Burial is placement of human remains underground. Sometimes in industry terms we use it interchangeably with “entombment,” which is putting the body in a crypt or a mausoleum. Even though this process is traditionally associated with embalming, visitation, and a funeral service, burial does not require any of these events.

Burials involve two parts:

Funeral – This general term refers to all the products and services that occur between the point of death and the gates of the cemetery. It can be a confusing term, because in common usage it usually refers to a specific service for the deceased with the body present.

Cemetery – This term refers to all the products and services required at the place of burial.

Cemetery and funeral service are always done by separate companies, even if the parent company is the same. This means that you will plan final arrangements with both a funeral director and a cemetery representative.

The most basic of all the services for burial are called “immediate” or “direct” burial. As you shop funeral homes, it is helpful to know that these terms mean no services. The funeral home will pick up the body, get permits, take the body to the cemetery, and the cemetery will bury them.