The Culture and Practice of Cremation

Dia de los muertos alter.

Cremation of the human body has changed quite a bit over the years. With the practice originating in ancient times, it has continued to this day for a variety of reasons. As a result, the process is uniquely fascinating to many, especially in light of the numerous cultural beliefs surrounding this method of after death care. The following serves to illustrate just how far the act of cremation has come, as well as shedding light on its more practical uses.

Cremation in Ancient Times

Ancient cremation was often used as a means of honoring those having showed extreme bravery on the battlefield, as well as those possessing high positions within ancient governments. For instance, Roman emperors were subject to majestic rituals upon their death, including a release of eagles above funeral pyres as homage to the passage of the soul into the afterlife. Cremation is even referenced in classic works, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Cremation Today

While cremation fell out of favor due to prevailing religious beliefs, it experienced resurgence during the nineteenth century. This was the result of over-crowded cities, which often entailed less burial space for the deceased. This led to an advancement of the science surrounding cremation, with many in academia professing a keen interest in the subject. These days, cremation is rapidly becoming a preferred method for many, thanks to a shifting of cultural attitudes and a preference against traditional burial rituals among younger generations.

When Cremation Is Mandatory

Cremation can be mandatory in some cases for health and safety reasons. Examples include times of war, when families and authorities may be overwhelmed or taxed beyond their capacity to handle the high number of deceased, as well as in situations where disease and illness are widespread. In 2014, doctors handling Ebola victims in Africa routinely cremated the bodies in order to prevent the spread of the dangerous disease. The handling of dead bodies during burial procedures can be risky to those tasked with the chore, particularly in areas contending with less than ideal sanitary conditions. In the US, only licensed professionals are allowed to prepare the dead for burial or cremation. In many cases, crime scene cleaners such as Aftermath technicians and other Death Care professionals employ similar methods to protect themselves during the cleanup or body preparation process, including the use of PPE and other safety techniques.

When Death Occurs Within the Home

funeralThe above illustrates the importance of proper disposal of dead bodies. In situations where a death occurs within the home, death cleanup is crucial to maintain the health and well-being of inhabitants. Even in natural deaths, the aftereffects can leave behind problematic elements for the family to contend with, including blood and bio. Fortunately, Aftermath provides an abundance of cleaning services capable of returning your home to its former state. For unattended death cleanup, or in cases involving communicable disease cleanup or other trauma cleaning, call us at 877-872-4339 for immediate assistance.