Do They Burn the Casket During Cremation? The Answer

It is not common to discuss the cremation process, so there may be many questions left unanswered. This leaves many people wondering what actually happens during the cremation process and whether or not they burn the casket along with their loved one. 

They burn the casket during the cremation process. Manufacturers design caskets without combustible parts to prevent incidents during the cremation process, so funeral directors cremate the deceased while still inside the casket. 

I will be talking more about the cremation process and answer some questions you may have about it.

Why Do They Burn the Casket During the Cremation Process?

It may be a difficult subject, but understanding the cremation process is helpful to know. You can be assured that the deceased will be shown the proper respect if you know how it is done.

They burn the casket during the cremation process in order to keep their body protected during transportation and cremation. The casket protects the associates who handle the body of your loved one. 

Not many people are familiar with the cremation process. It is common for there to be some misunderstandings when it comes to the process. So, let’s talk about why funeral homes burn bodies inside of a casket. 

Protecting Staff

First, funeral homes will keep bodies stored inside of caskets to protect staff. Staff are at a high risk of Tuberculosis and some other diseases that can spread even after death. These risks should be enough to consider the employees’ health and wellbeing while dealing with bodies. 

To help mitigate the risks of handling dead bodies, the employees don’t handle the bodies after the funeral service. After the service, funeral directors will close the casket, ensure it is clearly labeled, and send it off for cremation. 

This allows the many people who come in contact with the body to protect themselves from diseases like Tuberculosis. Consider the safety of the staff if you are wondering why they cremate the body in a casket. 

The Dignity of the Deceased

Another reason that funeral homes cremate bodies in a casket is to maintain the deceased’s dignity. Keeping the deceased safely inside of a sealed casket allows staff to always handle them with dignity and respect. 

Think about it, do you want your loved one carried in someone’s arms or over their shoulder throughout the cremation process? Or is it better to think of staff carrying your loved one safely in a casket? Most would agree that the most respectable way to handle a body is inside of a sealed casket. 

Sealing your loved one inside of a casket ensures that there won’t be any accidents during transportation. Your loved one will stay untouched in the casket throughout transportation and during the cremation process to protect their dignity and ensure the staff treats them with the maximum respect. 

Caskets Don’t Leave Much Behind

Manufacturers design caskets so as not to leave much behind during the cremation process. This means that what you receive in your urn is only the ashes of your loved one and not the casket. 

It is reasonable for funeral homes to use caskets during the cremation process as they don’t leave much behind. The ashes you receive are broken down bone fragments from your loved one, as this is the only part that remains after cremation. Only metal pieces will survive the cremation process, and funeral home employees remove these with magnets. 

A wooden coffin in a contemporary crematory. Funeral service.

Staff will burn the casket along with your loved one. This means that they will burn anything you have placed inside the casket with your loved one as well. So, funeral homes will normally ask you to remove anything you want to keep after the service is complete. 

Alternatively, you can have the funeral home employees remove anything you want to keep, like clothing, jewelry, and other things you may not want to remove yourself. This is particularly common with wedding rings and other meaningful jewelry. Families may choose to have the deceased wear the jewelry during the service and remove it before cremation. 

Are There Rules for Clothing and Jewelry During Cremation?

During cremation, the rules for clothes and jewelry involve removing anything that cremation won’t break down. While most clothes are fine, it is important to consider jewelry and non-flammable material. 

The exact rules for cremation will vary for each funeral home. Make sure you ask the funeral director for their specific guidelines, but let’s go over what you can expect during the process. 

First, it is important to remove any clothing or jewelry that you want to keep before the cremation. Most funeral homes will assume that they can cremate anything in the casket. So, make sure you mention anything you want removed from the deceased before cremation. 

Typically, the funeral home will perform the cremation and separate anything left over other than fragmented bone. Staff will throw away small fragments that aren’t bone, but some funeral homes donate the larger pieces to places that recycle scraps into medical equipment

Ask for Any Jewelry or Clothing Before Cremation

You can ask the funeral home to save you anything from the casket or your loved one before they send your loved one for cremation. So, it is important to consider this after the funeral service. You will want their friends and family to see them at their best during the service. So, it is common for the deceased to wear jewelry and nice clothing. 

Don’t be afraid to dress them how they would normally dress, including wedding rings and nice clothes. Remember that you will need to ask for the funeral home to return these after the service. If you decide to keep their clothing, the funeral home can wrap them in a sheet before cremation, since your loved one does not need to wear clothing for the cremation process. 

There are certain things that they remove from bodies before cremation by default. Funeral home employees will remove pacemakers, implants, and other medical devices to prevent accidents. These devices could cause explosions that could harm the staff or cremation area. 

Other than the mandatory items, what else they remove during cremation is up to you. Some families prefer to keep the clothing of the deceased, while others allow it to burn with them. Just make sure you decide before the cremation occurs because it is too late to change your mind once it happens. 

How Does the Cremation Process Work?

The cremation process works by placing the casket into the cremation chamber, reaching about 1600 °F (871 °C) for about three hours. From there, the staff will further break down the bone fragments and return them to their family. 

Let’s break down this process in more detail. 

  1. They will place the casket inside of the cremation chamber. Keep in mind that crematoriums do require the body to be inside of a container of some sort. Crematoriums will require you to purchase some sort of container, even if you rented or do not have a casket. Additionally, morticians perform cremations individually, so there is no way that your loved one’s ashes will mix with another person’s. 
  2. Once they place your loved one into the cremation chamber, they ensure that no contamination occurs. This prevents any mixups when it comes to the cremation process. 
  3. The body and container reach about 1600 °F (871 °C) for about three hours during the process. Most of the casket will not turn to ash. So, it is easy to separate the materials after the cremation is complete. 

After the Cremation

  1. Once the process is complete, the fragments will be left to cool before being handled. After allowing the fragments to cool, the mortician will then continue to process them as they are not yet small enough. 
  2. The mortician will remove any fragments that aren’t bone and either dispose of them or donate them. Morticians will go through the remains with a magnet, attracting any leftover pieces of metal for disposal or recycling. 
  3. Then, they will take the remaining bone fragments and grind them to the consistency of ash. From start to finish, the process takes about five hours to complete. Once it is finished, the morticians will provide you with the ashes of your loved one without anything extra. 

You don’t have to worry about carrying around parts of the casket along with them. You can expect the ashes to weigh anywhere from three to seven pounds when you receive them. 

What To Do With Ashes After Cremation?

After cremation, you can keep the ashes in an urn, share them with family, make jewelry, or spread the ashes. Your loved one may specify what they want. However, if they don’t specify before they pass, then there are plenty of options to consider. 

Let’s get into more detail about the options for ashes after cremation. 


After cremation, it is common for families to choose to bury the ashes of their loved one. This is particularly common for families who have already purchased burial plots or want to lay their loved one to rest near other deceased family members. 

While cemeteries will allow you to bury cremated remains, they may require a more secure container for the ashes. You may need to purchase another container if they require it. 

Keeping Ashes at Home

This is another common method for cremated family members. Some people choose to store the remains in their homes to keep loved ones close. It is also common to split the ashes into multiple containers, which will allow multiple family members to have part of the deceased in their home. 

Make sure you have a proper place to store the ashes without the risk of spilling them. Most urns do not fully seal unless you buy more expensive types. Keep your urn out of reach of children and pets that may accidentally knock them over, spilling the contents. 

If you know this is a big risk in your home, consider an urn that locks. This will prevent any accidents from happening when it comes to kids playing or pets being pets. If an urn with a lock is too expensive, you can also consider a locked cabinet for storing the urn to keep it safe. 

Keepsake Jewelry

You can use ashes for more than just storing or burying. Some people choose to have the ashes of their loved ones placed inside of jewelry. This only takes a small portion of the remains of your loved one and allows you to carry them with you wherever you go by placing them inside of jewelry. 

This is an excellent idea for you or a gift for a family member. Few people even know this is an option. It would make a great gift to always remind them of the deceased and allow them to have part of their loved one close by. 

Spread the Ashes

Sometimes your loved one may prefer to have their ashes spread. This is particularly common if the deceased was fond of a specific place. Some families choose to scatter the ashes of their loved one at their childhood home to allow them to rest there forever. 

Make sure you have the landowner’s permission if you wish to do this at a home. In public places, you can easily spread the ashes without much worry. Consider holding a mini ceremony there with close friends and family as you spread the ashes and say a final goodbye. 

If you choose this method, make sure that the area is open and watch out for wind that may carry the ashes further away than anticipated. Carefully choose the conditions and location as you can’t undo this. 

Final Thoughts

While the cremation process can be unfamiliar, we’re here to answer common questions about the process. The casket and everything in it will burn with your loved one during the cremation process. 

So, make sure you are clear with the mortician about any jewelry or clothing you want to keep. Otherwise, the mortician will burn these items and discard or recycle any scraps. 


Was this post helpful?

Useful? Save information for later by printing or sharing.

Alex Noel

Hi there! I'm Alex Noel and live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I started this website to share my experience. My goal is to provide Americans a more fulfilling goodbye.

Recent Posts

Table of Contents