What happens at a cremation?

Written By

Paul Fisher

Using knowledge gained from over 15 years of direct experience from within the funeral industry and from his formative years watching and learning from his grandfather who was also a funeral director, Paul Fisher answers some of the most frequestly asked questions posed to him and the team. If you have a question you would like to ask you can contact us here, send us a tweet @_ivanfisher or call us direct.

In many respects this depends on the structure the funeral will take.  Many cremation funerals begin with a service be it religious or otherwise.  This can either be held in a church, chapel or other venue separate from the crematorium, or in the crematorium chapel itself.

If you are making your own way to the funeral it is important to allow plenty of time as the crematorium have to keep to the time allocated.  If you have concerns about arriving on time you may wish to consider travelling in one of our limousines.

Traditionally the close family members will follow behind the coffin into the chapel, but like much of the funeral,it is entirely your choice.  At the appropriate time in the service the committal will take place.  Depending on which crematorium you have chosen, the coffin will either descend from sight or will be concealed by a curtain closing.

What Happens at a cremation

Alternatively, if you prefer, the coffin can remain on view.  The coffin does not enter the cremator straight away but usually within about half an hour of the service (depending on the crematorium chosen).

Each cremation is carried out individually and according to strict regulations.  The fear that you may not get the right ashes returned to you is unfounded, thorough procedures mean that the right ashes can always be identified.

At the close of the service the funeral director will lead you out of the chapel to where the floral tributes have been placed.  You will then have the opportunity to meet other relatives and friends before going home or to a venue for refreshments.

For more information about what happens at a cremation or if you have a question about customs at a particular venue, please contact one of our team.


As funeral directors, we are regulary asked lots of questions about our profession. We are very happy to answer any questions you might have and no matter how strange they may seem, it’s very likely that we’ve been asked it before! Fill in the form below with your question and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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