Burial or Cremation?

Burial or CremationWhen thinking about or planning a funeral, an early choice you will have to make is whether to opt for a burial or cremation. Before making your decision, however, you may want to consider the advantages and disadvantages of these options.

Very often the choice to be buried or cremated is made to follow family tradition. Families often purchase a plot in a burial ground of their choice so that they can all be buried together. In this case a stone memorial can be created by a memorial mason with room to add names at a later date. The memorial can be removed and stored by the mason during the burial and replaced once it has been updated.

If you ask somebody why they have made their choice, the answer normally includes one of the following three sentiments:

  • It is a family tradition to be buried/cremated.
  • I do not like the idea of being burnt.
  • I do not like the idea of being buried.

Although this may prove to be a difficult decision, and one which many people do not like to think about, it is certainly a necessary one. Below are a few pointers to consider, however as regulations can be different from area to area be sure to ALWAYS talk to your local memorial mason or funeral director. They will have the most up to date local information and be able to advise you on whether to opt for a burial or cremation.


A burial plot is most often marked with a stone memorial, and this is discussed in more detail on the Burial Memorials page. Where you are buried, however, can make a difference to the colour, size and type of stone allowed. Every area can be different,  however generally speaking the following trends apply:

A Churchyard

The size and shape of a memorial can be restricted and may be different from churchyard to churchyard.
You are often limited to non polished granite, sandstone or limestone.
Design work permitted may be limited or sometimes it may not be allowed at all.


There is generally a much wider scope for choice when it comes to memorialisation.
A range of stone colours, sizes, shapes and designs are generally allowed.


Scattered or interred, you still have plenty of choice when it comes to memorialisation:

Scattered:  No matter where you scatter, you can still mark the life with a lasting memorial.

  • Crematoriums often provide a range of options including stone tablets and plaques.
  • A full burial type memorial could be purchased in a Churchyard or Cemetery
  • An inscription could be added onto an existing burial memorial.

Interred: Ashes can be interred above ground or below.

  • Below: You can bury contained ashes below ground and mark with a stone memorial in the same way as a burial.
  • Above: Crematoria often offer a range of above ground stone vaults in which to inter contained ashes.

The important point to remember is that whatever your choice between a burial or cremation you can still have a lasting stone memorial to both help your family focus their grief, and to serve as a permanent marker of life.

To read about Memorial Options after Cremation please click here.