What is a Cremation Society?

Cremation network

A cremation society is an organization that ensures its members’ future cremation wishes are met. By paying a membership fee, individuals can either preplan and prepay their cremation or simply pre-register. While some funeral businesses may use “society” as a trading name without requiring membership, this practice is prohibited in New York state.

Why choose cremation?

Cremation is increasingly becoming the preferred alternative disposition method in the United States. It is projected that cremation will overtake burials as the primary funeral choice by the end of the first quarter of the 21st century. The main reasons cited for choosing cremation include cost savings, environmental concerns, ease of transport for mobile populations, and cold weather limitations for burial.

How does a Cremation Society differ from a Crematory or Cremation Company?

A cremation society can be a nationwide, state-wide, or local organization. The term “society” implies a membership element and suggests a common bond among individuals who share political, cultural traditions, beliefs, or values. Some people join a cremation society believing it offers discounted pre-planning services. Corporate cremation societies like The Neptune Society and National Cremation Society are operated by Service Corporation International (SCI), the largest funeral company in the United States. However, a crematory or cremation company typically does not accept members but may offer preplanning services similar to a cremation society. Funeral homes may operate their own crematories on-site or contract with local crematories.

What services does a Cremation Society offer?

A cremation society allows individuals to preplan their cremation disposition arrangements, helping to alleviate the burden on surviving family members. They offer various cremation packages, ranging from basic direct cremation to full memorial service cremation options. Whether one prefers a simple cremation or wants to customize their arrangements, a cremation society can accommodate these choices.

Cremation Plan

How much does it cost to join a Cremation Society?

Membership fees for cremation societies can vary, typically ranging from $25.00 to $50.00 for an individual membership and $50.00 to $100.00 for a family membership.

What are the benefits of joining a Cremation Society?

By joining a cremation society, individuals can pre-arrange their cremations and may even benefit from special package rates. However, it is essential to compare prices quoted by cremation societies with those offered by other local cremation providers to ensure competitive pricing.

What can be the disadvantages of joining a Cremation Society?

It’s important to note that not all cremation societies are altruistic organizations solely serving their members. Some societies are operated by national corporations with shareholders. If a cremation society offers a more affordable alternative, there is no disadvantage to joining. However, one must consider the initial membership fee, as it may offset the secured cremation price for members. Additionally, while cremation societies may provide planning resources, these resources are often publicly available online. It is also crucial to understand the terms and conditions of membership, including options for transferring or canceling plans.

How does a Cremation Society differ from a Memorial Society?

A memorial society may offer similar membership services to a cremation society. While some memorial societies include burial options, they also secure fixed prices for immediate burial or basic cremation for their members. As the cremation rate continues to rise in the U.S., more funeral businesses will adopt these terms in their marketing. It is crucial to carefully research the credentials of any cremation society and determine whether it is a national corporation, a local funeral business, or a not-for-profit social organization.

Related Articles:



  1. Wikipedia “Use of society as a term”
  2. Definition of “society”

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