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Witness Cremation 

We provide families with a private gathering room for those who wish to be present at the beginning of the cremation process. Witnessing cremation has been part of many religions and cultures for centuries. It can also be an important part of the grieving process and a chance to say a final goodbye before cremation begins. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a Witness Cremation?

A witness cremation is when family members can be present as the body of their loved one is placed into the retort (cremation chamber) and the process of cremation begins.  Witness cremation gives you the opportunity to see your loved one and to say a final goodbye just before cremation begins. In some traditions, the eldest son is the one who starts the cremation by physically pushing a button on the retort.

Why do people choose to witness the cremation?

There are many reasons to witness the beginning of the cremation process, from religious, spiritual or cultural traditions to just needing assurance and confirmation. This also provides a chance to have a final moment to say goodbye and can help in the grieving process, especially for those who didn't have a memorial service.

Can you view the body prior to cremation?
Immediate family members may view their loved one prior to the start of the cremation process in most cases. Speak with your funeral director for specific information.

How long does the actual cremation take?
A cremation can take anywhere from three to five hours. Most families choose only to be present during the beginning of the process.

How many family members can witness cremation? 
Mountain View's private gathering room accommodates up to 20 people to witness the cremation.

When are remains ready for burial or services?
Cremated remains are usually available the next day for families to memorialize their loved one.

Request Information 

Find out more about how you can witness cremation or request a private tour of our cremation center.

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