Death is not something anyone can prepare for or even get used to. It comes as an unexpected guest every single time it occurs. Many families get overwhelmed in this period on how to dispose of their loved one’s body. Nowadays, funeral costs have gone high, leaving people with questions like “Is cremation cheaper than burial?”
They say there is nothing new under the sun; whatever is done today was done in the past, and there are chances that the olden times did it better with intentions and purpose. The same applies to All the methods used in disposing of dead bodies, taking us back to very old civilization. Cremation has a lot of archeological evidence of its existence, from the ancient neophiliac era to today. However, with the rise of different groups, there have been major changes in body disposition.
Even though traditional burial is more common with time, the cremation rate is currently high due to factors that will be explained later. Many people are choosing cremation over burial. The main can be costs, but understanding the two is prime before concluding.
1. What is Cremation?
Cremation is disposing of a dead body by burning it to ashes. After the deceased is identified, the body can go through direct cremation, or the family can decide to hold a funeral or memorial service. Cremation takes place in a crematorium.
Through a process that exposes the body to open flames, extreme heat, and evaporation, cremation reduces the body to its fundamental components. This occurs in a specialized furnace known as a retort or cremation chamber. Many crematoriums demand that the body be placed in a solid cardboard container, or a casket designed for cremation.
1.1. How is Cremation Done?
The family members identify the deceased’s body, and all the paperwork is done to authorize the cremation process. The body is then dressed, all the jewelry has to be removed, and case any machines or devices that were run by batteries are removed to avoid any reaction.
The body is placed in the explosive chamber when all the processes are done. After the cremation, the ashes are inspected for anything that was not combusted, such as metals; afterward, the ashes are transferred to an urn or container of choice and returned to the family.
2. What are the Pros of Cremation Services?
As much as cremation sounds weird, it has a lot of advantages. To most people, cremation is cruel and disrespectful and does not align with morals and beliefs. Despite all that, there are a lot of advantages, as listed below:
2.1. Cremation is Cost-Effective
Cremation saves a whole lot of money. The body needs to be taken to the crematorium and be burned; that is it! There is no more and no less, especially with direct cremation services.
After burning, the cremated remains are stored in an urn and are taken up by family members, and they can decide what to do with them; they don’t have to worry about paying for land, embalming, and preparing for a whole burial ceremony.
2.2. Cremation is Time-Accommodating
Cremation involves less time. The cremation takes a few hours, while traditional funerals can go through the whole day. If you choose cremation, you will not have to wait for people to arrive to start a ceremony.
2.3. Cremation is Convenient
Cremation allows you to do whatever you want with your loved one’s remains. Most of the time, people can take the cremated remains and keep them for different purposes. You can also decide where to dispose of the ashes in the embrace of the one who died.
2.4. Cremation Involves Little Waste of Resources
Fewer things are needed with cremation, fewer materials, less space, and fewer people. You do not have a casket, the funeral director. Little resources mean less cost.
3. The Cons of Cremation Services
3.1. No Fixed Location
The loved one’s cremated remains can be scattered anywhere; they will not remain in one place, which is a downside of cremation. Therefore, with cremations, paying visitation, or even saying a proper goodbye is difficult.
Often, the ashes in the urns are dispersed in places where the individual, or special nostalgic places, but there will be no physical location where memorials can be held, or visitations done. In some countries, especially in East Asia and other traditions, there are special buildings where urns can be stored so people can pay for visitation.
3.2. Air Pollution
Cremation involves burning organic matter, which means that much carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere, making it not eco-friendly. It is known that the presence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere slowly contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.
3.3. Religious Conflict
Most religious beliefs do not accept cremation. Some religions, for example, orthodox, believe that cremation contradicts the concept of resurrection. Cremations are dominant in Hinduism, but for religions such as Islam, cremations are considered haram.
3.4. Family Tension
Cremation is often regarded as disrespectful to some people and disturbing. More than that, it is hard to explain to children the reasons why their loved one has to be cremated. In most cases, people always have conflicts about who takes the cremated remains or chooses cremation or traditional burial.
4. Traditional Burial Services
A traditional funeral has a lot going on. With time, the concept of a traditional funeral has evolved. In recent years, traditional funerals begin when the body is taken to a funeral home for treatment; then, the body is placed in a casket rental. The funeral home is sometimes responsible for arranging the burial and all the other processes from the beginning to the end.
5. Pros of Traditional Burial Service
Moat people are comfortable with this method of disposition. This is the most common burial method, and it is done everywhere around the globe. Even though the process might differ in the end, the body is buried in the ground.
With burial, people can pay their loved one’s respects and say goodbyes to them. The fact that the body is treated and dressed shows a sign of respect and honor for a loved one’s life. People are allowed to say all their goodbyes at a traditional funeral.
5.3. Traditional Funeral
Burials have always been there. With traditional burials, families can visit their loved ones and hold memorial services. Families have the option of putting the body in a burial vault. A traditional funeral allows people to perform all the rituals that can be done.
Bury a dead body does not question morals or religious beliefs. This is especially true for Christian societies, which are against cremation. Many religions support traditional burial there, for there are fewer chances of offending anyone.
6. Cons of a Traditional Burial
Burial costs are high as compared to cremation costs. A lot is involved when it comes to burial, and you need to pay for the burial plot; you need to pay the funeral director and the funeral homes. There are also many other additional costs, such as transportation. Families have to sit and prepare to cover all traditional burial costs.
Often, the cemeteries have restrictions on different things regarding burial. There are sometimes restrictions on the number of people that can get in, the land used, the time that you can visit the Cemetery, the kind of flowers that can be brought, and so forth.
6.3. Time Ineffective
As mentioned earlier, a lot is involved with burials, thus making them a little but time-consuming than cremation. You must wait for different people to arrive to prepare the burial site. A traditional burial typically takes the whole day; for some families, it may take more than one day.
7. Is Cremation Cheaper than Burial?
Now that you have understood both cremation and traditional burial, it is safe to say that cremation is cheaper. The total cost of traditional burial keeps rising, so many people choose cremation.
There are so many factors that can affect the cremation costs. Direct cremation costs are more affordable to most people than indirect ones. Different cremation providers offer different costs. Other factors that can affect the cremation cost include the location of the crematory. If you are having difficulty locating the services, you can always get help from the internet.
Cremations are cheaper only when you consider having direct cremation services. You will only have to pay for a few things. You do not have to worry about hiring a funeral home, feeding guests, or paying for caskets, a burial plot, or embalming; the amount you will spend will likely not be more than half of what you would have spent for a burial.
8. Final Words
Deciding to bury or cremate all comes down to personal preference. The wisest thing you can do is pick an option that people are comfortable with. Even if cremation is cheaper than burial, it is vital to ensure everyone, especially family members, is okay with the choice.
Be intentional about the choice that you will make between burial or cremation. In the end, everything should be done in honor of loved ones. Before making the final decision, discuss all average costs for both and pick one that best suits your interests.
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