Informational Cremation Video


Overview of Cremation

img_1169536238_15047_1288725023The 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.

Contrary to what many believe, cremation is not an alternative to a funeral nor does it limit choices, but in fact, increases one’s options. It is performed in a respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways.


The Hall-Wynne Crematory & Tribute Center

In 2009, we opened our own Crematory and Tribute Center as an addition to our formal chapel at the Durham facility. We are the only full-service funeral home in Durham and Orange Counties with its own on-premises crematorium. The PDF brochure below tells all about our unique facility and the benefits to our community of performing cremation directly under our supervision.

Click here for the informational pamphlet

Cremation and Funerals

img_1169536238_15022_1287796890A funeral service followed by cremation may be exactly the same as a funeral followed by burial. It can be elaborate or simple and traditional or nontraditional.

Customary Cremation Service will be just like a complete funeral except cremation will follow instead of burial. This can be accommodated by the use of a special cremation casket or a ceremonial (rental) casket. Following the viewing or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, scattered, or returned to the family for safe keeping. Urns are used to hold the cremated remains. They are constructed of semi-precious metals, ceramics, woods, or bio-degradable materials.

Memorial Service/Commemorative Gathering involves cremation soon after the death followed by a service at the funeral home or other location where the body is not present. Often the urn will be at the service as an appropriate focal point. A period of visitation may be held before or after the ceremony.

A Non-Ceremonial Cremation refers to a cremation without any formal ceremonies.

Memorialization Options for Cremation

Niches – The cremated remains of your loved one may be safely held in a nice of a columbarium at a cemetery or one’s place of worship.

Cemetery Burial – In ground burial on a family plot – Urns may be buried at the head or foot of a grave site.

Scattering – Ashes may be scattered freely within a dedicated, natural environment. Often people wish to retain some portion of the remains for commemorative purposes. Hall-Wynne maintains a large selection of special, small keepsake urns for reserving some amount of the ashes.

Personalized Memorialization – Inscribing your family member’s name and a special saying on a tree plaque, park bench, or other special memorial.

Question 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 body, 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.

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 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 eight pounds of cremated remains.

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 fiberboard or 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 cremation caskets as well as economical rental caskets.

Is it possible to have a funeral before cremation?

Yes. A common misconception is that cremation is an alternative to a funeral rather than an alternative to burial. In all cultures outside America, where practiced widely, cremation is highly ritualized and done with ceremony at which the deceased is present. Today we find people choosing cremation simply as one step in the overall process and not as a substitute for the funeral. It is one of the reasons Hall-Wynne offers ceremonial (rental) caskets for the funeral prior to cremation.

Don’t most funeral homes have a crematory?

No. Most funeral homes subcontract this delicate procedure to a third party provider. Often, the family incurs additional transportation expenses and needless delay. By contrast, we own our cremation equipment at our Durham facility which is operated by our fully licensed and highly trained staff.

How are the cremated remains returned?

The cremated remains are placed in a plastic bag and cardboard box for temporary containment. Most often they are put into the urn of your choice from our large selection of urns.

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.

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. There is a viewing window through which this may be observed.

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 quality and minimize the potential for human error. Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process. We only allow certified Hall-Wynne personnel to operate our cremation equipment.

Hall-Wynne’s Cremation Code of Ethics

Your Rights



  • You have a right to select services from our General Price List
  • You have a right to view and select from a variety of cremation merchandise that is used in the cremation process (cremation containers) and that is used to subsequently contain the cremated body (urns).
  • You have the right to review a Cremation Authorization Form and have questions answered before signing the form.
  • You have a right to be advised of various funeral home policies and applicable legal requirements prior to finalizing the cremation arrangements.


 Identification of The Body

  • When the body is transferred from a hospital or medical examiner facility, it is in the best interests of the survivors and the funeral home / crematory personnel to insure the correct identity of the deceased before cremation.
  • Unless the deceased is embalmed for a public viewing or funeral before cremation, the identification must be for a limited time only and may be done by anyone who represents their ability to do so.
  • Prior to identification, the mouth and eyes of the deceased are closed by accepted methods of mortuary science (for aesthetic purposes). A disinfectant topical cleansing is performed when embalming is declined.

North Carolina Law

  • We comply with all state laws and regulations of the North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 90, Article 13C, pertaining to the practice of cremation.

The Cremation Process

  • Only one body will be cremated during the cremation process.
  • The cremated remains, consisting of bone fragments, will be diligently removed from the cremation chamber and pulverized into small fragments. Because the cremation chamber is lined with porous material, it is not always possible to remove small traces of the cremated remains.

Cremation Authorization Form

Download Cremation Authorization Form PDF for printing here.