throughout the entire process and is kept with the cremains.

How much of the deceased is left afterwards?  Depending on the size of the person, cremains usually weigh anywhere from 3-10 pounds.

What do most families do with the cremains?  Some choose to bury the cremains traditionally or by entombment, others choose to scatter the cremains or place the urn in a special location in their home, etc.

How does the cost of cremation compare to traditional burial?  Cremation usually is less expensive than traditional burial depending on the type of service selected by the family.

Does embalming have to take place?  Not if there wonít be an open visitation.  If the family selects a basic cremation or a closed casket visitation then embalming isnít necessary.

Is cremation becoming more popular?  Cremations have increased over the past 10 years.  Over the next 5 years, the industry projects that there will be a 20-25% increase.