Cremation Services

Cremation is the process of reducing the body to bone fragments with intense heat. It is done at a temperature of approximately 1600 degrees Fahrenheit and takes about 2 to 3 hours. After cremation, the bone fragments are allowed to cool before being processed and placed in a temporary packaging container or an urn. The amount of cremated remains left after cremation is approximately 3 to 8 pounds for and average sized adult.

There are 3 basic requirements by the State of Maine that must be met prior to cremation:

  • A 48 hour period must elapse after death and prior to cremation
  • The body must be placed in a 'suitable' container that is combustible and easily handled and that ensures the body is completely covered for dignity and sanitary purposes
  • Required documentation of death has been issued, completed and filed as with any death in the State of Maine

After cremation, the cremated remains may be buried, scattered or kept in a significant place. Cremation is nothing more than a means of disposition where optional services or ceremonies may be arranged prior to or following cremation. Some believe that cremation limits your service options, but it actually provides more options. It is entirely possible and very common to have a viewing/visitation and ceremony prior to cremation just as it is with burial.


"Do I need to purchase a casket if I'm cremated?"

Caskets are usually purchased when a viewing or visitation is held prior to burial. For those families choosing cremation but still wishing to have a visitation may purchase a wood casket, a cremation oriented casket, or may use a cremation 'rental' casket. The cremation oriented caskets are nearly 100% combustible and are significantly less expensive than solid hardwood caskets. The cremation 'rental' casket is an option that allows a family to have services with viewing prior to creamtion without having to purchase a casket. A nominal fee is charged for its use and availability.

"Do I need to be embalmed if I'm going to be cremated?"

Embalming is usually required when there will be a service with viewing or visitation, an extended period prior to disposition or when shipping over a long distance. There is no law that requires embalming.

There is no funeral home in the State of Maine that has an on-site crematory. A crematory, as required by law, must be within the grounds of a cemetery and must be operated by crematory personnel. Funeral homes and cremation services that offer cremation services subcontract with their local crematory. There are currently 5 crematories operating in the State of Maine (2 in the Portland area, 1 each in Auburn, Bangor and Presque Isle). For more information on cremation, visit the website of Mt. Hope Cemetery and Crematory at Mt. Hope provides cremation services to all the funeral homes serving the greater Bangor area, southern Penobscot, Hancock and Washington Counties and the mid coastal regions.