Above-Ground Burials: A Guide to Cemetery Business Burial Options.


The decision to bury a loved one can be emotionally taxing and difficult for families. The choice of burial options can also add an extra layer of stress, as it is often unknown what all the available options are or how they differ from each other. One option that has gained popularity in recent years is above-ground burials.

For example, consider a family who wishes to lay their loved one to rest in a manner that allows them to visit frequently without having to worry about weather conditions affecting their ability to do so. An above-ground burial may provide the perfect solution, offering both peace of mind and convenience. This article will serve as a guide for those seeking more information on this type of interment option within the cemetery business, providing insight into its benefits and considerations.

The History of Above-Ground Burials

The use of above-ground burial structures has a long history dating back to ancient civilizations. One example is the Egyptian pyramids, which were built as tombs for pharaohs and their consorts. These massive structures not only served as a final resting place but also as a symbol of power, wealth, and prestige.

Despite being an ancient practice, above-ground burials have continued to be popular in modern times. In fact, there are several reasons why people choose this method over traditional underground interment:

  • Above-ground structures allow families to visit their loved ones’ remains more easily.
  • They can be personalized with unique designs or decorative elements.
  • Some people opt for above-ground burials due to concerns about groundwater contamination from traditional cemeteries.
  • For others, it may simply be a matter of personal preference or cultural tradition.

To gain further insight into the world of above-ground burials, let’s take a closer look at some notable examples throughout history:

Structure Location Notable Features
Catacombs of Paris France Underground ossuaries containing the remains of millions of people
Taj Mahal India Mausoleum constructed entirely out of white marble
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 New Orleans, USA Final resting place of famous figures such as Marie Laveau and Homer Plessy

While these structures differ greatly in style and purpose, they all serve as powerful reminders of our mortality and the importance placed on memorializing those who have passed away.

In conclusion, understanding the history and significance behind above-ground burials sheds light on why they continue to hold value in today’s society. From grandiose mausoleums to simple family crypts, these structures provide both practicality and emotional comfort during difficult times. Next step: exploring Types of Above-Ground Burial Structures.

Types of Above-Ground Burial Structures

After centuries of above-ground burials, it is no surprise that there are several types of structures available for this purpose. One such structure is the mausoleum, which is a free-standing building with crypts or spaces for caskets. Another option is the columbarium, which houses cremation urns in niches within a wall or freestanding structure. In some cultures, family tombs or gravesites are used as well.

For example, in New Orleans’ famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, many notable figures were entombed into elaborate stone and marble structures called “ovens.” These ovens contain multiple shelves stacked on top of each other to hold individual remains. This historic cemetery serves as an excellent case study for understanding the unique burial options available through above-ground structures.

There are several reasons why families may choose above-ground burials over traditional underground interment options:

  • Cultural and religious traditions
  • Limited land availability
  • Protection against natural disasters like floods and earthquakes
  • Ease of maintenance

The cost difference between traditional underground burial and above-ground burial can vary significantly depending on location and type of structure chosen, but it typically falls somewhere in between an underground plot and a full-blown private mausoleum.

When deciding on the right above-ground burial option for your loved one, it’s essential to consider factors such as personal preference, cultural/religious beliefs, budget constraints, accessibility needs (for visiting), and future expansion potential if needed. It’s also crucial to plan ahead by pre-purchasing plots or spaces when possible to ensure availability.

Pros Cons
Above-Ground Burial Options Offer Unique Aesthetic Appeal Some People May Find the Idea Morbid Or Eerie
They Can Protect Against Natural Disasters And Weathering Over Time Some Structures Require Regular Maintenance To Prevent Damage Or Deterioration
Above-Ground Structures Can Be More Accessible For VIsiting Friends And Family Privacy Concerns May Arise With Publicly Accessible Options
Some People Choose Above-Ground Burials For Cultural Or Religious Reasons That Require Specialized Structures The Cost Of An Above-Ground Structure Can Often Exceed Traditional Underground Interment

Ultimately, choosing the right above-ground burial option is a personal decision that should be made with careful consideration.

Choosing the Right Above-Ground Burial Option

Types of Above-Ground Burial Structures have different styles and designs that suit varied preferences and budgets. For instance, mausoleums are popular among the affluent as they can afford to build elaborate structures for their deceased loved ones. A hypothetical example is a family who lost their patriarch in a plane crash. They opted to construct an impressive private mausoleum complete with stained glass windows, marble floors, and intricate carvings.

When choosing an above-ground burial option, several factors come into play. It’s essential to consider each factor carefully before making a decision on which best suits your needs. Here are some critical considerations:

  • Cost: Different types of above-ground burials attract varying costs depending on the design complexity and desired location within the cemetery grounds.
  • Maintenance requirements: Some structures require more upkeep than others, such as regular cleaning or sealing cracks to prevent water damage.
  • Customization options: Depending on one’s beliefs or cultural practices, customization options may be necessary when selecting an above-ground burial structure.
  • Accessibility: If you plan to visit the gravesite often, consider how easily accessible it will be based on its location within the cemetery.

To help make this decision easier, here is a table outlining four common types of above-ground burial structures along with their pros and cons:

Type Pros Cons
Mausoleum – Elaborate design\n- Private space\n- Protection from elements – Expensive\n- Requires maintenance\n- Limited availability
Columbarium – Space-saving design\n- Affordable \n- Eco-friendly alternative to traditional casket burials – May not accommodate larger urns/cremains\n- Lack of personalization options
Crypt – Climate-controlled environment \n- Enhanced security features \n-\tLimited availability\n-\tExpensive compared to other options
Wall Vault – Affordable \n- No maintenance required\n- Easy installation \n-\tLimited personalization options\n-\tMay not offer the same level of protection as other structures

In summary, choosing an above-ground burial option is a significant decision that should be made with care. Consider all factors such as cost and accessibility before making your choice. Use the table provided to compare each type’s pros and cons in line with .

Factors to consider when selecting an above-ground burial site include location, cemetery regulations, and environmental impact.

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Above-Ground Burial Site

After choosing the right above-ground burial option, it’s time to consider the factors that can affect your selection of an above-ground burial site. For example, let’s say a family has chosen mausoleum entombment for their loved one. The next step is to find a suitable location within the cemetery.

One factor to consider when selecting an above-ground burial site is accessibility. Some families may prefer locations close to parking areas or entrances for ease of access during visitations. Others may want more secluded spots away from high traffic areas for privacy and reflection.

Another important consideration is cost. Above-ground burial sites come in different sizes and levels of prestige, which affects pricing options. Families should work with cemetery representatives to identify affordable yet desirable options for them.

The aesthetic appeal of the site is another factor worth considering. Different people have varying preferences regarding surroundings, so it’s essential to choose a place that aligns with personal tastes while still being respectful and appropriate.

Lastly, some cemeteries have specific rules and regulations governing where gravesites should be located based on religious practices or cultural traditions. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with cemetery staff before making any final decisions.

To further guide you in decision-making, below are emotional bullet points worth noting:

  • Choosing the perfect spot can provide peace and comfort.
  • A beautiful view can serve as a peaceful reminder of cherished memories.
  • Selecting a location near other family members’ resting places fosters closeness.
  • An ideal spot allows visitors to pay respects without distractions or disruptions.

In addition to these considerations, here’s a table showcasing various types of above-ground burials along with their advantages and disadvantages:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Crypt Provides security; protects against weather elements Can be expensive; limited space
Mausoleum Preserves remains; offers privacy and exclusivity Limited customization options
Columbarium More affordable; takes up less space May not be suitable for those who prefer traditional burials
Ossuary Cost-effective; environmentally-friendly Not a popular option in some cultures or religions

In conclusion, selecting the right above-ground burial site is crucial as it provides a final resting place that honors the deceased while ensuring comfort and solace for their loved ones. By considering factors such as accessibility, cost, aesthetics, religious practices, and cultural traditions, families can choose the most appropriate spot within the cemetery.

Next, we will explore “Customizing Above-Ground Burial Services” to give you more information on how to create a personalized resting place for your loved one.

Customizing Above-Ground Burial Services

After considering the factors in selecting an above-ground burial site, it is essential to understand how funeral homes and cemeteries can customize their services to cater to each family’s unique needs. For example, a family may want to add personal touches such as custom engravings or religious symbols on the mausoleum walls. One of customization is adding benches or chairs near the crypts so that visitors can sit and pay respects.

Funeral directors must ensure that they offer personalized services while adhering to industry standards. They should provide transparent pricing for all additional options and carefully explain any restrictions on customization based on cemetery guidelines.

It is also crucial for funeral homes and cemeteries to consider accessibility when customizing above-ground burial services. This includes providing adequate parking spaces, wheelchair ramps, and elevators for those with mobility issues. Funeral directors should work closely with families to accommodate any special requests related to accessibility.

Above-ground burials allow for a variety of memorialization options beyond traditional ground burials, such as statuary or ornamental features surrounding the structure. These options evoke emotional responses from visitors who are paying their respects. Some other ways these structures can be customized include:

  • Adding flower vases
  • Including glass doors on niches
  • Personalized lighting fixtures

Customizations like these create a unique tribute and help tell the story of the person being remembered. Below is a table showcasing some common methods used by funeral homes and cemeteries to differentiate one mausoleum from another:

Feature Description Emotional Response
Statues Sculptures depicting figures associated with religion or culture Provides comfort through symbolism
Glass Niches Transparent panels covering individual compartments within mausoleum walls Allows for visibility into niche contents
Custom Inscriptions Unique text engraved onto plaques or markers inside the mausoleum Honors the deceased’s life and legacy
Ornate Doors Intricately designed doors that protect niche contents Adds an aesthetically pleasing touch to the structure

In summary, funeral homes and cemeteries should strive to provide personalized services while adhering to industry standards. Customization options can range from personal touches on the mausoleum walls to adding benches near crypts for visitors’ comfort. Funeral directors must also consider accessibility when customizing above-ground burial services and be transparent with pricing for additional options.

Next, we will discuss the importance of maintaining above-ground burial structures without compromising their integrity.

Maintaining Above-Ground Burial Structures

After customizing the above-ground burial services, maintaining the structures is equally important. Neglecting maintenance can lead to damage and decay of the structure, which can be a safety hazard for visitors.

For instance, let us consider an example where a cemetery owner neglects proper maintenance of their mausoleum. Over time, cracks form in the concrete walls, allowing water to seep through. The moisture causes rust on metal reinforcements inside the walls that eventually corrode and weaken the entire structure. Without routine inspections and repairs, such graveyards may become dangerous spaces for mourners and workers alike.

To avoid such situations, here are some tips for maintaining above-ground burial structures:

  • Regular cleaning: It is essential to clean the exterior surfaces of above-ground structures regularly using mild soap and water. This helps remove dirt build-up that could cause permanent stains or discolorations.

  • Inspections: Regular structural inspections ensure any problems like cracks or leaks are identified early before they worsen. Prompt repairs save money while also reducing risks associated with weakened structures.

  • Landscaping: Proper landscaping around these structures prevents plant roots from damaging them. Trees should not be planted too close as roots can grow underneath the foundation leading to instability over time.

  • Pest control: Above-ground burials provide shelter for rodents and other pests; therefore, regular pest control measures must be taken to prevent infestations.

It’s worth noting that different types of materials require specific care instructions when it comes to maintenance. Cemetery owners should consult experts on how best to maintain each type of material used in construction.

Below is a table summarizing common materials used in constructing above-ground burials alongside recommended maintenance procedures:

Material Recommended Maintenance
Concrete Regular sealing against moisture
Marble Avoid harsh chemicals during cleaning
Granite Use soft-bristled brushes or cotton cloths for cleaning
Stone Use a sealant to prevent staining and weathering

In conclusion, maintaining above-ground burial structures is crucial for the safety of visitors while also preserving their beauty. Cemetery owners must take an active role in monitoring these structures’ condition and performing routine maintenance tasks to avoid expensive repairs down the line. By following recommended maintenance guidelines, we can ensure that our loved ones’ final resting places remain secure and dignified .


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