Deciding between cremation vs. burial is a deeply personal decision that can only be reached after careful consideration and thought. Here at The Gardens of Boca Raton and Boca Raton Funeral Home, we offer several different interment options in order to best meet the unique needs and wishes of each individual.
Whether you are in immediate need or are at the beginning stages of pre-planning and pre-funding of funeral arrangements, interment options are among the most important things to consider. Our family-owned team of professionals is here for you each step of the way. We’ll answer any questions you may have and help determine the option with which you are the most comfortable and at peace.
Cremation vs. Burial Statistics
In America, cremation has gradually become the interment option of choice. The National Funeral Directors Association found that slightly more than 50% of all funeral plans have come to include cremation, while approximately 43.5% of individuals choose to have a traditional burial. Ultimately, there is no incorrect decision. It comes down to what you and your loved ones are most comfortable with.
Family or cultural traditions and religious customs may play a large role in determining final interment, as well as a variety of other factors. We are here to discuss each option with you, take every important aspect of your wishes into consideration, and help you to determine whether to select cremation vs. burial.
Cremation vs. Burial Costs
Cremation is typically less expensive than a traditional burial. The reason for this is that it does not require the purchase of a casket, which averages $2,000, with a range of pricing options available. Additionally, burial plots are typically more expensive to purchase than cremation crypts and niches, and mausoleums are more costly to build.
With cremation, there may or may not be the need to preserve the body beforehand, depending on whether or not there will be a traditional funeral or memorial service prior to cremation. Preservation is an additional cost that needs to be considered when selecting an interment option or pre-funding a funeral.
When choosing cremation, you are still required to purchase a cremation container, or a temporary casket if you are opting to also have a traditional funeral service. Cremation containers are typically constructed from wood or cardboard and therefore cost less than a casket. You will also need to purchase an urn to store the ashes after cremation, and if you choose, a cremation crypt or niche if the ashes will not be returned to a loved one.
The average cost of cremation vs. burial may vary widely based on where you live, along with the personal options and the interment option you choose. Cremation costs can be as low as $1,000 while a funeral and traditional ground burial may cost more than $10,000.
The Pros and Cons of Cremation vs. Burial
When deciding on cremation or burial there are pros and cons of each interment option that should be considered in order to help you reach the decision that helps you to feel most at peace.
The Benefits of Cremation
Aside from cost, there are other benefits of cremation to look at. Benefits of cremation include the ability to still have a traditional viewing, funeral, or memorial service. Many individuals are not aware that it is possible to have a viewing and funeral service when choosing cremation, making it important to know that this is a possibility if it is something you are concerned about.
Additionally, cremation is generally considered to be more environmentally friendly than a traditional burial. Cremation takes up less land and many cemeteries are becoming overcrowded and more expensive to buy plots in as a result.
Another benefit of cremation is the ability to take the urn and ashes to different locations. The ability to move the ashes may be of great benefit if a family member moves away, or family members would like to take turns having the ashes in their possession. Some individuals wish to have their urns travel the country after they have passed as a symbolic, posthumous honor and cremation gives you this possibility.
Some individuals like the idea that with cremation their ashes are able to be divided between family members, or incorporated as jewelry or memorable, sentimental pieces that each child or grandchild can keep. These are benefits not offered by a traditional ground burial.
The Cons of Cremation
While there are many benefits of cremation, there are also cons to be considered. If an individual is cremated and the urn is returned to a family member or loved one, there may not be a place for friends or other family members to visit in commemoration. The Gardens offers cremation niches and columbariums for family members to have the privilege of visiting deceased loved ones, but this is an additional cost.
There is some debate regarding the environmental benefits of cremation as it does require the use of fossil fuel and releases mercury into the atmosphere. Additionally, while the ability to move and transport ashes can be considered a benefit, it may also be difficult to determine where the ashes go, which family member(s) receive them, and so on.
The Benefits of Burial
Just as there are benefits to cremation, there are also benefits to traditional burials. Burials provide an area for friends and loved ones from anywhere to come and visit the plot or mausoleum.
The Cons of Burial
The cons of having a traditional burial are largely associated with the environmental concerns and the permanent location of the final resting place. It may be difficult for friends and family members who live far away to visit the burial site, whereas with cremation the ashes can be transported, say to memorial services in different locations.
Religious Traditions Regarding Cremation vs. Burial
Often, religion is taken into consideration when determining both interment options and a final resting place. Some religions require cremation of the deceased, while others are more opposed to the process. Traditionally, Roman Catholics have been in favor of burial instead of cremation, though in recent years their stance has become more neutral.
You can read what the Bible says about cremation here.
Judaism generally favors traditional burial, and the Greek Orthodox are strongly against the process of cremation. Jewish law states that the deceased should be buried as soon as possible, preferably within the first day and embalming does not take place. The Greek Orthodox do not typically allow funeral services for individuals who have been cremated.
Cremation is also forbidden in the Muslim faith, again requiring that the deceased receive a traditional ground burial within a day of passing. Similar to Jewish law, embalming of the body is not allowed.
Those of the Buddhist and Hindu faiths, however, favor cremation. Hinduism mandates cremation vs burial, where the process is known as “antim sanskar.” Many Hindus arrange for loved one’s ashes to be transported to India and follow the Hindu tradition of scattering the ashes in the Ganges River.
Buddhists perform last rites on the day of cremation, though traditional burial is allowed in the religion too. Tradition states that after cremation, the deceased ashes be returned to family members, placed in a columbarium, or scattered in the ocean.
The Environmental Impact of Cremation vs. Burial
In recent years, many unique, environmentally focused options have risen in popularity for those who choose cremation as an internment option. Not only are traditional cremation crypts and niches available, but individuals are now able to have their ashes stored in tree sprouts, which can provide a visiting site for loved ones as the tree grows.
As traditional cremation does require fossil fuel and the release of mercury as discussed above, natural cremation options are now also available.
While traditional burials do not use fossil fuel or release chemicals into the air, there is the concern that they may have a negative impact on the ground, soil, and waterways. If the environment is a concern to you when choosing an interment option, these are all things to consider.
Pre-Planning Cremation or Burial
There is great benefit to pre-planning and pre-funding either a cremation or burial, along with a funeral or memorial service. If you feel strongly that you wish to be either cremated or buried, this process ensures that your wishes will be met. Additionally, pre-funding a cremation, burial, and service relieves your family of financial concern during a time of grief.
Here at The Gardens of Boca Raton and Boca Raton Funeral Home we provide private consultations to those who are pre-planning and pre-funding cremation, burial, and funeral services.
You can read more about our pre-planning services here.
Cremation or Burial in Immediate Need
If your family is in immediate need for planning the cremation, burial, and funeral or memorial services of a loved one, The Gardens of Boca Raton and Boca Raton Funeral Home is available at any time to help you throughout the process.
We understand the sensitive needs and grieving process of your family and seek to make it as simple as possible, providing help with paperwork, transportation, preparation, and planning needs.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation or tour of our property.