Interment vs Burial: Differences in Funeral Practices

Interment vs Burial Differences in Funeral Practices

Using appropriate and accurate terminology is crucial when talking about funeral customs and the final disposition of a deceased person. Our words can affect the family of the deceased, and they show sensitivity when we express our thoughts and emotions.

That’s why choosing between the terms interment vs burial can be problematic. Although they are often used interchangeably, these words have subtle differences that can affect their meaning in specific contexts. Let’s explore insights of interment vs burial.

Primary differences between interment vs burial

When we talk about laying someone to rest, the terms interment vs burial often come up. Though they might seem similar, they do have distinct meanings:


  • Refers generally to placing remains in their final resting place. This can include burial in the ground, entombment in a mausoleum, or inurnment, which is placing ashes in an urn.
  • Interment is a broader term that covers various methods of handling remains.


  • Specifically means placing the body of the deceased into the ground.
  • Traditionally, this involves a casket and is conducted in a cemetery.
  • Understanding these terms can help in planning or discussing final arrangements clearly and accurately.

Historical and Cultural Differences

Different cultures and historical periods have distinct practices and traditions regarding the final send-off. The two most common words used in these contexts are interment vs burial. Let’s explore their historical and cultural differences to understand how each practice has been developed over time.

– Historical Perspective

  • Interment:

The term “internment” is a broader classification that includes any method of placing human remains in their final resting place. Historically, this has included a variety of practices, not just burying the deceased in the ground.

Ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians and the Chinese, practiced interment through elaborate rituals that involved interring the deceased in structures like pyramids or mausoleums. These practices have been deeply embedded in their beliefs about the afterlife and the significance of retaining the body in a nation of dignity.

  • Burial:

“Burial” specifically refers to the act of placing the body underground. This method has been prevalent throughout history across many cultures, often reflecting a simpler, more direct approach to laying the dead to rest.

In medieval Europe, burial was the most common practice, influenced by Christian beliefs. It became standard to bury the deceased on a consecrated floor near a church to ensure a religious presence and sanctity across the resting area.

– Cultural Significance

  • Interment:

In Japan, interment often involves cremation followed by placing the ashes in a family urn in a columbarium. This practice aligns with the Buddhist belief in reincarnation and the spiritual journey after death.

Similarly, in many Indigenous cultures, interment practices are rich with rituals that connect the deceased with the spiritual world, often involving above-ground placements in sacred areas.

  • Burial:

Burial practices can vary dramatically from one culture to another. For example, in Islamic traditions, the deceased is buried without a coffin, if possible, directly in the ground, wrapped in a simple white shroud. This practice emphasizes equality in death and a return to the earth.

In contrast, in many Western cultures, the use of caskets and elaborate grave markers or tombstones is common, reflecting both respect for the deceased and an enduring memorial for those left behind.

  • Modern Practices:

Today, both interment vs burial have evolved to accommodate a range of preferences and beliefs. Eco-aware alternatives and inexperienced burials emphasize environmental sustainability, avoiding the use of chemical substances and non-biodegradable substances.

Technological advancements have also influenced interment practices, with virtual memorials and digital tributes becoming more common, reflecting a modern take on traditional customs.

Understanding these historical and cultural nuances provides a clearer picture of how interment vs burial differ not simply in definition but also in the profound meanings and practices that surround them. Each technique includes its own set of traditions, ideals, and values, deeply woven into the cloth of cultural identities around the world.


When we hear the term “interment,” it might not immediately click for everyone. Let’s clarify it in a trustworthy, no-frills way. Interment refers to the setting of human remains in their last resting area. This ought to imply Burial inside the ground, entombment in a mausoleum, or inurnment, wherein ashes are placed in an urn. But there may be more to it than just those basics.

  • Interment: Meaning

Interment refers to the practice of placing human remains in their final resting place. This period encompasses numerous strategies, including Burial inside the floor, burial in a mausoleum, and inurnment in which ashes are stored in an urn. It’s a comprehensive term that captures these types of possibilities, reflecting the well-known exercise of respectfully placing the deceased to relaxation.

What is interment?

  • Broad Scope: Interment is any method of placing a deceased person’s remains in a designated resting space. This can be underground, in a wall area of interest, or even above the floor in a crypt or mausoleum.
  • Final Resting Place: The key aspect of interment is that it represents the final placement of a person’s physical remains, whether in a traditional or alternative form.

What does it mean to be interred?

  • To Be Placed: To be interred means to be officially placed in a final resting spot. This is typically done during a ceremony, which can vary widely in ritual depending on cultural or personal preferences.
  • Sense of Permanence: Being interred brings a sense of closure and permanence, marking the transition from life to memory and legacy.
  • Respectful Rest: It symbolizes the community or family’s respect for the deceased, ensuring they have a dignified place to rest indefinitely.

These points should provide a clear and concise understanding of interment, its general meaning, and what it specifically means to be interred.

What happens at the interment of ashes?

An interment of ashes ceremony is one type of funeral service. It typically starts with the delivery of the ashes and an introductory speech and can include prayers if appropriate. Before the urn is sealed in place, people can say a few words about the person who has passed away.


When planning the last resting place for a loved one’s ashes, the process of interment includes numerous considerate steps. It’s a private adventure marked by respect and remembrance. Let’s walk through the stages to ensure a meaningful interment ceremony.

– Save the Date for the Interment of Ashes Ceremony

  • Selecting a Date: The first step is choosing a suitable date for the ceremony. Consider a date that holds importance for the family or the deceased, together with an anniversary or birthday. This provides a layer of personal contact to the ceremony.

Choose the Right Urn for the Interment of Ashes

  • Selecting an Urn: The choice of the urn is crucial as it will be the final container for the ashes. Options vary from easy and understated to problematic and ornamental. Think approximately the character of the loved one when choosing the urn.
  • Material Matters: Urns are available in a variety of materials, including ceramic, wood, metal, and biodegradable materials. Each offers a different aesthetic and durability.

Choose the Location

  • Final Resting Place: The location for the interment should be a place of significance or beauty, reflecting the spirit of the deceased. 
  • Permission and Regulations: Always check local regulations regarding the interment of ashes to ensure compliance with legal requirements, particularly if you choose a public or outdoor space.

Where can an interment of ashes take place?

The procedure for the interment of the ashes starts with finding a permanent location. 

Possible locations include:

  • A Local Authority cemetery 
  • A burial ground or churchyard 
  • A green or natural burial ground

Invite Guests to the Interment of Ashes Ceremony

  • Making the Guest List: Decide who you need to invite. This would possibly consist of a close circle of relatives, pals, and perhaps colleagues who have been essential to the deceased.
  • Sending Invites: Consider sending invites that reflect the solemnity and personal significance of the event. Include details about the region, time, and any unique requests, inclusive of a selected dress code or vegetation.

The Interment of Ashes Ceremony

  • Planning the Ceremony: The ceremony can be as simple or as tricky as preferred. Some households pick to have readings, songs, and speeches that reflect the lifestyles and passions of the deceased.
  • Personal Touches: Incorporate elements that were meaningful to the deceased, like their favorite music or readings from literature they loved. This personalization makes the ceremony more touching and memorable.
  • Role of the Officiant: An officiant, whether a religious figure or a secular celebrant, can guide the ceremony, offering comfort and structure to the proceedings.

Reflection and Closure

  • Moment of Reflection: Allow time during the ceremony for guests to reflect on their memories of the deceased. This can be a moment of silent reflection or an opportunity for guests to share stories and anecdotes.
  • Closure: The act of placing the urn in its final resting place provides a physical and symbolic moment of closure for those in attendance. It signifies the quit of the ceremony and the start of the legacy of remembrance.

Planning and undertaking an interment of ashes rite with care and admiration ensures that it becomes a comforting ritual that honors a loved one’s reminiscence. Each step, from selecting the urn to the very last phrases spoken during the rite, contributes to a farewell and a long-lasting tribute.


Burial is the act of placing the body of a deceased person into the ground. It’s one of the oldest and most common methods for handling remains after death.

What Does It Mean to Be Buried?

  • Final Resting Place: To be buried means to have one’s body placed in the earth, typically in a cemetery. This is considered the final step in the physical journey after passing.
  • Symbol of Closure: For many, BurialBurial signifies a final farewell and a form of closure for family and friends. It marks the last resting place where loved ones can come to remember and honor the deceased.
  • Cultural and Spiritual Significance: In many cultures, burial is not just a physical act but also carries spiritual or religious significance, reflecting beliefs about life after death and respect for the dead.

Burial Process

– Before the Burial

  • Arrangements: Initially, family members decide on the type of burial and select a funeral home to help manage the arrangements. This phase includes important decision-making about the type of service desired.
  • Choosing a Burial Plot: Families either choose a plot in a cemetery they have a connection to or select a new site that meets their needs. Factors include location, cost, and personal or religious significance.

– Choosing a Burial Plot

  • Location: Selecting the right plot is crucial. It’s about finding a place that feels right and respects the wishes of the deceased.
  • Considerations: Accessibility for visitors and type of plots available (single, double, family) are key considerations.

– Burial Confirmation

  • Finalizing Details: Once the plot is chosen, details such as the exact location within the cemetery and the orientation of the grave are confirmed.
  • Documentation: All necessary paperwork and permissions required by the cemetery or local authorities are finalized.

– At the time of the Burial

  • Ceremony: The burial service itself is often a gathering of family and friends who come to pay their last respects. It typically involves a short service at the graveside.
  • Process: The coffin is lowered into the ground, and final rites are performed according to the family’s traditions or the deceased’s wishes.

– After the Service

  • Gathering: Often, there is a post-service gathering where attendees can share memories and support each other, which helps in the grieving process.
  • Memorialization: Decisions about placing a headstone or other marker typically occur after the service, marking the grave as a place to visit and remember.

Understanding every step of the burial procedure can assist households in navigating this challenging time with recognition and dignity, ensuring that all factors are handled consistent with their needs and the deceased’s alternatives.

Choosing Between interment vs burial: What's Right for You?

In the end, finding out between interment vs burial is a deeply non-public desire that relies upon character beliefs, the wishes of the deceased, and family preferences. Whether you lean closer to the ability and style of interment options or the traditional simplicity of Burial, every desire gives a respectful way to commemorate a loved one’s existence. Take the time to take into account all elements—emotional, economic, and sensible—to make sure that the choice honors the one you love in a way that feels meaningful and proper in your own family.



Here is our expert author, Kyle, your go-to source for simplified insights into the world of life insurance. With years of industry experience, Kyle delivers concise and approachable content, ensuring you navigate the complexities with confidence.

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