One of the most common questions we get asked is “why choose burial over cremation?” If you are undecided we have provided a list of benefits of choosing burial to help simplify your decision. There is a wide variety of reasons why someone would choose burial, however the reasons listed below are what we have found to be the most common:
Permanent Gravesite to Visit
One of the main benefits of choosing burial is that it provides a permanent gravesite or mausoleum for families to visit. For many people, having an allotted space at a cemetery where they can physically go to visit their loved one helps with their grieving process. Visiting the grave at the cemetery is considered by some to be a sacred event and allows them to feel a connection to their loved one. For some families, this is a major advantage of burial over cremation.
Burial services tend to be the more traditional choice, and if you or your loved one are more conventional, then this would likely be the choice for you. It is very common for people to consider burial the default method of saying goodbye, and honoring their loved one. For most people, when they think of a funeral they generally envision a casketed burial service following the ceremony.
Natural & Peaceful Setting
Many people find cemeteries peaceful, beautiful, and are just a natural fit as a final resting place. What better place to celebrate the life of a loved one than under the open sky, beneath trees, or beside flowers? No matter the cemetery that your loved one's burial service is held at, the emotional and spiritual comforts of the natural surroundings will be keenly felt.
Allows for a Proper Goodbye
For many, a full funeral with a burial service provides the most effective way to mourn the loss of a loved one, get closure, and deal with their grief. Witnessing the coffin being lowered into the ground often gives people the closure they need during that time and is seen by many as a proper goodbye.
Being Alongside Your Loved Ones
With burial, your final resting place can be right beside your spouse and family members. For example, if a husband passes away and is buried, his wife will likely be buried beside him so they can be alongside each other for eternity.
What is opening and closing and why is it so expensive?
Opening and closing fees can include up to and beyond 50 separate services provided by the cemetery. Typically, the opening and closing fee include administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission and the completion of other documentation which may be required, entering the interment particulars in the interment register, maintaining all legal files); opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling the interment space); installation and removal of the lowering device; placement and removal of artificial grass dressing and coco-matting at the grave site, leveling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site and leveling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles.
Can we dig our own grave to avoid the charge for opening and closing?
The actual opening and closing of the grave is just one component of the opening and closing fee. Due to safety issues which arise around the use of machinery on cemetery property and the protection of other gravesites, the actual opening and closing of the grave is conducted by cemetery grounds personnel only.
Why is having a place to visit so important?
To remember and to be remembered are natural human needs. A permanent memorial in a cemetery provides a focal point for remembrance and memorializing the deceased. Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture. Psychologists say that remembrance practices, from the funeral or memorial service to permanent memorialization, serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping them bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin. Providing a permanent resting place for the deceased is a dignified treatment for a loved one’s mortal remains, which fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization.
What happens when a cemetery runs out of land?
When a cemetery runs out of land, it will continue to operate and serve the community. Most cemeteries have crematoriums, and some historic cemeteries even offer guided tours.
In a hundred years will this cemetery still be there?
We think of cemetery lands as being in perpetuity. There are cemeteries throughout the world that have been in existence for hundreds of years.
How soon after or how long after a death must an individual be buried?
There is no law that states a specific time from for burial. Considerations that will affect timeline include the need to secure all permits and authorizations, notification of family and friends, preparation of cemetery site and religious considerations. Public heath laws may have limitations on the maximum length of time allowed to pass prior to final disposition. Contact your local funeral provider for more details.
Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?
No. Embalming is a choice which depends on factors like if there is to be an open casket viewing of the body or if there is to be an extended time between death and internment. Public health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported by air or rail.
What options are available besides ground burial?
Besides ground burial, some cemeteries offer interment in lawn crypts or entombment in mausoleums. In addition, most cemeteries provide choices for those who have selected cremation. These often include placement of cremated remains in a niche of a columbarium or interment in an urn space.
What are burial vaults and grave liners?
These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass. A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which simply keeps the grave surface from sinking in.
Must I purchase a burial vault?
Most large, active cemeteries have regulations that require the use of a basic grave liner for maintenance and safety purposes. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements. Some smaller rural or churchyard cemeteries do not require use of a container to surround the casket in the grave.
There are alternatives to burial. See Cremation Services