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What happens to the coffin at a cremation?

There are a few questions that we as funeral directors get asked fairly often, and amongst the most common ones is, “Does the coffin get cremated with the person that has passed away?” At first glance, the answer to this question might seem an obvious one, but when you stop and think about it, you can easily see why it is one that crops up as often as it does.

Thankfully, funerals are something that most people will only have to arrange once or twice in their lives, so it is only natural that when someone is placed in that position, their minds are forced to ponder questions that up until that point had never even crossed their minds.

When you have your service at the crematorium, your loved one will be brought into the venue and placed on what is known as the catafalque, this is the special place at the front of the crematorium where the coffin is laid. You will then have your service, and according to your preferences and what is available at the crematorium, the coffin will lower, or the curtains will close, or you and the rest of the mourners will say their final goodbye and leave the chapel with the coffin still in view.

This is where the question of what happens next normally springs to mind.. The coffin containing your loved one will then be taken down to the area where the actual cremation takes place. There, the coffin is labelled and given a completely unique number to ensure that the cremated remains that you get back are of your loved one and nobody else. For everyone’s safety, and for the dignity of your loved one, the whole coffin is placed into the cremator, and the process takes place. So to answer the question, yes, your loved one will remain in the coffin and get cremated after the service, every single time.

Here at W. Uden and Sons, we are blessed to have an amazing team consisting of actual family members and other colleagues who we look upon as extended family, and they are on hand day and night to answer any questions, however bizarre they may seem to you, that occur to you whilst you are arranging your funeral with us. You need to be totally at ease whilst making the important decisions about a funeral, and our amazing team are right there to make sure that happens.

If you have an enquiring mind, or you just can’t quite get your head around the process, many crematoria in the UK have an “open-door” policy, and if you make an appointment, they will show you how things behind the scenes, so to speak. Nobody wants you to be in any doubts about what happens to your loved one, so please, don’t be afraid to ask.

Love as always,


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