The most significant choice you will make when it comes to your funeral plan is between a Burial or cremation. It can be a difficult choice but truth is, the decision should always come down to what is the right choice for you and your family.
There are many factors to be considered such as but not limited to a budget, personal beliefs and religion.
To help you make an informed decision some of the key considerations when deciding between a burial or cremation are explored below:
Does a burial cost more than a cremation?
The costs for a cremation vs burial differ throughout the UK but on average, you’d expect a cremation to cost approximately £3,500. However, at Barnsley Municipal Funerals we have packages significantly lower, recognising that often cost can be a decisive factor. See our full price breakdown here
The costs for burials vary from cremation costs. The average cost of a burial in the UK is around £5,000.
When considering cremation and burial fees, you should also take into account any additional expenses involved. The place of the cremation or burial ground will impact the cost of transport, while the type of ceremony you choose may increase costs too.
Is burial better for the environment?
This question is one that is becoming more and more popular as society is urging us to be more conscious of the environmental consequences of action within our day to day lives. As far as funerals are concerned is a tricky one to answer due to it being multi-faceted; there are so many variables involved such as:
How far do the mourners have to drive to get to the burial vs. the crematorium?
How many are attending?
How far did the flowers have to travel?
What is the coffin made of?
What is your loved one wearing?
Food sources and how far are the caters travelling?
If for you the environmental impact is a factor in your planning, we recommend you consider the following:
Fuel use - Consider the fuel usage of transport for mourners ( is a carpool an option?)
Land use - A 2013 survey suggested that half of all cemeteries in the UK could run out of plots within the next 20 years.
Mercury emissions emitted during cremation -Mercury in dental fillings can be discharged into the air. In previous years cremation was responsible for 16% of all UK mercury emissions. Many crematoria have since added special filters to limit emissions. It could be worth checking the Crematorium you plan to use has fitted one of these filters.
When all these factors have been considered we can return to our question -, "Which is better for the environment, cremation or burial?" At the moment, the general school of thought is that burial at a natural burial ground is best for the environment.
Burial at a natural ground means that bodies are not embalmed and use biodegradable caskets. Unmarked shallow graves are used to ensure that bodies decompose faster and the natural landscape is relatively undisrupted. Natural burial can also be less expensive than a traditional burial.
Which is easier to manage, burial or cremation?
Cremation is a more flexible option as it offers more bespoke flexible options including:
Whether to have a service at the crematorium or at a later date when ashes are released.
Where you scatter the ashes, be it a favourite spot, bury them, wear them in jewellery, put them in fireworks or even have a combination of all the above.
Burial options are a lot more rigid. Obviously, the body will be buried at the plot you have chosen and mourners will need to attend that location to pay their respects to the deceased.
What do different religions think about cremation or burial?
Groups within the main religions listed below will often have their own opinions on cremation or burial. Below is just a general guide:
Hindus are usually cremated, as they believe that it helps the soul escape quickly from the body.
Cremation is preferred, but burial is deemed fine when cremation isn’t possible.
Buddhists can choose cremation or burial. Cremation is more prevalent, however, as it is thought that Gautama Buddha was cremated.
Most Christian groups advocate cremation and burial equally. There are, however, exceptions to this. For example, the Eastern Orthodox Church forbids cremation.
Jewish law asks that bodies be washed, dressed in the proper clothing and buried (not cremated) as soon as possible. Despite this, a small number of Jewish people do choose to be cremated.
Cremation is strictly forbidden in Islam. Muslims believe that the body should be honoured and respected as it was in life. Muslims are also prohibited from observing or aiding a cremation.
Final thoughts on burial or cremation
Ultimately, the choice of burial or cremation is a personal one. Whether you’re arranging a funeral for a loved one who didn’t specify a preference, or considering your own preference, how you feel should be the deciding factor.
Ensure your wishes are followed by taking a Barnsley Municipal Funeral Plan
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