Cremation vs Burial: The Differences to Understand

Did you know in 2020, 56.1 percent of all deaths resulted in cremation?

If you’re planning the funeral of a loved one, you have some important decisions to make when it comes to laying them to rest. In this article, we will give you an overview of both practices.

Read on to learn whether cremation vs burial is the best choice for you.

What Is Cremation?

As previously stated, cremation has become a more popular practice in the United States, and it’s expected to increase in popularity. 

The cremation process involves placing the body in a cremation chamber and using heat to break down the body into ashes or essential elements. 

While more people have been choosing cremation in recent years in the United States, the practice goes back thousands of years. Scholars have found evidence that cremation practices go back to the stone age, 3000 B.C. in Europe.

What Is a Burial?

Unlike cremations, which are relatively new to western culture, burials are the most traditional choice. 

The burial process involves placing the body in a casket or vault and putting it into the ground. Many people believe burying the body is a way for the person to return to nature. 

Due to the belief that the person will return to nature, many people have used burials as the preferred choice to honor their deceased loved ones. Nowadays, however, the body tends to go through an embalming process that slows down the decomposition process. 

Embalming doesn’t preserve the body forever, but it does allow the body to remain in viewing condition for an open casket funeral or if the body needs to be transported a long distance. 

Burial vs Cremation

Now that you know a little bit more about the history and the process of getting cremated and getting buried, we should look at the differences.

Although no choice is better than the other, the only difference between these practices is the method. During the cremation process, the body is burned until only ash, and bone minerals remain. 

In burial, the body is placed into the ground allowing the decomposition process to return it to nature. Some people choose to bury ashes, which makes it more similar to a burial.

Costs of Burial vs Cremation

When it comes to price, the cost of cremation tends to be a lot lower, but this can vary depending on the person’s wishes. Some people choose to have a more intimate service, while others want to splurge.

Here are the typical costs of cremation services:

  • Funeral director fees: $2,500
  • Cremation: $300
  • Cremation casket $500
  • Casket rental (optional for viewing): $500
  • Urn: $295

Here are the typical costs of a burial:

  • Funeral director fees: $2,500
  • Embalming $700
  • Casket: $2,500
  • Gravesite $2,500
  • Headstone $1,500

As you can see, based on these prices, cremation is a less expensive choice, but it’s all about personal choice.

Now You Know the Differences Between Cremation vs Burial

Now that you know the difference between cremation vs burial, you’re ready to make the best decision for your loved one.

While cremating involves burning the body into its essential elements, burial is the process of returning the body to the ground. The method you use depends on your personal choice.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more, check out the rest of our blog.

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