Funerals are a $17 million a year business in the United States. Over the past year, cremation has been on the rise due to several factors. Last year 42 percent of the 2.5 million people who died were cremated. In the west, cremation rates are over 70 percent. In Nevada, the rate is 74 percent and it is 70 percent in Washington.
There are a lot of reasons why cremation is growing in popularity. The Catholic Church is softening its stance on cremation. Cremation was banned by the Catholic Church until 1963. However, times have changes and bishops are permitted to hold a funeral mass with cremated remains.
The decline in nuclear families is also contributing to the rise it. Currently, many children live far away from their hometown and it is difficult for them to upkeep a grave. As a result, cremations has become a practical alternative.
The main contributing factor is clearly cost. Cremation is less expensive than a burial. The cost of a burial is around $6,500 that includes the price of a casket. Cremation runs about a third of that price. In today’s economy, cost, is a key factor in people’s decisions. The cost of a cremation will run you around $1,600. By searching online, you can find even lower prices.
Another issue that surrounds, is where to scatter ashes. Some states such as California profit sprinkling ashes on the beach. However, California does permit scattering five hundred yards from the beach. It is important to note that some states don’t usually enforce bans on scattering ashes on the beach. But it is still illegal neither the less.
National parks often permit scattering of ashes with a permit from the chief park ranger. But, ashes must be very small and distributed over a wide area so that chunks of bone are not found by visitors of the park.
Plus, you don’t want the police to start investigating a possible murder after finding bones and teeth that have been scattered over a national park. That would surely make national headlines. Other stipulations include that you cannot scatter ashes on roads and in the water. At some locations, ashes cannot be scatter to avoid contamination of future explorations by scientist.
There are also many issues involved when scattering ashes on private land. You cannot scatter ashes at Disneyland. In 2005, a man scatter ashes of his mother on Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. He was arrested and fined.