Exploring Cremation v Burial Options

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When it comes to end-of-life arrangements, deciding which path to pursue for yourself or your loved ones can be a difficult decision. For many people, the decision between a cremation or burial is influenced by cultural traditions or religious beliefs, however, for many others, the choice may not be so clear.

By shedding light on these options, individuals can make informed choices regarding their funeral arrangements as well as those of their loved ones. This can ensure final wishes are respected, providing a sense of peace and comfort to families during this challenging time.

Exploring Cremation v Burial Options


The cremation process involves the use of extreme heat to turn the deceased’s body into ashes. The furnace chamber in which the corpse is placed can reach temperatures between 1,400 and 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and typically takes two to three hours to completely incinerate the body.

The cremated remains are then processed and turned into a fine powder before being placed into an urn or container. Families may choose to scatter these remains in a meaningful place according to their loved one’s wishes or even keep them as a memorial in their home. Below is a list of some of the benefits of choosing cremation as an end-of-life option:

  • Affordability: Statistics from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) report that the median cost of cremation in the U.S. was around $6,971 in 2021, while the median cost of a burial funeral was around $7,848.
  • Eco-friendly: Cremation is generally seen as a more eco-friendly funeral option compared to burial as it reduces land use, the need for wood or other natural resources to make the casket, as well as toxic chemicals for embalming the body.
  • Flexibility: Freed from the time constraints linked to burying a body, cremation offers families greater flexibility when contemplating how to store or scatter their loved one’s ashes.


A conventional burial involves a funeral ceremony where loved ones can view the deceased in their casket and pay their final respects. Once the ceremony has ended, the casket is transported to a burial site such as a cemetery and laid to rest in its grave. Below is a list of some of the benefits of burial as a funeral choice:

  • Religious beliefs: Burials hold religious and cultural significance for many people. Religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in the sanctity of the human body, making burial a suitable choice for individuals who practice these faiths. 
  • Physical site: Burial offers people a physical place where they can come to visit the final resting place of their loved ones. This can help them to process their feelings of grief and offer them a sense of comfort and continued connection with their dearly departed.
  • Greener alternatives: While burials may be viewed as environmentally unfriendly due to their consumption of land resources and the introduction of chemicals and other materials into the soil, eco-friendly alternatives are being introduced. For instance, the use of biodegradable shrouds or caskets which enable the natural decomposition of the body into the earth without the use of harmful embalming chemicals.

By taking these points into consideration you can decide on a funeral choice that best aligns with your or your loved ones’ wishes, values and beliefs.

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