Can Cremated Remains Be Buried in a Cemetery?


Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular form of memorialization. Some religions prefer or even require it. However, many families still favor a standard burial, for any number of reasons. We therefore frequently receive the question: can you bury cremated remains in a cemetery? And the answer is yes, there are several options for burying cremains. This article will provide options and guidance for you to help make a decision on how you or a loved one would prefer to be memorialized.

Interment in a Burial Plot

The most traditional form of burial associated with a cemetery is often the burial of a casket within a burial plot. Some families even buy dual plots or family plots so that loved ones can be buried together. This is still possible with cremated remains, and is a common practice among many religions.

The process is as such: you purchase a container for the cremains, as well as the burial plot, a preferred casket, the burial vault for the casket, and an opening-and-closing ceremony. This then also comes with the memorial, likely a flat marker or a headstone, depending on the cemetery. You can get an inscription on the marker as you would for any other type of burial, and can even still have a graveside service. The only difference is that it is a cremation container being placed into the casket.

headstones in cemetery

Columbarium Entombment

For large families that want to stay together, or for those who simply prefer they remain inside, where they and any loved ones who visit are protected from the elements, a popular choice is entombment within a private or public mausoleum. As with burial plots, it is entirely possible to have a cremation container placed within a casket, interned within a mausoleum. However, another option is for a structure similar to a mausoleum, but intended specifically for those who have been cremated. This is a columbarium, an indoor location safe from the climate, with cremation niches to hold and display cremation urns. This allows a particular style of urn to be selected, several urns can be placed within niches alongside each other to keep families together, and a plaque is put in place with an inscription, to tell the story the way one would on a headstone of a burial plot.

Scattering Gardens

Another increasingly popular option throughout cemeteries, for those who do not wish to bury cremated remains, is a scattering garden. These are spaces within a cemetery designated specifically for the purpose of scattering cremated remains in a beautiful landscape. This is obviously not a burial in the traditional sense, however many loved ones are leery of scattering cremains due to the unknown nature of laws forbidding scattering in certain locations. Scattering gardens in cemeteries allow loved ones to visit a meticulously maintained area in order to remember and honor the deceased, while upholding many people's wishes of becoming one with nature through the dispersement of their remains. It is therefore an excellent choice for many looking to memorialize a cremated loved one within a cemetery.

A Matter of Personal Choice

Any form of memorialization is always a personal choice. It depends on how the person wishes to have his or her life story told, as well as those who remain to remember and cherish their loved one. That is why such decisions are never to be taken lightly. Fortunately, for those who wish for the closure and serenity of a cemetery, but prefer to be cremated, yes, you can bury cremated remains in a cemetery. If you have more questions or would like to discuss the process of planning a burial in advance, you can schedule a consultation with a BurialPlanning.com expert at any time.

BurialPlanning's network of cemeteries serve families during the most difficult times of their lives and as an essential business continue to do so today while safeguarding our customers, visitors and employees from the risks of COVID-19. Please read more here about extra steps and precautions being made at our locations during this challenging and evolving situation.

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