Choosing between Cremation and Burial: Which Is Best?

Choosing between Cremation and Burial: Which Is Best?

Being such a very personal choice, choosing between burial and cremation can be difficult for many people. Over the past few years, cremation has become a more popular alternative than burial, which has been steadily declining in use. 

The sections below provide a number of considerations before making your choice.

The Main Distinctions

The practices of cremation and burial are unique from one another in various ways. When a body is cremated, it is burnt, leaving just ashes behind. The body is preserved in a burial. After a typical funeral service or in advance of one, cremation and burial are also options for the disposition of the dead.  

The body may be buried in the ground or enshrined in a mausoleum in the case of a burial. In contrast, the family may choose to keep the cremated ashes, scatter them, bury them in the ground, or entomb them in a columbarium. 

Cremation is typically the more affordable option out of the two.

A Matter of Respect

Some recurring topics and inquiries arise when discussing with folks who are debating between burial and cremation. One of the most frequently voiced worries is a wish to respect the deceased’s memories and, consequently, their body.  

It’s interesting to note that although some view this as preserving the body’s integrity, others consider letting the remains rot underground intolerable.

The sight of the body is a significant component of the funeral rite in many cultures and religions. Many people wrongly think that this is impossible if you choose cremation as an option. In reality, having a viewing before cremation is quite usual.

Environmental Effects

There are advantages and disadvantages to both burial and cremation if you place importance on selecting a green choice. Supporters of both options disagree on which option has the least detrimental effects on the environment.  

Some contend that the cremation procedure releases a substantial number of pollutants. In contrast, others argue that the lack of biodegradability of the materials used in conventional caskets and the toxicity of embalming fluids make cremation a more environmentally friendly option.

Natural or eco-burials have become more and more popular recently. These forms of burials don’t include embalming agents, and the coffins are composed of biodegradable and environmentally friendly materials.

Religious Convictions

Christians have a wide range of opinions regarding cremation. Up until the 1960s, cremation was prohibited by the Catholic Church. The cremated remains must, however, be interred as opposed to being scattered or carried home by the survivors. 

Cremation is prohibited by the Eastern Orthodox Church, Baptist, and other fundamentalist Christian denominations; it is permitted by the Methodist, Seventh-day Adventist, and Lutheran religions. 

Jews have always avoided cremation; however, some increasingly approve of the practice.

Some eastern religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism, demand cremation. Although Sikhs prefer cremation for cultural reasons, burial is not against the law. Muslims are prohibited from cremation.

Conclusion

The decision of whether to be buried or cremated is challenging and extremely personal. You might wish to talk about it with your family or other close friends if you discover that you are still having trouble. You can also ask a funeral industry expert for advice and support. 

Evergreen JAX provides cremation services in Jacksonville. We’re available to serve your needs—whether you are using Evergreen Cemetery or any other resting place of your choice. 

By combining a cemetery, funeral home, and crematory, we can offer families savings along with the convenience of making all their arrangements in one location. Contact us now to learn more.

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