Cremation vs Burial: What Are the Pros and Cons of Each?

cremation vs burial

Over 2.6 million people pass away each year, leaving their families to figure out what sort of memorial they would want. If you’re loved one has recently passed, we first want to offer condolences. 

Now you’re faced with the decision of cremation vs. burial. It can be overwhelming to try and make an important decision like this during a time of grief. 

We’ve created a comparison to allow you to consider the pros and cons of each. This way, you can make an informed and logical decision during this emotional time. 

Comparing Costs 

People often opt for cremation over burial because they perceive it to be the cheaper option. In most cases, this is true. However, some extras can increase the cost of the cremation. 

The resulting price will make the cremation equivalent to a basic burial. 

Basic Burial Service 

When you pay for a basic burial service, you will have to pay for a list of services and items: 

  • Base service fee 
  • Embalming  
  • Hearse 
  • Transportation of the body to the funeral home 
  • Preparation of the body 
  • Use of the location and staff for services 
  • Memorial print packages 

Then there are additional curial costs that you can add on. These will increase the cost of the basic service. 

  • Burial vault 
  • Grave plot 
  • Opening and closing fee 
  • Casket 
  • Headstone 

Basic Cremation Service 

You’ll notice that cremation requires a lot fewer services. This is because many of the services included in the burial services are simply not needed for a basic cremation. 

  • Casket rental 
  • Urn 
  • Cremation 

The basic cremation cost will increase as you add on additional services. 

Benefits of Cremation 

Even if you choose cremation, you can still choose to have a funeral service and burial. This gives you the freedom to honor the memory of your loved one in a way that you prefer. 

The process for cremation tends to be faster. Making several decisions can become a difficult and time-consuming process in this time of grief. A cremation can speed up the process because you have fewer decisions to make. 

Once cremated, your family has time to decide what should be done with the ashes. You have a wide variety of options: 

  • Burial in a cemetery 
  • Kept in an urn 
  • Scattered 
  • Internment 
  • Cremation jewelry 
  • Cremation diamonds 

For those concerned about the environment, cremation tends to be the more favorable option. There are environmental contaminants associated with the burial of a casket. 

It will also require a smaller plot of land should you decide to bury your loved one after cremation. This can help address the problem of overcrowding in cemeteries. 

If you don’t want to bury your loved one, cremation allows you to keep your loved one with you. Should your family decide to move, you can bring the urn to your new home. 

Disadvantages of Cremation 

Some religions do not condone cremation. You’ll want to be sure that cremation doesn’t go against your loved one’s faith. 

Cremation is also a permanent decision. There is no open to exhume later on. 

Advantages of Burial 

One of the most significant benefits of having a burial is that it allows the family to grieve and gives closure to them. It also gives them a peaceful place they can come to for a visit with their loved one. 

A burial is considered the traditional and more natural option. Some religions also require it. 

Should a question arise, the body can be exhumed later on. 

Disadvantages of Burial 

One of the biggest disadvantages for people is the bost of a burial. However, a burial can vary significantly in cost. It comes down to how fancy you chose to make the burial and how many extras you opt for. 

Another disadvantage is that once your loved one is buried, it will be difficult for family members who live far away to visit. This will also be the case should you decide to move away one day. 

Respect for the Remains 

One central question that often arises when people are trying to decide between cremation and burial is one of respect. For many, it is about honoring their loved one’s memory, and by extension, their body. 

There are two methods of thinking behind this concern. Some people feel that burial is appropriate to preserve the integrity of the body. Others think that it is disrespectful to allow their loved one’s body to decay underground. 

Before you choose, you need to decide how you, your family, and the individual who passed away would feel about this issue. 

Cremation, Burial, and Religion 

When it comes to religion, each faith has their own take on whether cremation or burial is preferable. 

The church used to say that Catholics should be buried. However, in recent years they have deemed cremation acceptable, but only after funeral rites are performed. 

Most Buddhists chose a cremation because Buddha was cremated. But there is no requirement one way or the other. 

Hindus believe in reincarnation, so at the time of death, the soul leaves the body and enters another. Cremation can help the soul reach Mukti quicker. 

For those who practice Judaism, the Jewish law is explicit; burial is a must. Islam takes this belief and intensifies it. The belief is that cremation is impure. 

Both Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses commonly choose cremation. In fact, cremation is encouraged by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.

Time to Decide Cremation vs. Burial

When comparing cremation vs. burial, it is important to think about what your loved one would have wanted. After all, this is about honoring their memory. 

Think about what their values and religious beliefs were. This will help you decide which option is the best choice for your loved one. 

Contact us today and let us help you honor your loved one.