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Traditionally, a burial service involves a visitation/wake, followed by a funeral service in a church, or other place of worship. The casket is typically present at both of these events, and it is your decision on whether to have the casket open or not. You have the option of having the remains interred (earth burial), or it may be entombed in a crypt inside a mausoleum (above ground burial). Family or religious traditions are often a factor for choosing burial. Decisions need to be made on whether the body needs to be embalmed, what kind of casket to use, what cemetery to use and what marker or monument to put on the grave.
Monumental cemetery: A monumental cemetery is the traditional style of cemetery consisting of monuments/markers made of marble or granite, rising vertically above the ground. There are countless different types of designs for monuments/markers, ranging from very simple to large and complex.
Lawn cemetery: A lawn cemetery is where each grave is marked with a small commemorative plaque that is placed horizontally at the head of the grave at ground-level. Families can still be involved in the design and the information contained on the plaque, however in most cases the plaques are a standard design.
Mausoleum: A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum.
Columbarium: Columbarium walls are generally reserved for cremated remains. While cremated remains can be kept at home by families or scattered somewhere significant to the deceased, a columbarium provides friends and family a place to come to mourn and visit. Columbarium walls do not take up a lot of space and it is a less expensive alternative to a burial plot
Natural cemeteries: Natural cemeteries, also known as eco-cemeteries or green cemeteries are a new style of cemetery set aside for natural burials. Natural burials are motivated by the desire to be environmentally conscious, although natural burials can be performed at any type of cemetery; they are usually done in a natural woodland area. Conventional markings such as monuments or markers are generally replaced with a tree or a bush or a placement of a natural rock.
Cremation is an alternative to the burial process and it is chosen by many people because of religious beliefs, the desire to preserve the environment or it was requested by the person who died. Cremation is also a less expensive option in comparison to a burial. The remains are placed in a container that is combustible for cremation. Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial or other forms of final disposition.
Cremated remains can be scattered or buried, or they may be kept with the family in a decorative urn. If you plan to take them out of province or country, please visit www.catsa.gc.ca or call 1-800-O-Canada for more information if you will be travelling with cremated remains on any airlines. We strongly suggest you advise the Funeral Director of your final disposition plans for the cremated remains, at the time of arrangements.
If you have further questions about cremation, we invite you to explore our Cremation FAQ