Burial vs. Cremation: Deciding What's Right for You

How do you make the decision whether burial or cremation is the best option for your family? Both methods of final arrangements have been around since the beginning of man. It really comes down to personal preference as well as certain religious or cultural beliefs. For example, certain religions frown upon cremation while others recommend it.


When deciding if burial vs. cremation is right for you, it may help to know what is culturally accepted in your region and what is important to you. Many prefer burial because of tradition, religious beliefs or the need to have a permanent place to memorialize.

For centuries, burial was a way to show one’s place in society by the monument at the burial site. The monument may also provide names and dates of someone’s life.

Burial may be the best method of closure for some families – the finality of returning the body to the earth from whence it came. For some, visiting the grave site may be a healing process that is very important. Many feel that they can communicate with their loved ones when visiting the grave.


In the latter half of the 20th century, more people began choosing cremation. The United States still lags behind the rest of the industrialized world when it comes to cremation rates. The U.S. cremation rate is less than 50%, but is steadily rising with the cultural change taking place and the increasing acceptance by different religions.

Unlike burial, cremation allows families to be more transient and possibly keep their loved ones with them as they relocate. Cremation allows families to have a traditional service with or without the body present, before or after the cremation and memorialize in many different ways, such as a living memorial.

Burial vs. Cremation

As with many things concerning death and memorialization, deciding on burial vs. cremation is a very personal choice. Besides weighing cultural and religious factors, you may want to consider cost and how you want to memorialize your loved one.

Remember there is no right or wrong answer. The right answer is what is best for you and your family.

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