What You Should Know About Cemetery Burial

Cemeteries Require a Burial Vault or Grave Liner

If a contemporary cemetery has been chosen for the burial, a concrete grave liner or burial vault is usually required by the cemetery. Most cemeteries require this because it keeps the ground level, which makes the land easier to maintain (mow), as well as safer for the families and visitors who walk through the cemetery.

Unless a lawn crypt is already installed in the plot you purchase, you will need to purchase a vault or liner additionally. In Oregon cemeteries, basic concrete grave liners cost less than $1,000 and sealed burial vaults range from $1,500 to $9,000. There are also fees associated with installing the vault (usually around $150) and fees to open and close the grave (usually ranging from $100 for an urn, to $500 to $1000 for a casket). (See the red line of image A left. This is the burial vault or grave liner which surrounds the casket.)

Cemetery Burial Compromise (Ask for a Flipped Burial Vault)

When religious or environmental beliefs require the body to touch the earth, many cemeteries choose to accommodate this request by flipping the burial vault upside down and leaving it uncapped so that the body or the bottom of the casket is laid directly on the soil. Note: In this instance you must still purchase the entire vault, but most cemeteries do not charge to flip the vault for you. This option satisfies the requirements of the cemetery, as well as religious objections and/or environmental beliefs. (See image B at right. Note: grave liner, indicated in red, is open at bottom).


Green Burial

Green burial (or natural burial) grounds do not use containers. This provides a more direct return to the soil. (See image C left. In this instance, a burial shroud is often used).

Green Burial Grounds often use indigenous rock or planting a shrub as a markers. These lands are preserved and function as parks for life to thrive. While the graves disappear into the landscape. Locations are noted with Global Positioning System coordinates. (GIS) also helps pinpoint your loved one's final resting place.

Please share your thoughts on burial. Would you prefer cemetery burial or green burial? What advice can you share with others?