Cremation as Preparation for Memorialization--Cremation Is Not the End...It's Preparation for Memorialization
Each year on Memorial Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada, thousands of individuals travel to local cemeteries and memorial parks to pay their respects to departed family members and friends. This annual event, originally established to honor our war dead, signals the time for taking plants to gravesites, placing flowers in columbarium vases, and meditating in churches and chapels.
Visits to final resting places, however, aren't limited to just this one day. Throughout the year, people remember those who are no longer with them by going to the areas where special memories have been established.
Remembering those who have died isn't a modern-day phenomenon. Thousands of years ago, when the funeral pyre and the "sacred flame" were used, survivors fashioned beautiful urns to hold the cherished remains from what they termed the "purifying fire."
Today, cremation has advanced from the crude funeral pyre to modern scientific methods. It's only in the handling of those "cherished remains" that we link up to the past. We recognize, as did those individuals long ago, the importance of memorialization.
This information was updated September, 2000.