You may be curious as to what will happen to the body of a loved one during the cremation process. We at Arlington Cremation Services want to explain what happens in the cremation process and how it works with dignity.

The Concept of Cremation

Cremation is about reducing the body to its bare essential elements. The body is exposed to open flames and intense heat. The process reduces the body to a series of bone fragments or ashes.

Identification of the Body

The cremation process starts by identifying the body of the person who will be cremated. A family member must confirm the identity. An identification tag is then placed on the body. The tag will remain with that body to ensure it is the correct one for the process.


Proper authorization is necessary for ensuring the cremation can go forward. A death certificate is needed, and the person who is legally allowed to make the final arrangements for the deceased’s body will complete the paperwork that enables the process to continue. The paperwork can include details on the container the crematory will use and who will pick up the deceased person’s remains.

The terms for who can make these arrangements and pick up the remains will vary by case. The deceased person’s final will may list details on what can work here.

Preparation of the Body

The body is then prepared for the cremation effort:

  • The body is cleaned and bathed.
  • The body is also embalmed by request, particularly for cases where public viewing is desired.
  • A professional will remove all medical devices and prosthetics to prevent reactions in the cremation process.
  • Jewelry may be recovered from the person’s body if desired.

Moving the Body To a Container

The body will move to a container for cremation purposes. Most cremation caskets are made of wood, as it is combustible.

Entering the Cremation Chamber

The body will enter a cremation chamber. The body is exposed to temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for about two hours on average.

Managing the Remains

The remains will then go through a few final steps:

  • The remains must cool off after the cremation process.
  • A magnet will go over the remains to remove metal items. The metal will go to a recycling plant.
  • A processor will grind any solid fragments left.
  • The ashes will enter a plastic bag, which then enters an urn or other container.
  • The urn then goes to the designated person who will collect the ashes.

Talk with us at Arlington Cremation Services if you have further concerns about how the cremation process works.