When You are Cremated What Happens to the Coffin?


If it happens that you died and you choose to be cremated, what actually happens to the coffin? Does it get burned along with your body or is it reused by others?

The answer actually depends on the cultural tradition of a certain country or place that you follow. In most Western Countries, they burn the coffin along with the dead body. While in most Asian Countries, they directly burn the body without the coffin.

U.S. Cremation Tradition

In the United States, most casket manufacturers offers several coffins that are designed for cremation purposes. These coffins are made out of combustible materials particularly wood to ensure that everything gets burned on the cremation process.

On some States, the dead body is placed inside a container that is made out of corrugated cardboard box. During the Funeral Service, the container is inserted into a well designed traditional casket to make it look very presentable to the mourners. But once the service is done, the inserted box containing the dead body will be taken out from the traditional casket to be cremated.

There are actually some Funeral Homes that offers rentals of their available caskets. These are the types of caskets with traditional and presentable designs. And since they are rental caskets, they are designed with removable beds and liners. These beds and liners are the once that get's replaced after each use.

U.K's Cremation Tradition

UK have a strict policy when it comes to cremation of their dead. The dead body is actually cremated entirely along with the coffin. Thus, every coffins that undergoes cremation procedure must be closely examined.

Aside from the materials used in building the coffin (which must be made out of combustible materials), the dead body must not be wearing any metallic objects such as jewelries. It's because according to UK's Code of Cremation Practice, opening a coffin at the crematorium is highly prohibited.

Once the cremation process is complete, the burnt remains will pass through a magnetic field that picks up all of the unnecessary metals. These metals won't be given to the family but to be interred in the crematorium grounds or recycled. Only the ashes are given back to the family. Otherwise, the ashes will be scattered in the crematorium grounds.

Australia's Cremation Tradition

Just like in the UK and US, Australia follows the same tradition of cremating their dead along with their coffins. Today, there is a growing number of manufacturers offering cardboard coffins and particle-board coffins. Particle-board coffins (aka "chippie") are actually best recommended for those on a tight budget.

Japan's Cremation Tradition

The Japanese style of cremation is far different from the three countries mentioned above. But similarly, the Japanese also place their dead in a coffin during the funeral period. What makes their cremation procedure different is that, the coffin is placed on a tray in the crematorium. As the family get's to witness the entire process, they get a final glimpse of the body of their passed love once as it slides out from the coffin down into the cremation chamber to get burned into ashes. This scares most of the small children giving them psychological trauma throughout their entire lives.

Thailand and Other South East Asian Countries Cremation Tradition

In Thailand and some other South East Asian Countries, they actually follow the same tradition of cremating their dead. There's a lot of chanting involve particularly performed by the monks and elders. And of course, the dead is placed in a coffin.

When it comes to the cremation procedure, the coffin is placed on a pyre made of bricks. Then, after the final chanting of the monks, each people who came to mourn comes close to the coffin with their own lighted torches of candles, incense and fragrant woods tossing them right on the coffin. This is exactly how the cremation process takes place.

The coffin will continue to get burned until nothing is left but ashes. These ashes are then collected and stored in an urn for the family of the dead to keep.

Moreover, do you have a different form of tradition in cremating your dead? Is it the same as cremating them along with their coffins? Feel free to share them up on the Comment Form provided below.