Cremation vs. Burial | Maurina-Schilling Funeral Homes

Cremation vs. Burial

October 10, 2019

Cremation, once considered questionable, is becoming more common. There are many reasons for this, including the cost of funerals. Many people indicate a preference for cremation in Clark County, WI in their end-of-life planning. If you are trying to decide between cremation and burial for yourself or a loved one, here are four factors you can consider:

  • Religious beliefs: If you are making funeral arrangements for anyone other than yourself, you must consider religious beliefs. Some faiths have specific tenants regarding cremation. Catholics allow cremation, but require that the cremains be buried rather than scattered. Fundamentalist churches, including Baptists, do not allow cremation, and Judaism and Islam largely shun the practice. However, Buddhism and Hinduism require it. You will want to observe these traditions to avoid spite from other family members. Personal beliefs may come into play as well—some people simply believe that keeping a body intact is more respectful than reducing it to ashes.
  • Cost: The price of burial is the main reason many people opt for cremation. With burial, you pay for embalming, caskets and cemetery plots. In either case, you still have to pay for a funeral, but costs drop significantly when handling cremated remains versus a body. Even if you decide to bury the remains, it requires a much smaller cemetery plot, or in the case of spouses, merely sharing a plot with other remains. Cremation is almost always less expensive than burial.
  • Flexibility: People move around so much these days that burial in a cemetery often makes less sense. Loved ones may not live in the same town as the deceased and may rarely visit the grave. Cremains may be placed in an urn that can move around with a family or be passed along to other family members. There is also the option of scattering the ashes in a meaningful place or creating memorials like glass sculptures. If you want a more personalized approach to traditional funerals, cremating allows for more options. People have done everything from leaving cremains in an urn on the mantel to releasing them from an airplane. This allows for a level of flexibility not offered with traditional burial.
  • Environmental impact: Depending on who you talk to, cremating is either an environmental disaster or your best choice for a small carbon footprint after death. It is often argued that the cremation process pollutes the air, and yet there are others who mention land availability and the lack of biodegradability of caskets (not to mention the toxins in embalming fluid). However, there has also been a rise in eco-burials, which do not use embalming fluids and place remains in biodegradable caskets. It all depends on your point of view and what feels like the right choice for you and the environment, if this is a priority. Some people combine the best of both worlds and used the cremains to plant trees or flower gardens.

Maurina-Schilling Funeral Homes offers burial services and cremation in Clark County, WI, including a variety of remembrance items. Call us today to discuss funeral arrangements or end-of-life planning.

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