Death is often a taboo subject, yet it is the only thing certain in life. Amidst the emotional grief that you may experience after the death of a loved one, you will also be confronted with a series of logistic arrangements to bid the departed farewell. While we often focus on planning the wake and funeral procedure, it’s also crucial to make arrangements on where your loved one’s remains will rest. You can choose to either cremate or bury the departed – but keep in mind that burial periods are limited to just 15 years before the graves need to be exhumed.
Due to Singapore’s small land space, cremation is more commonly seen than burials. Cremating your departed loved one also gives you a wider range of options on where your loved one’s remains will be stored.
Here is a comprehensive guide to help you understand cremation procedures and the storing of ashes in Singapore.
What happens during cremation?
During cremation, the body will be placed into a container made out of wood or any other combustible material. It will then be placed inside a cremation chamber, where it will be subjected to open flames, extreme heat, and evaporation. The high temperatures will vapourise the organic matter and burn the bones, reducing them to small fragments after about two hours. After the fragments have cooled, the remains can be grounded to a finer consistency before they’re presented to the departed’s family.
Where can you have a cremation in Singapore?
Unlike burials that happen only at the Choa Chu Kang cemetery, there are several options you can consider when choosing a location for cremation. You can choose a government-run crematorium, or between two privately-run crematoria. The state-run Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex located at 300 Mandai Road is generally a less costly option. You can book a cremation via telephone, their website, or in person at their booking office. However, most people would ask their funeral advisor to assist them on the booking. Before making a booking, it is crucial that you carefully go through their terms and conditions available at the NEA website.
You can also opt for the private crematoria at the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery at 88 Bright Hill Drive, or Tse Toh Aum Temple at 601 Sin Ming Drive. Both crematoria cost higher than the state-run one, and you also could end up paying more depending on the type of urn and storage location you choose.
How much does cremation cost?
Many funeral services in Singapore will be able to help you coordinate a cremation. The cost of cremation differs depending on whether you choose a private or government-run crematorium. Cremation at the government-run Mandai Crematorium costs $100, while cremation at private crematoriums can range from $300 to $500.
Storing ashes in a columbarium
After cremation, the ashes of the deceased are typically stored in a columbarium. Your funeral service provider can help you to book a niche at the columbarium of your choice. Most people opt for a government-managed columbarium – either the Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex or Choa Chu Kang Columbarium. But you can also choose any private columbarium around Singapore. You will need to bring along your NRIC and the departed’s Death Certificate to book a niche.
Scattering ashes at sea
If you don’t wish to store your loved one’s ashes in a columbarium, you can opt to scatter them at sea instead. The Maritime Port Authority (MPA) has approved a site that’s 2.8 km south of Pulau Semakau, where you can conduct a sea burial between 7 am to 7 pm daily. Your funeral service provider can help you to hire a boat to take you out to sea.
Both cremation and inurnment processes come with a number of terms and conditions. It’s important for you to familiarise yourself with them before booking. Regardless of what options you choose for cremation, it remains crucial that you engage a trustworthy funeral company that can handle all the funeral services for you in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
AtCasket Fairprice, we have more than 20 years of experience in handling funeral customs for different religions including Christian and Buddhist funerals. We’re committed to offering personalised services that provide comfort to the bereaved and a dignified send-off for their departed loved ones.