Choosing Ground Burial or Mausoleum Entombment

Cemetery burial

Whether the deceased’s body is buried or cremated, a decision needs to be made about the permanent arrangements for the body. This is commonly referred to as choosing a "final resting place.”

Earth Burial

In our culture, most people are buried in cemeteries. This involves purchasing a grave site. Many families have prepaid and earmarked space in a family plot where generations are buried. Some people are buried on personal property. Earth burial also requires a casket and, in most cases, a burial vault. See Merchandise for more on these items.

Mausoleum Entombment

Being entombed in a mausoleum or lawn crypt is another option. A mausoleum is a large sepulchral monument containing a chamber in which funeral urns and coffins are stored. The name is derived from the tomb of King Mausolus in Turkey whose wife erected the mausoleum about 350 BC.

The Pyramids, The Catacombs, and The Taj Mahal are other notable mausolea. While all are monuments to individuals of means and power, they represent a strong human desire to be memorialized in a unique and lasting way. As the 19th century church cemeteries filled, community mausolea became popular as a way to conserve space and accommodate additional “guests.” Instead of housing a single person or family, they accommodate many people. They are more common in areas where land is swampy or freezing, making burial difficult. Lawn crypts are normally smaller and designed to hold only members of one family.

See Cemeteries for more information on mausoleums and lawn crypts.

See related topics:

Cremation
Preparation of Deceased
Embalming
DNA Sampling
Autopsy

Go to Funeral Guide — Index of Topics.