Comparing Cremation To A Traditional Burial

One of the decisions you'll have to make when doing your funeral pre-planning is whether to have a traditional burial or be cremated. Cremation is becoming more popular but you and your family may have some good reasons for requesting a burial.

Here are how they compare against each other so you can make the best choice during your pre-planning activity:

Caskets and Vaults

Burial - You must purchase a casket for a traditional viewing and burial. These can run thousands of dollars. But having a viewing of your body at the funeral home and seeing a grave-side service as you are buried in the casket may be an important element for your family's closure. Depending on state regulations and the cemetery owner's rules, you may have to purchase a concrete or steel vault to place in the grave before the casket.

Cremation - You'll need an urn for your cremains which may run a few hundred dollars. You may still want a viewing, in which case you'll be embalmed and rent a casket for the service. Then you'll be transported to a crematorium. You will not need to purchase a vault.


Burial - You'll have to buy a cemetery plot large enough for your casket. Along with the cost of the plot, there will be fees to dig the grave and fill it back in, use of an awning for a grave-side service, and other maintenance fees.

Cremation - You can choose to have your ashes scattered. Or you can buy a spot in a columbarium. You can also choose to buy a cemetery plot so you can be with other family members. You will have to pay all of the other fees when buying a cemetery plot even though an urn will be buried and not a casket.


Burial - With a cemetery plot, you'll have the choice of having a large granite monument erected on the grave site, or a simple plaque.

Cremation - A columbarium gives you the option of buying a small plaque to mark your location whether it's in a mausoleum niche or a special urn plot in the cemetery.

Timing of the Service

Burial - State laws require a body to be embalmed or buried within a specified number of days from death. If you're going to have a viewing, your family will need to be mindful of the time constraints for having the service. This can mean making the arrangements quickly and getting the announcements out to friends and family.

Cremation - When you're cremated, the service can be delayed until everything is in place, all of the family is notified and travel arrangements have been made by those who live far away. This makes the process less stressful on your family who are still grieving their loss.

When deciding on a burial or cremation, people use cost as a consideration and the convenience for the family. When doing your funeral pre-planning, talk with your family about what they would prefer to help them process their loss.

To learn more, contact a company like O'Halloran & Murphy Funeral & Cremation Services with any questions or concerns you might have.