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Cremation numbers on the rise in Rochester

Local News

The number of families in the City of Rochester choosing to cremate their loved ones, avoiding a traditional burial, is going up.

The City of Rochester says it averages over 1,200 cremations a year — a number that is on the rise.

Behind the gates of the Mount Hope Cemetery, there is a yellow room adorned with a selection of urns polished and ready for families to begin understanding the process of cremation. 

“They are making sure they have the opportunity to view it,” said cemetery manager Jeffrey Simmons. “Those that come have opportunities to view it go into the oven and basically they know that is their loved ones.”

Simmons says 40 percent of families in New York State opted out of traditional burials in the past two years.

In 2016, between Mount Hope Cemetery and Riverside Cemetery, over 1,200 people were cremated.

“Once they go through our class, they say ‘Wow, I didn’t know that even in the process. We could’ve done that or we could’ve choose to do this,” said Simmons.

The number one misconception is that cremation saves the family more money. 

“It’s cost effective depending on how you memorialize,” said Simmons. “Memorialization is probably the part that costs the most if you want to put them in a niche or a niche glass. Some people memorialize. They can save money on the process.”

If you choose a traditional plot or cremation, the city says you still need a funeral director to lay your loved ones to rest.

Simmons encourages families to attend his free weekly classes — ‘Cremation with Confidence.’

If you want to learn more about your options, the city is hosting a free ‘Cremation 101’ course on Saturday, April 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 

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