Cremation vs Burial: The Differences Explained

Do you have a loved one who recently passed away? If so, making the decisions of what to do with your loved one’s remains might feel like an overwhelming process. You can make it easier by first understanding your options.

What’s the difference between cremation vs burial choices? And which would your loved one have chosen? When you’re ready to discover the similarities and differences for yourself, read on.

Cremation vs Burial: The Broad Strokes

During the cremation process, the attendant burns the body. The attendant then gathers the remaining ashes in an urn or other vessel. The crematorium then gives those ashes back to the closest relative of the deceased for burial.

During the burial process, on the other hand, an attendant embalms the body. First, the blood is removed. Then the embalmer fills the body’s cardiovascular system with embalming fluid.

Though embalming isn’t required, it’s common practice. It slows the degeneration process, making it easier to delay the funeral. That’s essential if you need to wait for relatives who live out of town or across the country.

A Deeper Look at Cremation

The cremation process begins with medical professionals verifying the death of a body. The body travels to the morgue then to the crematorium. Officials must complete authorization forms and fill out all the necessary permits during this time.

After it arrives at the crematorium, friends and family may say their goodbyes and perform any religious rights they deem necessary before an attendant burns the body. Afterward, the body is double-checked for personal possessions, such as jewelry.

Then an attendant places the body in the cremation chamber. While it’s getting cremated, the body is subjected to temperatures reaching as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This lasts from one to three hours to ensure all the organic materials incinerate.

An attendant then removes the ashes and gives them to the deceased’s family member or loved one.

The two greatest benefits of cremation include the following:

  • Cremation prices
  • Delaying the funeral

When you compare burial vs. cremation prices, burial prices are always higher. Remember, prices include processing the body, the casket, and the burial plot. Cremation ashes also need processing, but the urns and cremation plots cost much less than their burial counterparts.

A Deeper Look at Burial

Traditional burials require processing the remains. An attendant first removes any jewelry and clothing on the body. Then, the attendant washes and disinfects the body.

Afterward, an embalmer extracts the fluids from the remains and replaces them with embalming fluid. It helps reduce the deterioration of the soft tissues and reduces any lingering smells.

Then the body is clothed, and the embalmer applies makeup to exposed skin to reduce the grey pallor naturally associated with death.

Afterward, the body is transferred to a casket and ready for the wake of the burial. Be sure to follow up with your local crematorium or funeral home for more cremation questions and answers. Remember, this is a tough process for most folks, and you don’t have to endure it alone.

What’s Next?

Now that you know the differences between the cremation vs burial process, which is right for your loved one? Keep in mind your budget and the date you’d like to hold the funeral.

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