This is a sensitive and personal question that has become increasingly common over the past 25 years. When deciding between Cremation and Burial, there are certain factors that you will need to consider: Religious Beliefs, Cost, and Environmental Impact. As with any such arrangements, the question of Cremation or Burial should be is asked before death, as part of your pre-planning discussions. In cases where the deceased had not communicated or documented a preference prior to death, the surviving family must consider evaluate those as well as the stressful act of guessing the deceased’s wishes.
- Religious Beliefs.
For many, the first factor is whether Cremation is a permitted or sanctioned by the faith practiced by the deceased. Views on Cremation vary by religion. Some religions prohibit the practice of Cremation, including Islam, certain Christian denominations and Eastern Orthodox Jews.
Other religions, especially the Roman Catholic Church, have increasingly permitted the practice of Cremation. Most other religions do not prohibit Cremation and leave the choice between Cremation and burial to the family.
If you have religious questions about cremation or are unsure as to the religious implications of Cremation, you should speak with religious leadership or designated advisors before planning a Cremation.
When compared to Burial, Cremation is a much more affordable option. Cremation is a fraction of the cost of a traditional burial, which is why a growing number of families are choosing Cremation over Burial – and the trend is expected to continue.
Burial costs can be expensive, and the cost will only increase as space becomes less available. The associated costs include:
- Caskets: Costs range from $1,500 up to $20,000 – and beyond
- Burial Plots: Factors include size, location, cemetery, and availability. Costs can range from $2,500 to more than $30,000
- Burial Vault/Crypt: Costs range from around $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the materials
- Other Costs: Labor to actually open/close the grave; Grave Marker/Headstone; Long-term maintenance of the gravesite and graveyard
As you can see, the budgetary cost for a traditional Burial starts at $5,000 and can be substantially higher. Most families can spend upwards of $20,000 for a basic funeral and traditional Burial. Land use is a serious concern with traditional Burial.
- Environmental Impact
An ever-growing number of families are considering Cremation because it’s more “environmentally friendly” than traditional Burial. If the deceased was embalmed during the Burial process, then those chemicals could make their way into the soil. By contrast, the ashes of the deceased are actually sterile and can be high in certain nutrients for the soil.
Ultimately, the question of Cremation or Burial is requires thought and consideration of many factors. Please reach out to our Cremation Society Specialists for assistance with these trying questions.