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Debunking Burial Myths

When it comes to end-of-life options, myths often distort the conversation about burial.

Reasons to Choose Burial

When it comes to end-of-life options, myths often distort the conversation about burial. With so much misinformation out there, we at Afterall want to debunk a few of the most common burial myths.

Myth #1: All Burials Require a Burial Vault

This first myth has been circulating for years. Many people believe that a burial vault is mandatory for all burials. However, the truth is that most states' laws do not require a burial vault, except for Louisiana and Massachusetts. 

Historically, cemeteries used burial vaults to protect caskets from grave robbers. They are also used to help support the surrounding ground. Purchasing a burial vault is still an option for those who prefer it. A handful of cemeteries may require a burial vault, but most funeral providers do not mandate it.

Myth #2: A Clergyman Must Officiate Every Burial

Most communities contain diverse families from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds. That's why many providers offer other options for those who don't want to use a religious official. For example, celebrants can incorporate personalized touches like meaningful readings and favorite songs to create an exceptional experience.

Myth #3: Burial is Harmful for the Environment

Another myth about burial is that it's harmful to the environment. While it's true that cremation may be a more eco-friendly option, many providers also offer green burial services. These services are designed to minimize environmental impact. They can include things like biodegradable burial shrouds and sustainably grown caskets.

Myth #4: There Are No Burial Options for Cremation

Those who choose cremation often think they forfeit the opportunity for a graveside burial. Not true! When you choose cremation for a loved one, a variety of options are available for the final disposition of the cremated remains. Here are some of the most common and unique burial and memorialization options.

Cemetery Plot 

Many cemeteries have specific areas designated for the burial of cremated remains. These plots are usually smaller than traditional burial plots.

Family Plot

In an existing family plot, you can bury cremated remains alongside other family members. 

Urn Garden

Some cemeteries have specially designed gardens with urns placed in a serene, landscaped environment.


A columbarium is a standing structure with niches (small spaces) that hold urns. Niches can be indoor or outdoor. Some columbariums have glass-front niches to hold a photograph or other memento of a loved one. 

Myth #5: Choosing Traditional Burial Limits Your Personalization Options

Finally, many families are concerned that traditional burial doesn't allow personalization. Imagine their surprise when they see how many beautiful customization options they can choose from. You can customize the interior and exterior of the casket to create a loving tribute with patterns, materials, designs, and flourishes. 

Next Steps

Whether you choose burial or cremation, you can create a beautiful permanent memorial. Afterall has burial and cremation plans for every family and budget. Please reach out to an Afterall partner near you.

For more help understanding everything you need to know about funerals, take a look at our article: Top 10 Funeral Terms to Add to Your Preplanning Vocabulary.