Traditionally, ground burials have been a mainstay within the funeral planning industry, with many families opting for this traditional route in lieu of other forms of end-of-life practices.  However, as social norms continue to evolve, cremation has emerged as a preference among many families who are searching for an alternative to the common approach of a funeral followed by a cemetery burial.  But what is the best method to rely upon when funeral planning?  A cremation funeral service meets the needs of many families who are searching for the most honorable way to remember their loved one.  Here are some of the pros and cons of cremations versus traditional ground burials to help local families make the best decision for their loved one’s final care needs.

Pros & Cons of Traditional Burials

Traditional burials represent the most common form of funeral arrangement service being relied on by today’s families.  Many families find the traditional route to be comforting as they may have practiced such burials as family traditions for many generations.  Here are some additional advantages to traditional burials:

  • Traditional burials in cemeteries provide a single, permanent location for surviving kin to visit their departed loved one.
  • Such burials may also be in family plots so surviving kin can visit more than one family member at a time.
  • Additionally, ground burials meet many religious customs for families who may want to honor their family’s unique traditions.

Alternatively, here are a few disadvantages of traditional burials:

  • Traditional burials are associated with potentially higher expenses when compared to cremations. For example, such burials require the purchase of a land plot in the cemetery as well as the purchase of a coffin to carry the body.
  • There may be inflexibility when it comes to visiting the departed. For instance, if the cemetery has certain rules and regulations that must be followed such as visitation hours.

Pros & Cons of Cremations

While there are many benefits of traditional burials, this final arrangement choice may not be the best option for everyone.  When it comes to cremations, many families prefer them because of their general lower costs and because of their flexibility.  For instance, here are some of the top reasons why some families choose cremations:

  • Cremations extend the time given to families who may not have the finances to plan a traditional funeral right away. This means that remains can be cremated and placed in an urn.  Then a memorial service can be held weeks or even months later.
  • Cremations are friendly on the environment; they do not require a cemetery plot or casket burial.
  • Urns are portable containers that can be taken anywhere. This is important for grieving family members, especially those who may have moved away from the family’s hometown and cannot visit a distant cemetery often.  This also means that multiple family members can share in the responsibility of an urn.
  • A cremation can still be accompanied with a traditional funeral and ground burial if the family so chooses.

Despite these benefits, there are also a few downsides to cremations:

  • The cremation process includes the incineration of the human body which is unacceptable in some religions.
  • Some families may not be comfortable with the thought of cremating a loved one’s body and would instead prefer for the body to remain intact within a casket.
  • Cremated remains can be scattered in various locations. However, some family members may not experience closure if there is no designated area to visit their loved one’s remains.

While it is never easy to say goodbye to a cherished loved one, many inevitable decisions must be made soon after their death.  There is no right or wrong decision when it comes to funeral or cremation planning.  Instead, the decisions that are made should be based on the unique circumstances of the family—their budget, their religious obligations or their family’s customs.  It is a deeply personal decision to choose between a traditional burial or a cremation service.  For families who are unsure of which choice to make, contact a funeral home today and speak to a funeral home director who can provide more information on all available options for a cremation funeral service.

To learn more about funerals, casket burials, and cremations, contact a cremation provider near you who can answer additional questions regarding the final arrangement process.