Cremation Services

Cremation services offer a wide variety of choices. The first decision to be made is to have the body present for calling hours and funeral services or to have the cremation occur first and then have the cremated remains available for calling hours and memorial services. Once this is determined, then other selections will follow, such as the choice of a casket, urn or possibly both, when and where will the services occur, do I need photos, clothing or a cemetery plot. We will help you through the process of making these selections, in a manner that respects your wishes. 

By having the body present for public calling hours and/or funeral services with an open casket, the person would have to be embalmed. With proper embalming, the appearance of the deceased would be enhanced through proper distribution of the embalming fluid, slight restorative art and the application of cosmetics. Usually the result from the time of death to the point of which the funeral directors work is complete, is almost a complete transformation that has positive results.Our goal is to present a peaceful, natural appearance of the deceased. By doing so, this would allow time for family and friends to pay their final respects to the deceased prior to the cremation. A casket would need to be purchased or rented for the services.

If you choose not to have the body present for the calling hours and/or the funeral services, we can accomplish this as well. You have the choice of no viewing and to have the person cremated. After the cremation you are welcome to have calling hours and/or memorial services. We can also give immediate family members a private viewing prior to the cremation, usually at no additional charge.We at Michael E. Brown Funeral Services believe that an integral part of the grieving process begins with the viewing of the deceased. While this may be difficult and is to be decided by the family, we will use our years of experience to provide a peaceful moment for family members to say "goodbye" in the comfort of our facility. Most often there is no additional fee for this service it is encouraged but not required. In certain cases, this service may not be available or may require additional fees.

With your permission, this service includes the following:

  • Bathing and Topical disinfection
  • Dressing your loved one
  • Closing of the eyes and mouth to present a peaceful appearance
  • Combing of the hair
  • Gently placing your loved on in the cremation container of your choice
  • 30 minute visitation for family in our chapel

All of our cremation services utilize a Universal Identification System. This is a metal band placed around the ankle of the decedent and can not be removed until the cremation process is complete. These metal bands are individually numbered and we document the number before transporting the person to the crematory. After the cremation, we verify the number to ensure that we have the proper cremated remains and provide the family with a copy of the document.

If you choose to utilize the private viewing, please keep in mind the following:

  • Your loved one is not embalmed and this is a private event
  • Articles of clothing used to dress your loved one will not be returned
  • The private viewing ensures that the proper person is being cremated
  • The private viewing isn't meant to take the place of formal calling hours and funeral services. It is a complimentary service we offer to families for a chance to say "goodbye" when memorial services are selected without the body present.
  • In certain circumstances, due to the condition of the deceased, this service is not available. In cases where an autopsy has been performed or traumatic injuries have occurred, additional fee's would apply.

Cremation is an alternative to the burial process and it is chosen by many people because of religious beliefs, the desire to preserve the environment or it was requested by the person who died.  Cremation is also a less expensive option in comparison to a burial and is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial or other forms of disposition.

Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it.  The Catholic Church had banned cremation up until 1963, while they prefer the body to be present for the Mass of Christian Burial, they will allow cremated remains. The Catholic Church also prefer's the cremated remains to be buried in a cemetery.  In other Christian denominations cremation was historically discouraged but nowadays it is more widely accepted.  In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism cremation is mandated, while in Islam it is strictly forbidden.  Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option. 


Cremation FAQ

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.  

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

No, a casket is not required for an immediate cremation. New York State requires an alternative container constructed of wood and/or cardboard to be used.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No.  In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.

Can I have calling hours and funeral services with an open casket and then have the person cremated?

Yes you can. The deceased can be embalmed, dressed, placed in a casket and cosmetized for calling hours and funeral services. This allows for family and friends to pay their respects and have one last chance to see their loved one before the cremation.  

Would a casket need to be purchased or could one be rented for the calling hours and funeral services?

At Michael E. Brown Funeral Services we offer both. Most families choose to rent a casket when there are calling hours and funeral services with cremation to follow. Our charge for the rental casket is $895 and includes the cremation insert.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, we will allow for a private family only viewing of the deceased prior to cremation.

Can an urn be brought into church?

Nearly all Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service.  Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass.  It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

While laws vary state by state, for the most part cremated remains can be buried in a cemetery or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium or kept at home.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

As listed above, we use a Universal Identification System to properly track and record that we have received the proper cremated remains. Most funeral homes do not have a system for this and strictly rely on the crematorium tracking disk. While we trust the crematoriums that we work with, there is always room for human error and we want to eliminate that risk.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It all depends on the weight of the individual.  For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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 sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.

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.

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 if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery.  If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container. We offer an on-site selection of urns that are constructed of wood, metal, marble and hand crafted ceramic. Most of our urns can be personalized with engraving.

At Michael E. Brown Funeral Services we offer Legacy Touch Keepsakes. With your permission, we can scan your loved ones fingerprints, give you a I.D. number and you can go online to www.LTkeepsakes.com and view jewelry with your loved ones name, date of birth, date of death and their fingerprint to be engraved. You can make the purchase in the convenience of your own home and for $10 per item it can be delivered the next day. These one of a kind, personalized keepsakes can be ordered at any time and make great gifts that would be treasured for years.