How Much Does Cremation Cost in Pennsylvania?

Updated

With more people choosing cremation than ever before, it’s important to plan ahead. While the cost of cremation is lower than the cost of burial, it’s still a burden for families after the loss of a loved one. This is especially confusing when the costs differ by state. With that in mind, how much does cremation cost in Pennsylvania?

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Though families have to make the decision between a cremation or burial, they also have to consider the different costs for different types of cremations. This cost is far from one-size-fits-all. A number of factors and considerations affect the price, like your city, region, and any add-ons. It’s never been more important to understand the average costs so you aren’t blindsided by anything unexpected. 

In this guide, we’ll answer how much a cremation costs in Pennsylvania once and for all. While these prices are always fluctuating, you can easily identify an average across the state. Pennsylvania has a relatively low average cost per cremation, making it one of the more affordable states to choose this service vs. burial. 

Average Cost of Cremation in Pennsylvania

To begin, let’s answer the big question: How much does an average cremation cost in Pennsylvania? Nationally, cremations cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000. The average cremation on a national scale is around $1,200. This is for a basic service, cremation, and urn. In Pennsylvania, the cost is very similar. 

The average cost of a cremation in Pennsylvania starts at $700 and goes up to $2,500. Most families pay somewhere in the middle, depending on the type of cremation they choose. This typically includes a memorial service, though it might be small depending on the budget. There are two primary types of cremation, traditional and direct, and these affect the price. 


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Traditional cremation

First, a traditional cremation is what most people are familiar with when they think of cremation. The body is usually prepared for a viewing at the funeral service, and there might be care taken to make sure a nice casket is used for the cremation itself. A traditional cremation is very flexible, but it also comes at a higher cost. It might include any of the following:

  • Viewing: The deceased is prepared for viewing by being embalmed at an additional cost. The body will also be dressed and prepared by a funeral professional. 
  • Casket: Though optional, many families choose to purchase a casket for the viewing and cremation itself. A casket rental can also be used. 
  • Waiting period: The deceased is usually held at a funeral home or crematorium until the cremation, and this can be several days or weeks depending on the timeline. This increases the cost. 

Because traditional cremation involves greater time, resources, and services, it’s the most expensive choice. Still, it’s usually cheaper than a burial. The price depends on the type of casket, whether the body is embalmed, and how long it’s preserved prior to cremation. In Pennsylvania, traditional cremation costs anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500. 

Direct cremation

On the other hand, a direct cremation in Pennsylvania is much more affordable. A direct cremation skips all of the middle steps. Instead, the body is transported quickly after death to the crematorium. Then, it’s cremated without any additional preparation, embalming, or expensive caskets. 

The body is usually cremated in a simple cardboard or wooden box, and there is no reason to wait longer than necessary. The family can still choose to host a memorial service, but this doesn’t include a viewing of the deceased. Because this is a simple service, the cost starts at $700 in most cities in Pennsylvania. 

Popular Crematories in Pennsylvania

No matter which option you choose, you have a lot of choices when it comes to crematories in Pennsylvania. The larger cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have greater variety, but you can find crematories that service a wide variety of locations. Here are some of the most popular crematories in Pennsylvania in case you wish to plan a prepaid cremation.

Cremation Society of Pennsylvania

First, the Cremation Society of Pennsylvania strikes to make it as easy as possible to navigate the next steps after losing a loved one. With options for both cremation and burial, this service aids all regions of Pennsylvania. They offer discounted price packages, making it possible to pay for only the services you need. Better yet, you can also pre-plan entirely online. 

Snyder Family Cremation Services

Another trusted crematorium in Pennsylvania is the Snyder Family Cremation Services. With prices starting at $1,495, this is one of the more affordable options. This family-owned service is based in Lancaster, PA, but it serves the entire state. Their trusted staff helps every step of the way, ensuring you’re never alone during this process. 


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PA Simple Cremation

For those who want to use a crematorium that’s in-house (vs. from a third-party provider), PA Simple Cremation is the right option for you. Their prices start at $1,195, and they’re all-inclusive for direct cremations. With additional add-ons depending on your wishes, PA Simple Cremation is a trusted provider. If you’re planning in advance, you can also purchase a package online. 

Pittsburgh Cremation and Funeral Care

Owned by local women, Pittsburgh Cremation and Funeral Care was created by mothers who truly care. With funeral and cremation packages beginning at $1,325, all services can be planned completely online. 

Having a trusted team of experts at your side makes all the difference when it’s time to plan a meaningful sendoff for someone you love. Serving the Pittsburgh area, it’s easy to see why this provider has earned a memorable reputation in its community. 

Charities, Nonprofits or Government Programs That Help With Cremation Costs in Pennsylvania

If you’re unable to afford the full cost of a cremation in Pennsylvania, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to afford cremations and funerals. Luckily, there are many charities, nonprofits, and government programs that help with cremation costs in Pennsylvania. Here are some of the trusted charities that help with funeral costs

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

First, it’s always worth asking the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services if you qualify for any assistance. This is the local department designed to assist with funeral and cremation costs. Though you will need to be eligible, the goal of this department is to ensure everyone has access to a respectful final sendoff. Each eligible family receives $750 toward burial or cremation. 

Science Care

Another option is to choose a program like Science Care. This is a nonprofit that donates bodies to science. The bodies are used for research, education, and health studies, making the world a better, safer place. Once no longer needed, the bodies are cremated respectfully and returned to their families free of charge. For those who wish to do good after death, this is a cost-saving option. 

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Final Farewell

While no family wants to think about the tragedy of losing a child, this is something that affects many each year. Final Farewell is a national charity that helps parents afford funerals and final arrangements for children after their passing. Though there is an application process, this is an inspiring service that helps families across PA. 

Department of Veterans Affairs

Another federal option is through the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you’re seeking help for the final sendoff of a veteran, the VA offers one-time assistance. You can receive a stipend towards an urn, military burial, and cremation. This is sometimes available for relatives of veterans as well. 

FEMA Relief

FEMA is known to step in to provide disaster relief when it’s needed the most. Though mostly known for assistance for natural disasters, FEMA also recently created the Covid Funeral Relief Fund to help families who lost loved ones unexpectedly during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any qualifying health or cremation expenses, you can receive federal aid from FEMA. 

Catholic Charities USA

Many people look to religion in times of crisis, and there are many religious-based help groups. Catholic Charities USA has Catholic resources across the state of PA, and these can be a source for aid. Browse by city and region, looking for relevant groups and churches that offer help to families in need. 

Afford a Cremation in Pennsylvania

In conclusion, there is a spectrum when it comes to the cost of a final sendoff in Pennsylvania. Most families will spend upwards of $1,000 for a cremation, though there are direct options that are more affordable in some cities. The cost depends on your wishes, timeline, and location. Compared to other states, Pennsylvania is relatively affordable. 

That being said, it’s better to be prepared no matter what. We never know when our time will come, and many families find themselves caught off guard every day. While there are great resources and charities available, these have strict rules and requirements to qualify. Most importantly, remember that you’re not alone after a loss. This is a human experience, and we’re in this together. 

If you're a Pennsylvania resident and ready to start preparing your own end-of-life planning documents, Cake has Advance Care Planning forms you can download. To help ease your planning, we have all the documents you need in one place.


Source:

  1. “Cremation costs.” Rome Monuments Pittsburgh. RomeMonuments.com.
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