The Choice between Burial and Cremation

When a person dies, his loved ones have two choices: to have the body buried or cremated. The popularity of cremation is rapidly increasing, but there are people who still choose to have a traditional burial for their deceased loved ones.

Which will you prefer for your loved one? What factors must you check to see which will be the better choice?

Personal Choice or Tradition

One of the main factors is the family’s personal preference. Families usually have a tradition to adhere to when a family member dies.

Some choose to bury their loved ones together with the other family members who have passed on as well. Some choose to cremate their loved ones and keep the urn inside their homes. Some families choose to bury their dead; this gives them a grave to visit on special days.

Other families don’t accept having their loved ones cremated just yet as they find it upsetting. In the end, it just boils down to whatever the family prefers to have.

Religion and other Cultural Beliefs

Religion and culture also play a part in deciding whether a person is to be buried or cremated.

Most religions have accepted cremating bodies except for religions Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox Judaism and Islam.


Hinduism has practiced cremation for long periods of time because it believes that not only you dispose the body but also help the soul during its travel to the next world. On the other hand, when a person is being buried, it symbolizes Christ’s burial and resurrection.

Price of Burial vs. Price of Cremation

Another main factor is price. Burials usually are more expensive: they require casket, flowers, tombstones, burial fees, cemetery plot, ceremonies, embalming services… other costs may still come up.

Cremations, on the other hand, are cheaper and can even cost a third of what you might have spent on a burial. Cremation costs usually involve the cremating process, ceremony and burial; you no longer have to spend for embalming, viewing, casket and (may also include) the vault.

The Process Involved

A burial involves preserving the body to avoid early decay, also known as embalming. The body is laid on a casket, and a funeral is held so everyone can pay their last respects to the deceased.

After a few days, a burial is scheduled; it has to be planned in advance so the plot at the cemetery can be prepared by digging the space and placing the vault.

A cremation does not require embalming if it’s direct or if done in a timely manner. You’ll only need a casket if a funeral or viewing will take place.

The process will be held up to 48 hours after death – the body is examined and ensured to be ready for cremating. The entire process takes a couple of hours, and afterwards, the remains are stored inside an urn or other small containers.

What Happens After the Burial

You can also consider what you choose to happen with the remains. If the body is buried, you have a grave to go to, and other loved ones can also choose to visit at their own convenience.

If the body is cremated, the remains can be stored in an urn and kept in a place that you prefer. You can choose to keep the urn at home, buried inside a plot (although not as big if it were a burial), scattered on land, strewn at sea, or thrown over the air while riding a plane. You can even carry the urn with you if that’s what you prefer – and that’s not possible with a burial.