What are the considerations when faced with burial or cremation?

If the recently deceased did not leave any instructions for the disposal of his or her body, the decision must be made by the family of the deceased. The alternatives are direct burial or cremation; the decision can be a difficult one to make as there are a number of factors that must be considered. The family must take into account and religious concerns as well as the potential cost, concern for the environment and any personal feelings that may enter into it.

It is usually less costly to dispose of the remains via cremation; this of course assumes that there is a crematorium within a reasonable distance from where the death took place. As the remains will be placed in one of the many unique cremation urns that are available it is not necessary to pay for a casket or a burial plot. Other expenses which are eliminated when cremation is chosen as the method of disposal are transportation from the funeral home to the cemetery and a headstone or grave marker.

Although the cremated remains will be returned to the family in their choice of unique cremation urns, there still is the issue of disposal of the ashes if this is the plan. Many people will keep the remains as a mark of respect and memory of the deceased, others will not. Many people dispose of the ashes at sea; there are a number of companies that can arrange these services. Although disposal of the cremated remains will cost, the cost is far from that associated with a burial.

Cremation is a very personal decision that must be made by the survivors but in some cases it is made for them by the religious beliefs of the deceased. There are religions that prohibit the cremation of the remains. Up until the middle of the 20th century the Catholic religion banned cremation, this ban has been lifted and today mass can be said in the presence of the remains.

Although there are very good reasons to choose one method over another, at the end of it all it is strictly a personal decision. It must be said that although thinking of one’s own death can be difficult, making the choice when still alive takes the burden off the family upon your demise.

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