How Long Does It Take To Cremate A Body And Get The Ashes

How Long Does It Take To Cremate A Body And Get The Ashes

Cremation is a process that involves the transformation of a body into ashes through burning. The process is gaining popularity today, with many individuals choosing it as a way to dispose of their loved one’s remains. Unlike traditional burial that can take place days after death, cremation takes place immediately. However, many people are unsure how long it takes to cremate a body and get their loved one’s ashes. In this article, we shall take a look at the cremation process, how long it takes, and other frequently asked questions.

The Cremation Process

Cremation involves placing the deceased body in a cremation chamber. The intense heat of the chamber dries and burns the body, changing it into ashes. While the process is relatively simple, certain factors can affect the cremation time.

The cremation chamber’s size also influences how long the cremation takes. Smaller chambers take less time to cremate a body, while larger chambers can take longer, especially if the body is larger than average. The type of cremator used, number of bodies being cremated at once, and environmental conditions like humidity also play a role.

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How Long Does It Take To Cremate A Body?

On average, the cremation process takes between 2-3 hours. The body’s size and weight influence the duration significantly. An average adult takes about 2.5-3 hours to cremate fully. Infants and children need less time, typically between 1 and 2 hours. Larger bodies, such as those over 300 lbs, may take longer than 3 hours.

What Happens To The Ashes After Cremation?

After the cremation process’s completion, the ashes are cooled and gathered. The bones are collected and ground until they form a fine, sand-like texture, which is what we refer to as ashes. The ashes are then placed in a temporary urn or an urn provided by the family.

How Long Does It Take To Get The Ashes Back?

The timing for receiving ashes differs depending on a variety of factors. Typically, it may take 5-7 days for you to receive the ashes. This delay is mainly due to the required paperwork, which includes obtaining permits, authorizations, and a cremation certificate. The paperwork’s processing time may take a few days, depending on the state, before you can retrieve the ashes.

Can The Ashes Be Picked Up Immediately After Cremation?

While some crematories offer same-day service, it is uncommon as better quality processes require some time to complete. While many funeral homes provide secured storage for a fee until the ashes are ready for collection, it’s still recommended that families verify the timeline and confirm arrangements in advance.

What Are The Available Options For Ashes After Cremation?

After receiving the ashes, there are various options that the family can consider, including:

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1. Scattering of ashes – The most common way is to scatter ashes in a meaningful place, such as a memorial park, backyard, or a special place that the deceased loved.

2. Keeping ashes at home – Most families keep the ashes in an urn at home or a dedicated final resting place.

3. Burying the ashes – The family can bury the ashes in a designated cemetery plot.

4. Water burials – For those who loved the ocean, sea, or river, a water burial can be performed where ashes are spread in the water.


In conclusion, cremation is an increasingly popular option for families looking to dispose of their loved one’s remains. Knowing how long it takes to cremate a body and get the ashes can help prepare family members for the process. The cremation process typically takes 2-3 hours, and it would take a few days to collect the ashes due to the necessary paperwork. The ashes can either be scattered, kept at home, buried, or used in a water burial. Regardless of the decision, ensuring proper preparation is essential for a dignified farewell to a loved one.


1. Is Cremation More Cost-Effective Than Traditional Burial?
Yes, cremation is usually cheaper than traditional burial.

2. Can I Witness The Cremation Process?
Many crematoriums enable families to watch the cremation process as an option. Please check beforehand if the facility offers this service.

3. Can Cremation Be Done Without A Formal Funeral Service?
Yes, a traditional funeral or memorial service is not necessary for cremation. The decision is up to the family and personal preference.

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4. Can A Person’s Body Fat Affect The Cremation Process?
Yes, the higher the body’s body fat, the more time it may take to cremate fully.

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