How Does Burial vs. Cremation Affect My Funeral Plans

This article was written by Samantha Overbaugh, on May 17, 2022

A common misconception about cremation is that you aren’t able to host a viewing or open-casket funeral. This post debunks this myth and gives you the full picture on how burial or cremation plans affect your funeral.

woman holding lilies and man holding urn

So you’ve decided to make pre-arrangements for your funeral. Whether you are as healthy as a horse or perhaps do possess underlying health conditions, we are here to help guide and inform you. There exists an array of options to choose from when it comes to pre-planning the details of your funeral. Our objective is to provide you information you might need in order to make the best decision for you and your family.

Many people have the common misconception that holding a traditional funeral and graveside service implies that the deceased must be buried in a casket. We are here to inform you that this is in fact, not the case. Let’s explore the complete picture!

Let’s start here: Burial vs. Cremation: What is the difference?

When someone is buried, arrangements are made beforehand by selecting a casket and grave marker to recognize the loved one. You can also elect be be buried in a joint burial plot. In the case of cremation, an urn is chosen to place the ashes in. They can be scattered, the family may elect to spread a portion and preserve the remainder for their memory, or they may even be placed in a mausoleum niche. Some partnerships may differ in their preferences

Each of these choices are a deeply individual and personal decision of preference. We would like you to understand something very important though. A cremation/burial is just what happens at the end. What precedes the final burial or cremation is completely flexible to your family’s wishes and needs. Let’s use an example to illustrate a possible scenario…

Max is an older gentleman who, out of love for his family, elected to pre-arrange his funeral. Max lived a life of many unanticipated expenses and events (as most of us do) that when breaking down the costs of a casket burial, it appeared unfeasible in his current financial circumstance.

But Max still desired greatly to provide his bereaved family with the healing closure he believed an open casket viewing would give his loved ones. His preneed insurance agent who assisted Max in this process explained to him that he could arrange to rent a casket for the viewing and then at a later time hold a graveside service at the cemetery’s mausoleum where they would intern his ashes into something called a “niche,” which is a unique alternative designed for the interment of a loved one’s cremated remains.

Though Max’s passing was largely anticipated, death is never an easy thing and the family experienced significant grief. What alleviated a large portion of their heartache was the peace of mind that his funeral arrangements were made beforehand.

This is just one example of what was the best decision for one family. There is no right or wrong way to organize the logistics of this important day for your family. The intention of a funeral service is to commemorate one’s life and help to alleviate grief through closure.

Your funeral arrangements can be whatever you would like it to be. These are your wishes, and we hope now you can better grasp that whether one is buried or cremated, a funeral service can still be held. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *