With the average price of a funeral ranging between $7,000 and $10,000, families are looking for alternative ways of disposition without breaking the bank. If cremation is not an option for your family, then you can consider a direct or immediate burial. Similar to a direct cremation, an immediate burial is when a person’s body is buried within a day or two after death. For this process, a basic container for the body is used and there aren’t any pre-funeral activities.
Here are five reasons why more people are choosing this type of burial:
1. More Economical
An immediate burial is significantly less expensive than a traditional burial. While traditional funerals will usually cost at least $7,000, an immediate burial ranges between $1,000 and $4,000. Included in that price range, an immediate burial typically include these services:
- Funeral home fee
- Transportation of body
- Basic burial container
- Refrigeration for a limited time
- Sanitary care
The price is kept down by not having any pre-funeral visitation or viewing, therefore embalming is unnecessary. You won’t have to pay for funeral programs, the church rental, pastor’s fees and the like.
However, If you still want to have a small graveside service, that can usually be arranged for a separate fee. The cemetery-required burial vault and grave preparation fees, including the death certificate and burial permits, are not included in an immediate burial plan. Families can still have a memorial service or Celebration of Life immediately after the burial or whenever is the most convenient.
2. Religious Beliefs
While the cheaper cost of an immediate burial might incentivize some people to choose this procedure, some religious beliefs actually considers it the norm. The Jewish faith, for example, has traditionally held immediate burials for its dead. They consider it disrespectful to keep a body from being buried as soon as possible, so it is typically buried on the day of the death or within two days. Except for certain circumstances, it would be a great shame to bury a Jewish person any later than that.
Also, because millions of Jews were killed during the Holocaust with their bodies burned in crematoriums, today’s Orthodox Jews consider it a blasphemy to select cremation as a disposition option.
Other faiths that would select an immediate burial instead of cremation because of religious beliefs include:
- Bahá’í Faith
- Eastern Orthodox Church
- Iglesia ni Cristo
3. Some U.S. Military Veterans
Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who pass away in a Veterans Administration Medical Center is eligible for a direct burial in a National Cemetery. Each funeral home has its own packages and services available for veterans. Some funeral homes will also provide the following professional services for a minimal charge or in certain circumstances, at no charge all:
- Professional staff
- Transportation from hospital
- Basic burial casket
- Delivery to National Cemetery
- Arrangement of all honors and graveside services
4. Personal Choice
Some people simply prefer to have an immediate burial without all the fanfare that can come along with a large public funeral. They might have been private people or didn’t have many friends or family nearby. Others find a direct burial to be the most practical approach that does not require spending thousands upon thousands of dollars.
This option is also popular for those with family members who live far away. Often, an immediate burial will take place and then a memorial service will be held at a later date when everyone from out of town can attend.
5. Pregnancy Loss or Infant Death
When a baby passes away in utero after 24 weeks’ gestation, most localities and hospitals will allow a burial to take place. However, because of the circumstances surrounding the death, most families will choose a simple or immediate burial for the baby if they don’t choose cremation.
The same is true in some cases when a small child or infant dies. Because the situation is so grave and sad, some families choose not to have a large formal funeral. Check with your local funeral home to see what type of direct burial programs they have available for your situation.
Arranging an Immediate Burial
Contact Grace for more information or to answer questions about direct burials. Our funeral professionals can help you arrange a service that will fit within your budget, values and personal preferences.