What happens to the coffin during a cremation?
During a cremation, the coffin is cremated along with the body. Only one coffin can be cremated at a time, with the only exception being the case of a mother and baby or twin children, and only when the next of kin requests that the two be cremated together.
The Code of Cremation Practice, which the City of Belfast Crematorium abides by, states that nothing must be removed from the coffin after it has been received by the funeral church inside the crematorium.
The only exception is when a family has purchased a removable cover for the coffin. After the cover is removed, the coffin is then placed into the cremator.
Crematorium regulations also call for all coffin fittings to be burnable. Handles and name plates are normally made of hard plastic. Nails and screws, however, do not burn and are removed from the cremated remains with a magnet.
Because a modern cremator operates at between 800 and 1100 degrees centigrade, any metals will fuse with other materials until they are unrecognisable.
For that reason, our staff advise that any jewellery is removed from the deceased after death, unless it is intended to be cremated, as there is no way of recovering such items once the coffin has been placed in the funeral church.
The Code of Cremation Practice, which the City of Belfast Crematorium abides by, states that any metal from a cremation should be disposed of in keeping with the crematory authority and recommends that this is done at the crematory grounds.
After the cremation, the ashes are put in a cooling chamber and then onto a cooling tray. When cool, any metal is removed with a magnet.
The remains are then placed into a machine called a cremulator which reduces them to a fine pale gray ash. They are then placed in a clearly marked container or urn.