Cremation and burial costs are an important factor in choosing end-of-life Philadelphia services. However, cost isn’t the only factor in deciding between burial and cremation – and it’s important to consider all applicable angles of your loved one’s final disposition in order to make the right choice for your family. Besides cost, what are the factors to consider in deciding between a burial and cremation in the greater Philadelphia area?

Personal Preferences Play an Important Role in the Philadelphia Cremation Decision
People often feel strongly about end-of-life options; some hate the idea of being buried and prefer cremation, while others object to cremation and would never consider anything but burial. It’s important to convey your personal preference to your family when you have the opportunity, so if you’re pre-planning your funeral, now is the time to make the decision. For families who don’t know their loved one’s preferences, it is helpful to consult other close family members or friends, or even a spiritual advisor. If your loved one didn’t have a preference, or if you’re not aware of a preference, make your decision based on other factors.

Timing is Key in a Philadelphia Burial vs. Cremation
After personal preference, one of the most important factors in choosing between burial and cremation is timing. When you plan a burial, the service occurs as soon as possible – usually within two to three days. For families who are spread across the country, it is difficult for people who want to attend the service to get to town on such a short timeframe. If you can’t gather your family members in two or three days, or want more time to make your arrangements, cremation is a good option. A Philadelphia cremation provides you with flexibility on timing; you can have the cremation right away, and then plan a memorial service at a time when it’s convenient to gather your family.

Where to Have the Service
The question of where to have the service sometimes plays a role in choosing between burial and cremation. Most people who choose burial have a funeral here in the funeral home – sometimes with graveside services afterward for close friends and the immediate family. If you prefer another venue for your final farewell, you may want to choose cremation.

It’s easier to plan a service outside of a funeral home when you only have a picture of your loved one, or an urn containing cremated remains, instead of the actual physical remains. If it’s important for you to have an alternative service outside of the funeral home, cremation gives you the flexibility to go elsewhere easily – or you could have a traditional funeral and burial, and then have another service afterward with no remains present.

Final Disposition
Another factor in the question of burial versus cremation is the preferences for the final disposition of the remains. Do you want your loved one interred in a cemetery, or would you like to scatter the remains in a special place? Alternately, do you want to keep your loved one nearby in a decorative urn at home? The question of final disposition plays a key role in your decision of burial versus cremation if you don’t have strong preferences regarding the other factors.

Ultimately, whether you choose burial or cremation, the John P. Donohue Funeral Home is here to help. We’ll do our best to accommodate your wishes and give your loved one the fitting farewell that he or she deserves.