Cremation Services

Yonkers Funeral Home – Bryn Mawr Chapels, Inc. offers Cremation to Yonkers, Westchester, New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan) and Long Island.  We offer options to you at prices other funeral homes and online service providers do not while maintaining a level of care other providers charging less cannot begin to match.  We are available to speak with you right now.  Yonkers Funeral Home – Bryn Mawr Chapels will help you build an arrangement according to the wishes of your family and the person that has passed including any rituals or religious customs you may wish to follow.  Here you will find an introduction explaining the cremation process, and some answers to questions our customers frequently ask us when arranging cremation.

What is Cremation?

Cremation is a method of disposal of a dead human being.  Cremation involves placing the Deceased’s body into a chamber, commonly referred to as a retort.    The retort is then heated by a natural-gas driven flame,  and the internal temperature (usually 1500-1800 degrees F) causes the body to “self ignite”.  Human tissue and any materials used in the manufacturing of the casket or container containing the body are incinerated leaving only skeletal bone fragments. Modern cremation equipment is computer controlled, and environmentally friendly.  Crematories and their operating personnel are licensed by the appropriate State and Federal authorities.

How long does the cremation process take?

Cremation times vary according to body weight and type of casket or container used.  An average time for the cremation process is about four hours, including a “cool down” period of the retort.

What will I receive from the Crematory?

Following the completion of the cremation process and the subsequent “cool down” period, the contents of the retort are removed by the crematory staff and transferred to a processing station in the crematory work area.  At this point, certain non combustible items such as metallic surgical implants are separated and properly disposed of in accordance with the law.  The remaining bone fragments will be processed into finer particles and placed in a container, or cremation urn if a customer chooses to purchase one.  “Cremains” as the Funeral Industry refers to them as, will usually resemble a grey color with the consistence of coarse sand. The cremains will be available for pick up at the Funeral Home, Crematory or forwarded to you via a carrier such as the US Postal Service.

Once received, what can I do with the ashes?

Cremains (ashes) can be kept for safe keeping, buried in a cemetery or placed in a niche in a columbarium.   You may also elect to scatter them – at the beach, a park, or another location special to the deceased or their survivors.

Do I need an urn?

No, the crematories we engage will place the cremains in a simple canister.  Depending on your wishes, this may be just fine.  If you wish to select something more appropriate and ornamental, we offer a selection of tasteful cremation urns, keepsakes and jewelry.  Click here for our Cremation Urn  Catalog.

Can the ashes be divided?

Yes, we can instruct the crematory staff to divide the cremains into several smaller containers for distribution to family or friends.

How do I know it’s ashes of our loved one?

Bryn Mawr Chapels and the crematory facilities we engage use a uniform standard of identification throughout the cremation process.  Beginning with the first contact, our Funeral Director will ask you for some information to open a service file.  During our initial response to the location of the Deceased, our Licensed Funeral Director will use the information previously given to our office to verify all identification tags that may be already present on a deceased person such as when they have spent time in a hospital or other care facility along with it’s staff.  If a means of identification is not present, we will place one on the body after we have ensured we have a proper identification.  Once the deceased is in our care, all containers or caskets containing the deceased are plainly labeled with the deceased’s name and date of death.  The certificate of death is presented to the appropriate municipal authorities – a department of health or town/village registrar of vital statistics.  At this point a permit is issued and will accompany the deceased to the crematory along with an authorization form properly completed by the party in charge of the service arrangements.  Upon arrival at the crematory – this task also performed by a New York State Licensed Funeral Director, all paperwork is verified by the staff, along with the markings on the cremation container or casket making sure it matches the accompanying documentation.  When the body is placed into the cremation retort, a metallic disc bearing a sequential number is placed into the retort with the deceased. This disc has a melting temperature higher than the operating temperature of the cremation retort, and does not incinerate, distort, or disintegrate unlike some of the other contents of the chamber.  The number on the disc is also recorded in the crematory’s permanent records, and affixed to all labels on the container with the ashes of the deceased inside.  You will also receive a certificate of cremation, signed by the crematory administrator along with the ashes of the deceased.  If you have any issues, or for your own “piece-of-mind”, we recommend you request an ID at the funeral home prior to the deceased being cremated, or request that you be present for the inception of the cremation process at the Crematory.

Can we be present for the cremation?

Yes, area crematories allow the placement of the body into the retort, and the initial activation of the cremation retort to be witnessed.  We are aware some clients request this for religious custom, or for piece-of-mind.  Please note there may be additional fees, and scheduling of these type of services are on a first-come, first-serve basis with these facilities.

Can we “view’ the deceased prior to cremation?

Yes, please discuss this with our arrangement counselor as to your requirements for this type of service.

Where does the cremation take place?

The body is transited by Bryn Mawr Chapels from our facility to a crematory.   In New York State, a Funeral Home is not permitted by law to operate a crematory on its premises. Therefore we must engage a crematory, usually found on the grounds of a cemetery local to us.  In other regions of the Country, Funeral Directors are permitted to operate this equipment on their premises, or the Crematory facility itself is responsible for the entire process including the initial response for service, transferring the body to its facility, filing of all necessary authorizations and permits, and gathering and providing the required consumer disclosures and authorization forms. Two examples of area crematories are The Woodlawn Cemetery, located in The Bronx, and Ferncliff Cemetery of Hartsdale in Westchester County.

Is a casket required?

Depending on the type of service you select, a casket purchase may not be required.  However, at the time service arrangements are completed, our funeral director will make aware to you the options available and what each arrangement will require in terms of a casket or alternative container purchase.

Embalming: What is it, and why is it needed?

Embalming is the process by which a deceased human being is preserved by chemical means.  It is performed in a specially equipped and designated area inside the Funeral Home by a licensed technician commonly referred to as an Embalmer.  Embalming is NOT REQUIRED, but may be necessary when an open-casket visitation period is selected by the customer, or if viewing of the body is to be delayed by an extended period of time.  The embalming process also includes placing clothing on the body, and an application of cosmetic, to restore natural appearance to a person who has passed.  Please discuss your concerns with our Funeral Director about embalming so that we may address them with you accordingly.

Can we have a ceremony?

Yes.  You may have a ceremony, life celebration, wake, or viewing at the funeral home, a church or house of worship,  or the crematory. Also, a period of gathering at the funeral home either before or after the body is cremated, with the body present in a casket or container – open or closed, or a cremation urn present – commonly referred to as a memorial service.

Can anyone arrange a cremation?

Yes. We understand the definition of the word “family” has changed.  We understand more people are not actively involved in a traditional family setting and when they pass, the arrangements may be completed by a friend, or neighbor.   New York State has specific regulations regarding who can authorize and engage a Funeral Director to perform funeral and cremation services.  We ask that you consult us regarding these regulations as every life situation carries a different set of circumstances.

What about “Turn Around” time?

The total time it will take from when you notify Yonkers Funeral Home-Bryn Mawr Chapels of a death to when you receive the ashes varies greatly.  In the past, we have been able to have cremains available to a family the day following a death, or the same day – but these are rare circumstances.  The average time is 5-7 days depending on factors including the availability of a physician to sign a certificate of death, an investigation by a Coroner or Medical Examiner, or the presence of a party legally authorized to complete service arrangements with the Funeral Home.  If you have any special requirements or concerns about timing, we ask that you discuss this matter with the Funeral Director so that we may make the appropriate logistical arrangements to ensure you receive the very best service experience from us.

Can we travel with the ashes?  Can they be shipped?

Yes and Yes.  Cremains can be brought on most commercial airline flights, domestic or international.  If you are travelling broad, we suggest you contact the embassy of the country they will be transported to for any documentation requirements or restriction.  Cremains can be shipped domestically via the US Postal Service.  Other carriers such as UPS and FedEx do not accept them.

How much will this cost?

Click here to see the costs involved in arranging cremation services with Yonkers Funeral Home-Bryn Mawr Chapels.