What Are the Differences Between a Traditional Burial and Cremation?

By: Melissa Descant
Friday, October 18, 2019

The death of a loved one is a very sad and emotional time for the family. Many decisions must be made in a short time, and that can become overwhelming. Fortunately, funeral directors are available to assist the family with the various funeral arrangements they must make. Below are a few aspects to consider when it comes to the final ceremony to celebrate the life of the deceased.

There are two main options that family members must choose between when it comes to the death of a loved one. These include a traditional burial and cremation. People choose one over the other for various reasons. Below is a closer look at the difference between the two. One main difference between a traditional burial and cremation is the expense.


When a loved one passes away, funeral services tend to cost the family thousands of dollars. Whereas, cremation services tend to cost a lot less. Burial is more involved, as the funeral home must do many things to prepare the body for the various ceremonies and viewings, including embalming, and thus the expenses start to pile up. Because of this, families choose to cremate the body because of financial reasons and a simpler process.

Besides cost, families choose to cremate the body because it was the deceased person's wish. When a body is cremated, the family receives the ashes in a decorative urn. They may decide to place the urn in a special place inside their home and have it with them at all times, especially in the event they move to a different state or they may choose to scatter the ashes over a place that held special meaning to the deceased.

Many Decisions to Be Made

Funeral directors play an important role when it comes to helping the family through a very difficult time. As stated above, families must make a lot of decisions in a short amount of time, especially if the deceased never made their wishes known. The funeral director can take the lead and advise the family on what to do regarding the services, viewings, flowers, prayer cards, donations, and any other decisions that must be made. Directors are also trained in grief counseling and are available to the family members to talk and to support them during the few days after the death occurred, as well as informing them of various groups that help deal with grief.

A traditional burial or cremation are both great options to honor the life of a loved one. Choosing cremation does not mean that the family must miss out on the services or having a viewing for the deceased. They can still choose to include whatever they would like to celebrate the life of the deceased. Many families choose a burial because they want to be able to go and talk to or visit the deceased at the cemetery anytime they wish to.

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, especially if the death was untimely. Planning a final ceremony to honor and celebrate their life is important because it gives family and friends a final time to say good-bye.


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