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A Brief History of Cremation

While reliance upon cremation is on the rise in recent years, many still have questions about the process itself. Some may even be a bit interested in its history. If you’re looking into cremations in the Murphy, NC, area, there are nearby experts who can walk you through the process and keep you informed about your options. In the meantime, some additional background might be helpful. Given recent trends, cremation is certainly here to stay. It may not have always seemed that way, though.  

As the Cremation Association of North America recently noted, “In 2016, cremation reached a major milestone when it eclipsed casketed burial as the most popular form of disposition—and it shows no signs of slowing. In 1960, only 3.6% of Americans chose cremation. In 2016, 50.1% did.”  

That’s a remarkable increase that demonstrates changing attitudes and additional awareness. At one point, however, cremation was virtually unheard of. The first American crematory opened in 1876. Located in Pennsylvania, the LeMoyne Crematory performed its first cremation on Baron De Palm, inviting local physicians to observe the newfound phenomena in the process. The cremation managed to attract some measure of local interest. Several guests even received an apportionment of the man’s remains, each placed in clear jars.  

It has clearly taken some time for cremation to take off. The preference for traditional burial has endured until recent years, as has the fairly frequent practice of graveside ceremonies. While there has been a recent trend favoring cremation in the United States, the broader portrait of its history is worth noting. Notwithstanding American preferences and traditions in the 1960s, cremation has actually been quite common in the grand scheme of things.  

cremations in the Murphy, NCIndeed, the practice itself has been around for thousands of years, perhaps in excess of 40,000 years according to archaeological records. Later, it appears that the Romans practiced a combination of burial and cremation. Indeed, it was often reserved for upper class families at the time. Cremation began to become less common as Christianity first took flight. Today, however, the Christian tradition is generally very open to cremation (though this is not the case with all religious backgrounds).  

Sir Thomas Browne advocated a return to cremation in the mid-1600s. By the 1870s, there was something of a movement afoot. While many had been previously averse to cremation due to a Christian belief in resurrection of the body, that sentiment slowly but surely began to give way along with the emergence of the Industrial Age. The Information Age seems to have changed things even more, educating a great many about the potential benefits of creation and removing any mystery from the process itself. Today, there’s nothing controversial about it.  

If you or someone you know would like to know more about cremations in Murphy, NC, consider reaching out to Just Cremation – Cremation Society. We are prepared to address any questions or concerns you might have in a caring and compassionate fashion, handling your affairs professionally in the process. You may visit us at 55 Kimsey St, Blairsville, GA 30512 or place a phone call to (877) 788-0485. We look forward to working with you. 

2018-09-11T02:55:55+00:00October 15th, 2018|Comments Off on A Brief History of Cremation