person handing urn to another person

Cremation Services & Options

Cremation has been performed by many different civilizations throughout history. In the last few decades, cremation has become more common in this country, and funeral service providers have become increasingly attentive to the need for cremation options. The most common types of cremation arrangements are listed below.


Traditional Chapel or Church Service followed by Cremation


When cremation became more common in the last quarter of the prior century, cremation was often erroneously thought of as being synonymous with direct disposition, meaning without services or viewing.


In reality, the greatest increase in the type of arrangements made has been among families desiring traditional services and visitation, followed by cremation. This is made feasible through the use of ceremonial or ‘rental’ caskets, which are used for the service or viewing only.


With the use of a rental casket, traditional services can be held at either the mortuary chapel or the family’s church, and with either an open or closed casket. Religious beliefs, ethnic customs, and personal preference will determine what type of service would be most appropriate.


Memorial Service


A memorial service is a funeral without the body present. If cremation is involved, the family may choose to have the cremated remains present, but this is a personal choice. A memorial service can be held in our chapel, the church of your choice, or any other location that would be meaningful to you. Some settings, like a park, the beach, or in the mountains, which would be impractical for a traditional funeral, make ideal locations for memorial services.Since a casket is not present at a memorial service, photographs, flowers, or personal mementos reflective of the decedent are usually arranged as the focal point of the service.


In addition to our traditional chapel, we also provide our Fellowship Hall for services. This is a less formal chapel, with an adjacent reception room for family and friends to enjoy refreshments during their time of sharing. This is an ideal setting for services of this type.




Although a visitation or viewing is usually held in addition to some type of service, some families desire a visitation followed by cremation. This would be appropriate when no services are desired, but the family would still like to have an opportunity to view the decedent, and to visit with relatives and friends. A visitation can be held for the family only, or be open to the public.


Direct Cremation


There is no requirement that any type of service be held prior to cremation. Some families choose to have a direct cremation, meaning that the body is cremated once the necessary legal documents have been completed. There is no viewing or service prior to the cremation.


Disposition of Cremation Remains


Cremation affords a variety of options for the final disposition of the cremated remains. The family may take possession of the cremated remains, or the mortuary can deliver or ship the cremated remains to a cemetery or other location. The most common forms of disposition are as follows:

  • Retention by the family at home
  • Burial in a cemetery ground space (either individually or with previously interred family members)
  • Placement in an above-ground cemetery niche (called a columbarium)
  • Scattering at sea (either by the mortuary or by the family)
  • Scattering over land (on property owned by the person performing the scattering, or with the permission of the property owner)
  • Placement in a cemetery scattering garden (availability varies by cemetery)

Hilgenfeld Mortuary offers a variety of cremation service options to meet every family’s needs. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding our cremation services.