Cremation Services

Guibord-Pearsons and Sayles Funeral Homes use Mt. Pleasant Crematory in St. Johnsbury to perform cremations. 

Mt. Pleasant Crematory was the first crematory in Vermont and has served funeral homes in Vermont and New Hampshire since 1966. It is licensed by the State of Vermont and is located within Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. The crematory, located in the cemetery chapel with its stained-glass windows make the site a comforting place for cremation.

What is a ‘traditional cremation’?

Cremation is simply an alternative to burial. Traditional cremation often takes place after the family has had an opportunity to say their goodbyes, or after a traditional funeral service is held. Traditional service implies the casket is present (usually closed.). Many feel that having the deceased’s casket present for the service or visiting hours adds to the identity and meaning of the event.

Traditional cremation allows the family a chance to say their goodbyes. Being able to say goodbye is important, especially if death comes unexpectedly. Saying goodbye can be done in a private family viewing; we have many private family viewings even though the obituary may say there will be no visiting hours. A family may elect to have traditional visiting hours or have the casket present for the funeral service. Cremation takes place after these events are completed.

When planning your own cremation, it is important to understand that your family may very well need to see you before you are cremated, especially if death occurs suddenly. It is a kind thing to allow the family to say their goodbyes. 

What is an ‘immediate cremation’?

Immediate cremation involves no viewing or embalming. Once the holding period is completed, cremation takes place after all certificates, authorizations and permits are obtained. Vermont has a 24-hour waiting period; New Hampshire a 48-hour waiting period. Cremation requires a medical examiner permit because, once the body is cremated, it cannot be exhumed for further examination.

On July 1, 2007, Vermont instituted a 24-hour holding period before cremation can take place. A Vermont medical examiner must review the cause of death for certain criteria, especially trauma. Upon approval, the medical examiner will issue a ‘Medical Examiner Cremation permit’ for $25.

If death occurs in New Hampshire, Vermont funeral homes must follow New Hampshire’s 48 hour waiting period before cremation can proceed. A New Hampshire medical examiner must review the signed death certificate and actually view the deceased. The medical examiner will sign a ‘Cremation Certification’ permit at a cost of $60, check made payable to the ‘New Hampshire Attorney General’s office’.

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