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History of Cremation

In the ancient world cremation took place on an open pyre and it was practiced by the Greeks (who considered it suitable for heroes and war dead), Romans (among whom it became a status symbol) and pagan Scandinavians. Cremation was also an ancient custom in India and some Asian countries.

With the strong Christianity movement cremation was considered pagan and burials became the traditional custom of disposing of the deceased, except in extreme situations such as the plague.

Cremation as we know it was started in the late 19th century when Professor Brunetti of Italy finally perfected a dependable chamber and displayed it at the 1873 Vienna Exposition.

The first crematories in Europe were built in 1878 in Woking, England and Gotha, Germany while the first North American crematories were opened in 1876 in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Today, cremation rates are on the rise, countries such as Japan have a 97% cremation rate; Great Britain has a cremation rate over 70%, Scandinavia 65%, Canada has a rate of approximately 55% with the USA at 29%.

The reasons for choosing cremation vary; for some it is a personal decision made before their passing, for others it is environmental concerns, beliefs or cost.

There are many ways to honor a life lived and cremation can be accompanied by a traditional funeral or memorial. Cremated remains most commonly are scattered in a place held dear to the deceased and/or family, buried in a cemetery plot, placed in columbarium or placed in an urn and kept within the family. This decision is a personal and important one as families want to place their loved one to rest and still have the opportunity to have a formal place of memorialization.

With this in mind Pacific Urns has created a line of Cremation Jewelry Urns that are a beautiful and intimate way to pay tribute to a life lived.

We have included some links that hold more information on cremation and the statistics surrounding cremation.

Cremation Association of North America

Cremation Association of North America is an International organization of members that believes that cremation is preparation for Memorialization.

Cremation Society of Great Britain

A great source of information regarding all aspects of cremation.


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