The History of Cremations

Louis Cicalese Cemeteries

The Beginning

Historians estimate that cremations have been around since the Stone Age around 3000 B.C. and was presented to Westerners by the Greeks. In ancient history, cremation was seen as an honorable way to go after battle, but it went through ups and downs in popularity. For example, cremation became frowned upon by the Catholic church due to the concept of resurrection after death but was again accepted after Pope Paul VI lifted the ban in 1963.

Cremations Now

Cremation remains a popular choice upon death for a variety of reasons. Cremation offers more flexibility in space, price, and even mobility. Being cremated into ashes gives families an opportunity to easily personalize their loved ones final resting place by holding the ashes in multiple places or customizing an urn. Many individuals have wishes to be spread across mountains, be planted as trees, or even made into a diamond, which to some sounds more appealing than being buried. However, burial options are still available for those cremated individuals who wish to be buried with other loved ones.

Louis Cicalese, cemetery trustee in New Jersey is president of the board of the historic Harleigh Cemetery and serves as an advisor to a number of non-profit cemetery organizations in New Jersey.

The Cost Benefits of Mausoleums vs. In-Ground Burials

Louis Cicalese Cemetery

Finding the proper ceremony and type of burial can feel overwhelming, especially when you are feeling the grief of losing a loved one. There are many things to consider when deciding what is best for your loved one and each person comes with a unique set of needs. Mausoleums and in-ground burials are two options for your family, and they both come with different characteristics.

Which One is Right for You?

There are many things to consider with in-ground burials. Graves, burial vaults, cement foundations, headstones, and monuments all vary in options and costs. The expense of burial vaults and cement foundations should not be overlooked because they protect the caskets and the ground from shifting. All of these expenses and decisions can become overwhelming, which has led many families to choose mausoleums. Mausoleums are not just for the wealthy, in fact, the biggest benefit of mausoleums is that it can be simpler and less-expensive than an in-ground burial overall. With mausoleums, there is no need to purchase a vault, a cement foundation, or a headstone because that is all included.

Ultimately, it is up to your family to decide what is best for you and your loved one. There are many things to consider, but we are here to help guide you in the direction that is best for you.

Louis Cicalese, cemetery trustee in New Jersey is president of the board of the historic Harleigh Cemetery and serves as an advisor to a number of non-profit cemetery organizations in New Jersey.

What is a Burial Vault?

burial vault

Though you can’t see them above ground, a burial vault is an option many opt for when planning for their eternal resting place. A burial vault encases the casket, protecting it from heavy machinery used in cemeteries, and of course, the earth above it.

Benefits

Burial vaults benefit both the family of the deceased and the cemetery grounds. Over time, a casket may buckle under the weight of the ground and decay. This causes the ground above it to sink, which can be unsettling to family members visiting deceased relatives. Burial vaults help prevent this, keeping the grounds pristine for visitation.

History

These enclosures are made of wood, brick, metal, fiberglass or concrete and have been used since the 19th century to prevent grave theft. Since then, they have become a popular burial option to help ensure the ground does not sink at the gravesite.

Misconceptions

There is a misconception that vaults are sealed and air tight. This would cause the vault to rupture and fail as pressure builds from decomposition gasses. A vault does not seal the casket, but rather it acts as a strong encasement that protects the casket.

Louis Cicalese, cemetery trustee in New Jersey is president of the board of the historic Harleigh Cemetery and serves as an advisor to a number of non-profit cemetery organizations in New Jersey.