Cremation vs. Burial: Which One to Choose

gravestones-in-arlington-cemetery-virginia

In connection with funeral provisions or the death in the family, the question of the most suitable form of burial often arises. Basically only two different types – burial and cremation – can be distinguished from each other anyway.

The burial of the deceased is usually in a cemetery in the coffin buried. This form of burial has been a tradition for centuries but has a slightly downward trend. Cremations, on the other hand, are increasing.

Here the cremation takes place in a crematorium, the burial of the remains can be designed very flexibly and take place through different types of burial.

How does the cremation process work?

The cremation process is a funeral procedure that aims to reduce a body to ashes. For this, the corpse is subjected to 1000 °C in a special oven, dedicated solely to this function. For it to occur, it is necessary that the body remains at least 24 hours in a cold room after obtaining release – by the hospital. This period is required for family members or authorities to have a chance to claim the body, in case of need. After this interval, the corpse is transferred to the crematory chamber. At this stage, all metals that may be in the body, such as jewelry, pacemakers and watches, are removed, as well as the urn handles, in order to ensure the safety of the process. Combustion lasts 2-3 hours, until the urn and the organic matter dissolve. The family cannot follow any of these steps and will only receive the urn with the ashes at the end of the cremation.

Did you know: even though cremation appears to be a modern and technological ritual, its practice refers to the traditions of ancient peoples. It is estimated that the Greeks, around 1000 BC, already adopted the method in their funeral celebrations for its hygienic capacity.

Burial Process

When it is decided with the papers, a place in the cemetery has been chosen, it is permissible to start the main process. The coffin with the deceased is removed to the hearse and delivered to the burial point. There should be a dug hole two meters long and two meters high. These measurement requirements were established several decades ago and have not changed until today. The only exception is the burial of the urn. It is not required to observe the parameters here, since the ashes are considered an ecological product that does not require long-term decay.

Documentation:

  • death certificate;
  • the passport of the person in charge of the funeral;
  • certificate for obtaining a burial place;
  • Receipt of payment.
  • For the urn, a certificate of cremation and a certificate issued for the grave are required.

When seeking help from a funeral agency, the client can count on the fact that all actions will be performed accurately and without delay. The funeral will be held in accordance with the established norms, without violating the rituals.

Cremation vs. Burial: How To Decide Between The Two?

For this, all the issues that were previously addressed need to be taken into account. If you weigh the benefits, you will be able to choose the ones that are most needed by you.

If you prefer not to go through the burial process and witness this moment, the decision is more on the cremation side, for example. However, if you want there to be a place for visitation, tributes and souvenirs, and that this place is traditional, then the decision goes more towards the burial.

Either way, both decisions are great and fulfill very well the role of providing the loved one with the dignity deserved in this moment of condolences.

That way, when the work is done with professionalism, the result is always within what you expect. So, regardless of your choice, rest assured knowing that the best will be done.

Burial or cremation: find out which is cheaper!

The costs are not low for those who have a plan and for those who do not have this feature, they tend to be much higher than usual. The truth is: being prepared for death changes everything! With that in mind, we produced this article to discuss prices and say which of the two techniques, burying or cremating, is cheaper.

Want to bury or cremate? Understand the prices!

When there is a death in a family that does not have the support of an established funeral plan, several bureaucratic procedures that involve price increases may arise. This is due to the lack of support from a company that specializes in this matter.

Below we’ve broken down the pricing information so you can understand which of the two options, burying or cremating, fits your budget best.

Burial price

The value of a complete funeral for those who want to bury can easily reach the rate of 10 thousand dollars. The justification for this price depends on a series of choices that can be made by family or friends for the composition of the funeral.

The main expenses are included in:

  1. coffin;
  2. ornamentation;
  3. wake ceremony;
  4. release from the body;
  5. payment of fees related to the cemetery and registry office;
  6. body preparation;
  7. transfer from the place of death to the place of wake and burial.

Thus, when choosing to bury or cremate, the former stands out as more expensive.

Cremation Price

Unlike the above, cremation services are avoided in many cases because of the existing myth about the cost of the process. Some people believe that the price demanded at the expense of the burial is much higher, but that is not exactly what happens.

Currently, cremation costs an average of $5000-$7000 for cases where there is a simple ceremony. In the others, which demand more perks at the moments of honor, the cost can rise and surpass the mark of $9000. Thus, it is understood as a cheaper action than burial. After all, the overhead is pretty low.

Therefore, when in doubt about burying or cremating, remember that cremation is cheaper. It is also worth noting that during the coronavirus pandemic the bodies must be sent for cremation.

The main expenses that cause the price to vary regarding cremation are:

  1. funeral service;
  2. coffin;
  3. funeral;
  4. transfer.

Advantages of Cremation

Less harmful to the environment

The best-known benefit of cremation is, without a doubt, its ability to generate less damage to nature. The process involves the emission of water and carbon dioxide. When carried out in a safe place and with adequate infrastructure, the polluting potential of this last substance is reduced, as it passes through filters that reduce the load of carbon dioxide released into the environment. Furthermore, cremation prevents the decomposition of the body. Deterioration releases toxic gases and the so-called necro slurry, a liquid resulting from the rotting of tissues and chemicals used in preserving the corpse, which can penetrate the earth and pollute aquifers.

Guarantees long-term savings

The cremation is a single process. This means that it does not require additional expenses, such as opening fees, headstones or annual maintenance. In the case of the individual cremation plan, just pay a percentage of the service to be able to activate it. When compared to the acquisition of a deposit, this choice also comes out ahead: up to 75% cheaper.

Different ways to honor your loved one

Contrary to what many might think, cremation does not dispense with the funeral. If the family wishes, it is possible to perform the ceremony before the process or even organize a memorial with the presence of the ash urn. In addition, it is common that other forms of homage are adopted: there are those who choose to spread the ashes of their loved ones in a place that was important in their view. Other people choose to create a special space, in which photos and other objects that refer to the individual’s history are grouped. The market also offers differentiated ballot boxes. Some models allow the ash to become an input for the generation of a plant; others have a biodegradable function and dissolve in contact with water.

Greater convenience for the family

For those who opt for a burial, it is common to have to deal with exhumation, that is, the removal of the body from the place after a certain period – either for contractual reasons related to the funeral plan or even to deposit a new corpse in its place. The cremation dispenses this process. Another great advantage is that the transport of ashes can usually be done by the family from one place to another, eliminating the need to hire a funeral service exclusively for this function.

Advantages of Burial

Below, we list the main points that have caused more people to look for services that include the funeral assistance benefit.

Safety for the family

Unfortunately, there are recurrent cases of people who take advantage of delicate moments, such as the death of someone, to promote scams or practice abusive prices. In this sense, funeral assistance ensures that, even in the midst of the emotional impact, family members are not harmed, as services have already been defined previously.

Humanized treatment

Professionals who work in companies involving funeral assistance are specially prepared to provide maximum security and peace of mind during the entire process. This support is essential to prevent people close to living a negative experience during this time.

Financial savings

First, a funeral tends to generate unforeseen expenses. In addition, it is not difficult to see that a funeral involves a very high cost, which can make family members even more worried amid expenses and the pain of loss. It is very common, even, to need to resort to savings or take out a loan to meet the needs that arise in these situations.

Therefore, the fact of having funeral assistance is a sure guarantee of both having peace of mind and protecting the finances.

Cremation vs. Burial: Environmental Impact

Although cremation was promoted after World War II as environmentally preferable to burial, modern thinking is challenging this. Gas is consumed in the process and harmful pollutants are released into the atmosphere. According to the United Nations Environment Program report on the POP Emissions Inventory Guide, emissions from crematoria contribute 0.2% of the global emission of dioxins and furans. Another estimate is that cremating a body consumes energy equivalent to 500 kilometers by car and releases 500 kg (1.100 lb) of carbon dioxide.

Natural decomposition after burial appears less harmful to the environment, especially when a shroud rather than a coffin is used.

However, burial is also a known source of certain environmental contaminants. Embalming fluids, for example, are known to contaminate groundwater with mercury, arsenic and formaldehyde. However, cremation has no effect on radioisotopes, other than returning them to the environment more quickly (starting with some airborne propagation). So cremation doesn’t help at all with pollution from this source.

Cremation vs. Burial: Religious Views or Preferences

Each religion has its peculiarities, learn about some rituals below.

Catholic church

The Catholic Church believes that death is the end of a stage, but not the end of history. So, in addition to the wake, there is also the seventh-day mass. The offering of flowers is an element present in the ceremony. In this religion, burial is still the main option for family members and cremation has been widely accepted as an alternative.

Islam

Monotheistic religion centered on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an, the Muslim religion has some funeral rituals of its own. When someone dies, the family tries to gain access to the body as quickly as possible, taking it to the mosque, where the ritual of bathing is performed.

Then, the body is veiled according to the origin and culture of the deceased. The next morning, a funeral prayer is held and the body is taken to the cemetery and buried without a coffin. The spiritual part is the most important and there are communities that pray for 40 days after death. Cremation is an unknown ritual.

Hinduism

As a state of mind, Hinduism is devoid of joint veneration and ecclesiastical or congregational formalities. Tradition says that the body must go to the family’s house where the bath is given and then the ceremony takes place.

In the case of widows, for example, it is customary to remove the bracelets and break them as a sign of pain and respect for the deceased husband. The body then goes on to cremation and normally the ashes are delivered to the family. Tradition says that a part must be thrown into the river together with flowers.

Buddhism

Non-theistic philosophy or religion, originating in India, encompasses diverse traditions, beliefs and practices based on the Buddha. Funeral rituals may vary. In some, the body is wrapped in white cloth, sutras are read, and prayers are offered so that the mental continuum that leaves the body attains enlightenment. In some cases, such as in Tibet, cremation or another ceremony to dispose of the body is usually performed 49 days after death.

In the West, it is sought that this final phase is carried out only after the deceased leaves his meditative state, trying to respect three days. The most common funeral method is cremation.