Traditionally, a burial service involves a visitation and is followed by a funeral service. While the casket is typically present at both these events, it is your decision whether to have the casket open. You then have a number of options for interment. Decisions also need to be made on whether the body needs to be embalmed, what kind of casket to use, what cemetery to use and what to put on the gravestone.
Can we dig our own grave to avoid the charge for opening and closing?
Yes; Prior to digging the grave you must contact the Cemetery directly to obtain approvals.
Why is having a place to visit so important?
To remember, and to be remembered. A permanent memorial in a cemetery provides a focal point for remembrance and memorializing the deceased. Memorialization of the dead is a key component in almost every culture. Psychologists say that remembrance practices serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping them bring closure, which allows the healing process to begin. The provision of a permanent resting place is an important part of this process.
How soon after a death must an individual be buried?
There is no law that states a specific time-span for burial. Considerations that will affect the timeline include: the need to secure all permits and authorizations; notification of family and friends; preparation of cemetery site, and religious considerations. Public heath laws may limit the maximum amount of time allowed to pass prior to final disposition. Contact your local funeral provider for more details.
Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?
No. Embalming is generally a choice, one which depends on factors like if there is to be an open casket viewing of the body, or if there will be an extended time between death and internment. Public health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported by air or rail.
What are burial vaults and grave liners?
These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety of materials, including wood, plastic and galvanized steel. A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which keeps the grave surface from sinking in.
Must I purchase a burial vault?
Most large, active cemeteries have regulations that require the use of a basic grave liner for maintenance and safety purposes. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements. Some smaller rural or churchyard cemeteries do not require use of a container to surround the casket in the grave.
There are alternatives to burial. See Cremation Services