Guide to Cremation Costs in Pennsylvania

This guide will help you understand cremation costs in Pennsylvania, what different cremation service options cost, legal requirements for cremation, and how to set up an affordable cremation plan.

Breakdown of cremation costs in Pennsylvania

Below we have included a breakdown of average cremation costs, and a table of cremation prices by city.

City Direct cremation price (DFS Memorials network) Phone number Average direct cremation price for the area*
Philadelphia $1,095 (215) 310-0777 $2,398
Pittsburgh $695 (412) 203-5809 $2,177
Allentown $1,295 (610) 273-8022 $2,855
Erie $1,395 (814) 208-5272 $2,359
Reading $1,295 (610) 273-8022 $3,640
Bethlehem $1,295 (610) 273-8022 $2,855
Scranton $1,295 (570) 225-9080 $2,339
Lancaster $1,195 (717) 282-1833 $2,772
Harrisburg $1,195 (717) 207-8252 $2,625

*Funeralocity 2021

Call your nearest DFS Memorials cremation provider now if you have an immediate (or imminent) need for a low-cost cremation service.

Why has cremation become the popular funeral choice for families?

There are several reasons cited as to why more families are choosing cremation for disposition.  Less traditional attitudes, more spread-out migrated families, simplicity, and convenience play a role. However, it seems by far that the reduced funeral expenses incurred by choosing a cremation service by far outweigh the other reasons.

What is the cheapest cremation option?

A direct cremation is the cheapest cremation option.  This is a cremation with no ceremony or services. The deceased is collected from the place of passing, sheltered in refrigeration while the legal aspects of authorizing the cremation are secured, then the cremation is performed, and the cremated remains are returned directly to the next of kin (or nominated legal representative).  The cremated remains can even be mailed directly to the family by a special USPS service.  This means the process can all be completed without the need to visit a funeral home, and significantly keep costs down.  More funeral service providers and crematories are now offering easy and secure online cremation arrangement portals.

Visit our article about The Cremation Process: From the funeral home receiving the deceased, to giving the family the cremated remains to learn more about cremation.

What does a cremation cost in Pennsylvania?

The average cost of a direct cremation service is $2,449 (Funeralocity), however, as you will note from the table below, a simple cremation can be conducted for much less than that in most areas.  Indeed, a direct cremation can cost as low as $695 in Pittsburgh.  The average cost for a direct cremation in Pennsylvania with the DFS Memorials network of low-cost cremation providers is $1,195. 

A full-service cremation funeral or a cremation memorial service includes more ancillary services and options.  So, if you decide on a cremation funeral service option you can expect the cost to increase.

The average cost for a cremation memorial service is $3,740, and the average cost for a full-service cremation funeral is $6,511.

Can you still have a funeral with cremation?

Yes, you can conduct a funeral service and then arrange for the deceased to be cremated afterward.  This would be very similar to a traditional funeral but with a cremation disposition of the body as opposed to burial.  A cremation funeral can save on funeral costs as it can eliminate (or reduce) any cemetery interment costs which can account for between $1,500 to $4,000.  Also, it is possible to eliminate the need to purchase a casket, as many funeral homes now offer rental caskets for a cremation funeral service.

Alternatively, you can opt for a cremation memorial service.  This is usually when the service or ceremony is held after the cremation with the cremation urn present.  This can be held as a formal service in a funeral home or place of worship.  Or it can take the form of a family-led memorial gathering anywhere.  Some families choose to do this when they want to scatter their loved one’s remains in a special place.

Cremation ash scattering in Pennsylvania

There are memorial scattering gardens in many cemeteries now, but you can scatter cremation ashes in the beautiful Pennsylvanian countryside too.  It is worth bearing in mind if you want some kind of permanent memorial marker for the location of scattered or interred cremation remains.  A designated cemetery or niche provides a permanent memorial location for your loved one.

There are no state laws that prevent you from scattering cremated remains, but it is wise to check with local county offices to check any restrictions or permissions required.  Especially if you are considering a scattering ceremony on public or federal land. Many National Parks are now permitting ash scattering but may require you to submit a request for permission.  Generally, the Park Ranger’s office will handle requests and log details.

Read our Guide to Safely Scattering Cremated Remains for more information about how to disperse cremains.

How soon can a cremation be arranged when someone passes?

PA funeral legislation requires a waiting period of 24 hours after the death before a cremation can proceed.  It usually takes a few days to process the legal authorizations and obtain the permit to cremate anyway.

Who can authorize a cremation?

There are certain legal requirements that MUST be met for a cremation to proceed.  A Cremation Authorization Form must be signed by the next of kin. In the case where there may be multiple next of kin (i.e. siblings of the deceased), all must sign the authorization before the funeral director can obtain a cremation permit.

What does a cremation permit cost?

The funeral director will obtain the permit to cremate from the local county coroner.  The cost for a cremation permit varies by county.  The permit fee ranges between $15.00 – $40.00.

Making a simple prearrangement cremation plan

Setting up an affordable cremation plan can ensure your final expenses are covered and protect your family from the financial responsibility.  Providing peace of mind for all.  These days a simple cremation plan (a pre-arranged direct cremation) can be set up easily ahead of time.  This enables you to lock in cremation services at today’s prices.  The funds are protected by a state trust fund.

You can even set up a prearrangement cremation plan online, submit the personal information that is required, and make your payment.

If you wish to set up a cremation plan contact your nearest provider from the listings above.

This entry was posted in Cheap Cremation by Sara Marsden. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sara Marsden

I have been researching and writing about the death care industry for the last ten years. End of life services and experiences are something most of us choose not to reflect upon until we are suddenly faced with dealing with it. I have been contributing comprehensive and independent resources for families that explain how the funeral industry operates, and the laws that govern funeral practices. Sara writes for US Funerals Online and DFS Memorials LLC, as well as contributing to other forums and publications for the death care industry. I have a BA in Cultural Studies. This helps my analysis of cultural death care rituals, alongside a career background in Business Management. The death care industry is undergoing an epoch of change and this fascinates me.