How To Decide Whether To Cremate Or Bury?

Nowadays, most people choose cremations over traditional burial because it helps save money, provided you are not tricked by the funeral home into buying expensive add-ons.

Direct cremation, in particular, is considered least expensive as it avoids costs associated with visitation and funeral service. Plus, it is a preferred choice in the present times as it saves land space.

Nevertheless, it is a personal decision made by the individual or family members. Moreover, take your deceased loved one’s wishes, feelings, and beliefs into consideration. Certain individuals, for example, have a fear of decaying or being buried alive.


Religious and cultural beliefs also play an important part in this decision. Except for Orthodox Judaism, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Islam, most religions accept the process of cremation.

In fact, this system has been practiced in Hinduism since time immemorial as it believes that not only does a cremation serve as a means of disposing of the body but also helps the departed soul in its journey into the next world. Ground burial, on the other hand, symbolizes the burial and resurrection of the Christ.

Cremations are being promoted now because of social, technological, and philosophical reasons. For instance, due to rapid industrialization, there is a need for more land. Thus, there are concerns about public hygiene because of corpses buried near the surface of the earth.

In addition, technological advancement has led to the creation of modern cremation equipments that can help reduce the body to its basic elements. Nevertheless, there are environmental concerns associated with emission of gases released during cremations.

Cremation Vs Burial

  • Cremation reduces the body to cremated remains within a matter of hours whereas traditional burial follows the process of slow and natural decomposition.

    Some people respect the process of allowing the body to decompose naturally and consider cremation merely as hurrying the process while others believe that cremation denotes reverence.


  • Direct cremations are more cost-effective than direct burials as they do not require embalming. Plus, you have the option of keeping the body in a alternative container instead of a casket.


  • Cremation is a simpler process that also helps save ground space, but it is not so in case of burial. Nevertheless, both are regarded as safe ways of dealing with the dead body.


  • As people nowadays live away from their family roots, cremation provides more flexibility in terms of memorialization as compared the method of burying in a cemetery or graveyard.

    The cremated remains can be stored in a cremation urn and displayed on a shelf or mantle at home, scattered on land, scattered from the air by plane, floated on water, placed in a columbarium, buried in a burial plot (does not require a full-sized plot), or entombed in a crypt within a mausoleum. So, you can carry the cremated remains of the deceased with you if you are moving elsewhere but this not possible in case of burial.

However, as cremation is an irreversible process, it is essential to make up your mind and be clear as to whether you want to go for a cremation or burial.

Moreover, keep in mind that cremation is not a substitute for funeral as the final disposition of the remains is still required.

Besides, you can still hold a funeral service before the cremation or a memorial service afterwards. When opting for cremation, the ashes of the loved one can later be scattered, buried, or entombed.

If you have decided that you want to be cremated after your death, you can place your request in writing and provide the copies of instruction to your relatives. Preplanning the cremation is also helpful for your loved ones as it is cost-effective and gives a peace of mind.


Cremation Association Of North America, Why Cremation?

Wikipedia, Cremation

Wikipedia, Burial