Welcome to the Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium Mobile Website.
We will then set an appointment time for you to come to the funeral home to complete the details of the funeral arrangement. We will ask you to bring in some items and information that will be necessary to complete the arrangement. These items will include:
What is YOUR reason for choosing cremation?
The reasons for choosing cremation abound. Enlightened consumers are increasingly changing their belief systems and feelings towards the traditional funeral. Cremation is not only a considerate alternative, it is an environmentally responsible choice. In addition, cremation allows for a wide range of personally meaningful options for final disposition of our mortal remains which are simply not otherwise available - sea scattering, burial or interment in a cemetery, kept at home, are but a few.
The American funeral has changed more in the past few years than in the prior fifty years. It used to be that the "Traditional Funeral" was pretty much the same. A wake or visitation period, which lasted anywhere from one to three days, followed by a church service and burial in the cemetery. Yet today, there is no such thing as a "Traditional Funeral". People are choosing funeral services that are more reflective of the person and fit the lifestyle of the family. And with more and more ethnic groups living in our city, traditional funerals now incorporate many of the customs and ceremonies of different cultures. In any given year, Phaneuf Funeral Homes conducts funeral services for Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox,Jewish, Buddist and Hindu families, not to mention families that opt for non-religious, humanistic services. Given the diverse group of families that we serve and the different options that we provide, there are many choices available when it comes to a funeral.
To give our client families and friends some guidance in selecting a funeral service that is meaningful, we have put together answers to questions about different types of funeral options.
What is The Difference Between A Funeral and Memorial Service
Really the only difference between these two services is whether or not the body is present. A funeral service is conducted with the presence of the body and a memorial service is conducted in memory of the person, without the presence of the full body. To learn more about memorial services, visit our cremation section of this guide
In the earliest recorded times, societies honored the dead through ceremonies. According to beliefs at that time, the purpose of the ritual was to properly send the decedent on the journey into the next life. Today, however, psychologists and other experts agree that the benefits of the funeral are for those left behind; those who must reconstruct their lives following their loss. Before family and friends can fully adjust to their loss, survivors must express their grief in ways meaningful to them. They must face, openly and realistically, the fact that death has indeed occurred. The funeral provides the opportunity to do exactly that.
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.
No, in New Hampshire embalming is not required by law. However, embalming is required if the family has selected a funeral service with a public wake or viewing. Embalming is also required if the deceased is to be transported from one state to another by common carrier. For example, if an individual passes away in Florida and is to be transported by airplane to New Hampshire for burial, embalming would be required.
While we provide guidance with respect to visitation periods, we leave the actual time up to the family. Visitations may extend to multiple days or may take place in just an hour or so before the funeral service. Morning, afternoon and evening hours are available during the week or on weekends. It all depends upon the needs of the family.
When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.); these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements, filing appropriate forms, dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details.
Just because someone is interested in cremation does not mean that the family cannot have a viewing and funeral service. All of the customs and ceremonies associated with a traditional funeral can still be performed prior to the cremation taking place. For these occasions, we offer economical cremation caskets and rental caskets.
Traditionally, funerals are held in a church, which is still a common practice today. However, there are several other options. Funeral services may be held at the funeral home in our Chapel or can even be held at the gravesite or cemetery chapel.
It is becoming more common to tailor a funeral service to the personality of the deceased. Prayers and remembrances offered by family and friends, favorite music, treasured belongings, pictures and momentos can all play a major role in making the final tribute fitting and moving. The family can choose to assemble a display containing family photographs, favorite possessions, items from a hobby or awards the deceased received. These items help shift the emphasis of the services to the memories of the person's life, rather than on the circumstances of his or her death. Personalization can also be added by simply choosing the most appropriate services and products available from the funeral home. These include cremation and its various service options, participating in a living memorial program, or purchasing a burial plot below the canopy of a sturdy oak tree.
Most funerals in North America conclude with earth burial, which is burying the remains contained in a casket into the ground. Purchases made for this option generally include a casket, a vault, a cemetery plot and a headstone or grave marker. Above ground entombment is provided in mausoleums, buildings designed and maintained to house human remains. Mausoleums are especially popular in certain regions of North America, and the availability and price ranges of mausoleum crypts vary depending on geographic location. In our area, there are several cemeteries that operate mausoleums.
Phaneuf Funeral Homes operates two crematoria and conducts more cremation services than anyone else in New Hampshire. Over the years we have learned practically all there is to know about cremation. Following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cremation.
What Is Cremation?
To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn't. Cremation is not final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.
What Services Are Available With Cremation?
Any traditional funeral service with the body present can precede the cremation. Alternatively, a memorial service can take place after the cremation has been completed.
Is A Casket Needed For Cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required by state law is an alternative container constructed of wood which is cremated with the body. The only time a casket is required is when the family chooses a public service with the body present prior to cremation. For these occasions we offer a selection of inexpensive cremation caskets as well as economical rental caskets.
Is Embalming Required Prior To Cremation?
Absolutely not and it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise. The only time embalming is legally required is if the family chooses a public service with an open casket prior to cremation.
Can The Body Be Viewed Without Embalming?
Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation in our private viewing room. The deceased is first washed, dressed and prepared for viewing. Alternatively, the deceased may be viewed in our crematory without any preparation. As long as the viewing is concluded prior to the 48 hour state-mandated waiting period, no additional refrigeration charges would be incurred.
Can The Family Witness The Cremation?
Yes. Our state-of-the-art cremation facility is set up to allow family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.
Is Cremation Accepted By All Religions?
Today most religions allow cremation except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalist Christian faiths. The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teachings. Some people believe that cremation is against the teachings of the Bible, but according to one famous Biblical scholar, "what occurs to the body after death has no bearing on the soul's resurrection. The body that rises is not made of the same substances as the one that was buried, or cremated, but is immortal and incorruptible."
Can An Urn Be Brought Into Church?
Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. The Diocese of Manchester, which has jurisdiction over all Catholic Churches in the state, also allows the cremated remains to be present during the Memorial Mass. In fact, if the family is planning on a memorial service, we encourage the cremated remains be present as it provides a focal point for the service.
What Can Be Done With The Cremated Remains?
There are many options. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property. We also offer a coastal Maine scattering service. Our staff will be happy to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements.
Are There Any Laws Governing Cremation?
Cremation regulations vary from state-to-state. In New Hampshire, there are several laws which the consumer should be aware. First, there is a 48 hour waiting period from the time of death until the cremation can take place. Second, the deceased must be cremated in a suitable solid wooden cremation container. Third, a cremation authorization form must be signed by the individual legally authorized to make the cremation arrangements. Finally, cremation cannot take place until the deceased has been viewed by a state-appointed Medical Examiner or designee. For a complete list of applicable State laws, refer to New Hampshire RSA 325-A and He-P 600 or ask for a copy of our Cremation Authorization Form.
Do People Choose Cremation Only To Save Money?
While some people select cremation for economy, many choose this option for other reasons. The simplicity and dignity of cremation, environmental concerns, and the flexibility cremation affords in ceremony planning and final disposition all add to its increasing popularity.
Don't Most Funeral Homes Have A Crematory?
Most funeral homes subcontract this delicate procedure out to a third party provider in another town where the funeral home has little or no control over the crematory's operating procedures. Often, the family incurs additional transportation expenses and needless delay. By contrast, we own our cremation equipment which is operated by our fully licensed and highly trained staff. Our cremation equipment is state-of-the-art and equals or exceeds every state and local operating standard and requirement. Our crematory is open for inspection any time during normal business hours.
How Can I Be Sure I Receive The Correct Remains?
We have developed the most rigorous set of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize our level of service and minimize the potential for human error. Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process using our ten-step identification, control and security system. All activities outside the cremation chamber are monitored 24-hours a day using closed-circuit security system. We only allow licensed professionals to operate our cremation equipment. None of these safeguards are required by law and no other cremation facility in the state can match our rigid operating procedures.
How Long Does The Actual Cremation Take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F.
What Happens After The Cremation is Complete?
All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are "swept" into the back of the the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, hip joints, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.
Can Two Cremations Be Performed At Once?
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
What Do The Cremated Remains Look Like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between four to six pounds.
Are All The Cremated Remains Returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
Do I Need An Urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased through us, or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary container.
Are There Any Special Benefits For Veterans?
We have a special program for veteran's who pass away in a VA hospital, or a VA contracted health care facility. We will process the VA benefit and reimburse the family for the cost of our direct cremation fee once the benefit is paid by the VA. Additional fees will apply if the veteran in interred in a veterans cemetery.
Is There Any Assistance For Families On Welfare?
State, city and town welfare departments all provide benefits for deceased residents who are indigent, or whose families cannot pay for their funerals. Currently the State's assistance for cremation is $750. Cities and towns pay either $750 or $500 for cremation. Whichever of these options applies, we will consider the State, city or town benefit as payment in full for our basic cremation services. Families will not be asked to pay anything additional.
Finally, How Much Does Cremation Cost?
Simple cremation without a formal service costs $1,850. A traditional funeral with viewing and a service followed by cremation can cost $3,000 or more. Memorialization fees including an urn, cemetery charges and a monument would be in addition to these figures. See our General Price List in this booklet for details.
The number of people choosing cremation has increased significantly in the past few years, yet cremation carries a long tradition and remains largely unchanged.
Cremation simply expedites the process of reducing a body to bone fragments through application of intense heat.
What is done before or after the cremation is up to the survivors, or up to you. You can relieve the burden of these decisions by pre-planning your arrangements in advance of need so that your wishes will be honored.
Contrary to what some people believe, Cremation does not limit choices, but, in fact, increases one’s options. It is a process which is performed in a respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways.
Choosing cremation neither eliminates nor does it require a funeral service. Traditional or contemporary services are often planned before or after the cremation process. A funeral service followed by cremation may be exactly the same as a funeral service followed by ground burial. They can be elaborate or simple and traditional or nontraditional. Arrangements and ceremonies tend to be as individual as the persons for whom and by whom they are made.They may be personalized specifically to reflect the life of the deceased, and thus have a special meaning. River View Cemetery Funeral Home is able to assist in any and all of your Funeral Service needs. To obtain more information on funeral services call 603-625-5777 or any of our locations.
The Complete Cremation Service will be just like a Complete Funeral Service except cremation will follow instead of the casketed burial. This can be accommodated by the use of a cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated) or the use of a rental casket. Following the viewing, service or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safe keeping. Urns are used to hold the cremated remains. Urns can be constructed out of basic materials like cardboard or plastic, or constructed out of more protective materials like basic and semi-precious metals, ceramics, and woods.
The Immediate Cremation Service can be arranged as an immediate disposition of the body, but is most times followed by a memorial service at the church, funeral home or other location. A Memorial Service is one where the body is not present. We recommend that if you select an immediate cremation that you are allowed a time, if possible, to privately view the body as a family. If the viewing can be done in a matter of a few hours after the death then embalming will not be necessary. If there is to be a long delay (more than 8-12 hours) then embalming would be encouraged. If the viewing could not be done within 48 hours then embalming may be required. Viewing of the deceased is a very important step in acknowledging that the death has occurred. Having some type of service or ceremony is also a key ingredient to a healthy recovery of a loss due to a death.
A Direct Cremation refers to a cremation being provided, while limiting funeral services to the removal and transportation of the deceased into our care.