How do you decide between burial and cremation? This is a highly personal decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, if you are creating your own end-of-life plan or planning a funeral service for a loved one, here are some things to consider.

How to Choose Between Burial or Cremation

Although everyone is different, here are some factors that people generally consider when choosing their method of disposition.

Religious Beliefs

Many people turn to their religious beliefs when deciding between burial vs cremation. While some faith groups traditionally preferred burial over cremation, some within those religious groups accept a cremation as an acceptable method of disposition.

If you aren’t sure of the teachings of your faith group, talk over the decision with a religious leader. You might discover, as in the case of the Catholic Church, that cremation is allowed as long as the remains are appropriately interred in a Catholic cemetery.

Burial Costs

Some take a practical approach when deciding between burial and cremation. While it is often reported that cremation is the cost-effective option, this depends on the family’s other decisions for the final arrangements.

Cremation Burial Costs

For example, direct cremation, which occurs when family members say their goodbyes at the place of death or immediately before the cremation process occurs, is relatively inexpensive. Many of these families choose to have a memorial service at the funeral home or church –sometimes with the cremation urn present.

Traditional Burial Costs

However, if the family chooses to have a traditional funeral service (including a visitation or wake with the body present) followed by cremation, the cost may not be too much different than a traditional burial.

For those who opt for a burial, many funeral homes offer a direct burial service, which is one way to cut costs. This means that the deceased is laid to rest with either service at the gravesite or without a funeral ceremony.

Cremation Costs vs. Burial Costs

The final resting place for the buried or cremated remains must also be considered when determining whether burial or cremation is the least expensive. While burial requires the purchase of a casket, cemetery plot, burial vault, and headstone, those choosing cremation also may need to budget for a final resting place for the ashes.

As you can see, it’s difficult to make a blanket statement that cremation is cheaper than burial. There are a lot of factors to consider when making that cost comparison.

Tradition and Family Wishes

While faith and funeral costs are always considered when deciding between cremation vs burial, individuals also tend to make this deeply personal choice based on family and community traditions. For example, if your family has always planned traditional funerals (with a graveside service) instead of memorial services, you may be more comfortable with this type of service for yourself or your deceased loved one.

Create an End-of-Life Plan

If you are comparing cremation with burial, you might be in the right frame of mind to do funeral preplanning. If so, consider reaching out to the funeral directors of Alabama Funeral Homes and Cremation Centers. We will help you record your final wishes based on your faith, the average cost, and personal beliefs.

To find an Alabama funeral director near you, call 334-310-4090 or fill out the contact form on our website.