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Mortuary Science: Burial vs. Interment (Clarifying Terms)

Discover the Surprising Differences Between Burial and Interment in Mortuary Science – Clarifying Terms You Need to Know!

Mortuary Science: Burial vs Interment (Clarifying Terms)
Step Action Novel Insight Risk Factors
1 Understand the difference between burial and interment. Burial refers to the act of placing a body in the ground, while interment refers to the act of placing a body in a tomb or mausoleum. None
2 Consider the interment options available. Interment options include mausoleums, crypts, and tombs. Cost may be a factor in choosing an interment option.
3 Make funeral arrangements. Funeral arrangements include selecting a casket or urn, choosing a location for the service, and deciding on any additional services such as embalming or cremation. Cost may be a factor in choosing funeral arrangements.
4 Consider cremation services. Cremation services involve the process of reducing a body to ashes, which can then be placed in an urn or scattered. Cremation may be a more affordable option than burial or interment.
5 Understand cemetery regulations. Cemetery regulations may include restrictions on the type of casket or urn used, the size of the headstone, and the type of memorialization allowed. Failure to comply with cemetery regulations may result in additional fees or penalties.
6 Learn about embalming techniques. Embalming techniques involve the process of preserving a body for viewing or transportation. Embalming may not be necessary in all cases and may add to the cost of funeral arrangements.
7 Consider grave site selection. Grave site selection involves choosing a location within a cemetery for burial or interment. Location and availability may be factors in choosing a grave site.
8 Explore memorialization choices. Memorialization choices include headstones, plaques, and other markers to commemorate the deceased. Cost and cemetery regulations may be factors in choosing a memorialization option.
9 Understand death certificate requirements. Death certificate requirements may vary by state and may include information such as cause of death and next of kin. Failure to comply with death certificate requirements may result in delays or additional fees.
10 Consider grief counseling services. Grief counseling services can provide support and guidance for those coping with the loss of a loved one. Cost and availability may be factors in choosing grief counseling services.

Overall, understanding the difference between burial and interment and considering the various options and regulations involved in funeral arrangements can help individuals make informed decisions about end-of-life arrangements. Additionally, exploring options such as cremation and memorialization can provide more affordable and personalized choices. It is important to consider factors such as cost, cemetery regulations, and availability when making these decisions. Seeking support from grief counseling services can also aid in the grieving process.


  1. What Are Interment Options and How Do They Differ from Burial?
  2. Cremation Services: A Comprehensive Guide for Families
  3. Embalming Techniques Explained: What Happens During the Process?
  4. Memorialization Choices: Honoring Your Loved One’s Memory in Meaningful Ways
  5. Coping with Grief After Loss: The Importance of Seeking Professional Counseling Services
  6. Common Mistakes And Misconceptions
  7. Related Resources

What Are Interment Options and How Do They Differ from Burial?

Step Action Novel Insight Risk Factors
1 Understand the difference between interment and burial Interment refers to the act of placing a body or cremated remains in a final resting place, while burial specifically refers to placing a body in the ground None
2 Consider cremation as an interment option Cremation involves the use of high heat to reduce a body to ashes, which can then be interred in a variety of ways, including scattering, placement in a columbarium niche, or burial in a cemetery Some religions prohibit cremation, and there may be environmental concerns related to the use of fossil fuels in the cremation process
3 Explore mausoleum entombment as an interment option A mausoleum is a building designed to hold multiple interments, typically in above-ground crypts or niches Mausoleum entombment can be more expensive than traditional burial, and there may be limited availability of space in certain areas
4 Consider natural or green burial as an interment option Natural burial involves burying a body in a way that allows it to decompose naturally, without the use of embalming fluids or other chemicals. Green burial takes this a step further, emphasizing the use of biodegradable materials and environmentally-friendly practices Natural and green burial may not be available in all areas, and there may be cultural or religious considerations that make these options less desirable
5 Evaluate memorialization and funeral service options Depending on the interment option chosen, there may be a variety of ways to memorialize the deceased, including traditional funeral services, memorial services, or more personalized options such as scattering ceremonies or tree plantings The cost of these services can vary widely, and there may be cultural or religious considerations that impact the type of service chosen
6 Consider religious and cultural traditions and customs Different religions and cultures have their own traditions and customs related to death and interment, which may impact the choice of interment option It is important to be respectful of these traditions and customs, while also considering the needs and wishes of the deceased and their loved ones
7 Plan ahead for interment and funeral arrangements Pre-planning can help ensure that the deceased’s wishes are carried out and can also ease the burden on loved ones during a difficult time It is important to work with a reputable funeral home or provider and to carefully consider the costs and options involved
8 Seek out grief support resources The death of a loved one can be a difficult and emotional time, and it is important to seek out support from friends, family, or professional resources as needed None

Cremation Services: A Comprehensive Guide for Families

Step Action Novel Insight Risk Factors
1 Decide on the type of cremation service Direct cremation is the most affordable option Some families may feel that direct cremation is too impersonal
2 Choose a funeral home or cremation provider Funeral directors can help with paperwork and arrangements Some providers may have hidden fees or push unnecessary services
3 Obtain necessary paperwork Death certificate is required for cremation Delays in obtaining paperwork can delay the cremation process
4 Decide on memorialization options Scattering ashes is legal in most states Some families may prefer a more traditional burial or interment
5 Consider embalming and viewing options Embalming is not required for cremation Viewing options may vary depending on the provider
6 Choose a container for the cremation Alternative containers can be used instead of a casket or coffin Some providers may only offer expensive caskets or coffins
7 Pre-plan and pre-pay for cremation services Pre-planning can save money and reduce stress for loved ones Some providers may not honor pre-paid plans if they go out of business
8 Consider witnessed cremation services Witnessing the cremation can provide closure for some families Some providers may not offer this option
9 Choose a final resting place for the ashes Cemetery plots, niches, and wall spaces are available for urns Some cemeteries may have restrictions on urns or memorialization options
10 Consider veteran benefits Veterans may be eligible for burial benefits Some benefits may require specific documentation or eligibility requirements
11 Publish a death notice or obituary Death notices and obituaries can inform friends and family of the passing Some families may prefer to keep the passing private
12 Seek grief counseling Grief counseling can help with the grieving process Some families may not feel comfortable seeking counseling or may not have access to counseling services

Embalming Techniques Explained: What Happens During the Process?

Step Action Novel Insight Risk Factors
1 The body is placed on an embalming table. Embalming tables are equipped with drainage systems to facilitate the process. The body may be in a state of decomposition, which can pose health risks to the embalmer.
2 The embalmer makes an incision near the collarbone and inserts a drainage tube to remove blood and bodily fluids. Drainage tubes are used to prevent swelling and discoloration of the body. The embalmer must be careful not to puncture any organs or blood vessels during this process.
3 The embalmer injects formaldehyde-based solutions into the arteries using a trocar instrument. Formaldehyde-based solutions act as a tissue fixation agent, preserving the body and preventing further decomposition. The embalmer must ensure that the solution is evenly distributed throughout the body to prevent discoloration or uneven preservation.
4 Depending on the condition of the body, the embalmer may use hypodermic or cavity embalming techniques to further preserve the body. Hypodermic embalming involves injecting the solution directly into specific areas of the body, while cavity embalming involves treating the internal organs. These techniques require a high level of skill and precision to avoid damaging the body.
5 The embalmer may use restorative art techniques to repair any damage or decomposition to the body. Restorative art techniques can include cosmetic application, tissue reconstruction, and the use of specialized tools and equipment. Restorative art techniques require a high level of skill and attention to detail to ensure a natural and lifelike appearance.
6 The body is dressed and casketed according to the family’s wishes. Casketing procedures can vary depending on cultural and religious traditions. The embalmer must ensure that the body is properly dressed and positioned in the casket to provide a dignified and respectful final presentation.
7 The embalmer may use decomposition inhibitors to further slow the natural process of decay. Decomposition inhibitors can include chemicals or natural substances that prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. The use of decomposition inhibitors must be carefully monitored to avoid any adverse reactions or health risks.

Note: It is important to note that embalming is not always necessary or required by law. Families should be informed of their options and make decisions based on their personal beliefs and cultural traditions.

Memorialization Choices: Honoring Your Loved One’s Memory in Meaningful Ways

Step Action Novel Insight Risk Factors
1 Choose a memorialization option There are many ways to honor your loved one‘s memory, including traditional options like burial and headstones, as well as more unique options like video tributes and candle lighting ceremonies. Be mindful of your budget and the wishes of your loved one and their family.
2 Consider a lasting legacy project A lasting legacy project can be a meaningful way to honor your loved one’s memory and create a lasting impact. This could include starting a scholarship fund, donating to a cause they cared about, or creating a memorial garden. Make sure the project aligns with your loved one’s values and interests, and consider the long-term maintenance and sustainability of the project.
3 Personalize the memorialization Adding personal touches to the memorialization can make it more meaningful and unique. This could include displaying photos or mementos, creating a video tribute or montage, or releasing balloons or sky lanterns. Be mindful of any environmental or safety concerns with certain personalization options, and consider the preferences of your loved one and their family.
4 Communicate the memorialization to others Sharing the memorialization with others can help keep your loved one’s memory alive and create a sense of community. This could include creating an obituary or celebration of life program, hosting a candle lighting ceremony or vigil, or organizing a fundraiser or memorial donation. Be respectful of others’ grief and emotions, and consider any cultural or religious traditions that may impact the communication of the memorialization.
5 Plan a graveside committal service A graveside committal service can provide closure and a final opportunity to say goodbye. This could include a short service conducted at the graveside after the burial, and may include readings, prayers, or music. Be mindful of any logistical considerations, such as weather or accessibility, and consider the preferences of your loved one and their family.

Coping with Grief After Loss: The Importance of Seeking Professional Counseling Services

Step Action Novel Insight Risk Factors
1 Recognize the need for professional counseling services Seeking professional counseling services can help individuals cope with the emotional and psychological effects of grief after loss. Avoiding seeking help can lead to prolonged grief, depression, and other mental health issues.
2 Research and choose a qualified counselor or therapist It is important to find a counselor or therapist who specializes in grief and loss and has experience working with individuals who have experienced similar losses. Choosing an unqualified or inexperienced counselor or therapist can lead to ineffective treatment and potentially worsen symptoms.
3 Attend individual or group therapy sessions Individual therapy sessions can provide a safe and confidential space for individuals to process their grief and emotions. Group therapy sessions can provide a sense of community and support from others who have experienced similar losses. Avoiding therapy sessions or not fully participating in them can hinder progress and prolong the grieving process.
4 Consider different types of therapy Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based interventions, trauma-focused therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are all effective forms of therapy for grief and loss. Not considering different types of therapy or being resistant to trying new forms of therapy can limit progress and hinder healing.
5 Discuss the possibility of psychotropic medication with a healthcare provider Psychotropic medication can be helpful in managing symptoms of depression and anxiety related to grief and loss. Not discussing the possibility of medication with a healthcare provider or not following medication instructions can lead to negative side effects and potentially worsen symptoms.
6 Practice self-care and resilience-building strategies Self-care practices such as exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation techniques can help individuals manage stress and improve overall well-being. Resilience-building strategies such as positive thinking and goal-setting can help individuals adapt to life after loss. Neglecting self-care and resilience-building strategies can lead to increased stress and hinder progress in therapy.
7 Understand the stages-of-grief model The stages-of-grief model (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) can provide a framework for understanding the emotional and psychological effects of grief. Rigidly adhering to the stages-of-grief model can limit individual experiences and hinder progress in therapy.
8 Seek crisis intervention or psychological first aid if necessary Crisis intervention and psychological first aid can provide immediate support and resources for individuals experiencing acute distress related to grief and loss. Avoiding seeking crisis intervention or psychological first aid can lead to prolonged distress and potentially harmful behaviors.
9 Consider teletherapy as an option Teletherapy can provide convenient and accessible counseling services for individuals who may have difficulty attending in-person sessions. Not considering teletherapy as an option can limit access to counseling services and hinder progress in therapy.

Common Mistakes And Misconceptions

Mistake/Misconception Correct Viewpoint
Burial and interment are the same thing. Burial refers to the act of placing a body in a grave or tomb, while interment refers to the act of burying or placing something in the ground. In mortuary science, these terms are used interchangeably but technically have different meanings.
Cremation is not considered burial or interment. While cremation does not involve burying a body in the traditional sense, it can still be considered a form of interment if the ashes are buried or placed in an urn that is then buried. Therefore, cremation can also be referred to as "cremation burial" or "cremation interment."
Embalming is required for both burial and interment. Embalming is only required by law under certain circumstances such as when transporting a body across state lines or if there will be an extended period between death and burial/interment. Otherwise, embalming is optional and up to personal preference/tradition/cultural practices/etc.
Only caskets can be used for burials/interments. While caskets are commonly used for burials/interments, they are not mandatory by law (except for some specific cases). Other options include shrouds (a cloth wrapping), eco-friendly containers made from materials like bamboo/willow/cardboard/etc., and even biodegradable urns designed specifically for water burials at sea/ocean/lakes/rivers/etc..
Gravesite maintenance after burial/interment isn’t necessary. Maintaining gravesites after burial/interment helps preserve them over time so that future generations may visit their loved onesfinal resting place with ease/accessibility/safety/respect/dignity/honor/etc.. This includes tasks such as mowing grass/weeds, trimming trees/bushes, repairing headstones/monuments/markers, and removing debris/litter.

Related Resources

  • Funeral and interment practices of rural residents: A mixed methods study.
  • ‘Abnormalities and deformities’: the dissection and interment of the insane poor, 1832-1929.
  • [Validity of Erving Goffman’s ideas in the work of the psychiatric interment ward from a general hospital].
  • Survival of scrapie virus after 3 years’ interment.
  • Comments on: “Death by biscuit: Exhumation, post-mortem CT, revision of the cause of death 1 year after interment”.
  • Death by biscuit–exhumation, post-mortem CT, and revision of the cause of death one year after interment.
  • The centenary of of the re-interment of John Hunter.
  • Medico-legal aspects of the skeleton; related factors, as condition of interment, action of fire, reconstruction, etc.