Difference between Burial, Funeral and Cremation

Key Difference: Burial and cremation are two different types of method of disposing the body but funeral is a ceremony that is used to honor and celebrate the life of the deceased. 

For many having a loved one pass away is hard and on top of that having to decide what preparations that need to be made is even harder. There are many ways to honor and respect the dead and depending on the different cultures, each body is treated in a different manner.

Burial, Funeral and Cremation are three different processes that are related to the passing of a body and what happens after. A lot of people make certain plans in their will of what they want after they have died.

Burial is a ritual in which the body of the loved one is placed inside the ground with their favorite or cherished objects. The body can be placed in a casket, which is sealed before it is placed inside the ground. For many families, the church that they visit to often has a cemetery joined with it and the person is usually buried there. A lot of cultures bury their dead and human burial can be dated back to 100,000 years. Certain cultures such as Egyptians, buried the dead with all the comforts that the person would need in their afterlife.

Funeral is a ceremony that is used to remember, honor and sanctify the dead. Depending on the culture, there are various different ways that can be used to celebrate life of the deceased. Some offer prayers, while other pray for peace. Other rituals include religious readings, burning of the body, mummification, or even bone picking. These rituals are often require cleaning the body and offering it a peaceful journey. Other cultures also include rejoicing the life of the deceased including drinking and telling stories about the loved one.

Cremation is a process in which the human body is burned to ashes. The process is defined as the combustion, vaporization and oxidation of dead bodies to basic chemical compounds, such as gases, ashes and mineral fragments retaining the appearance of dry bone. Some cultures, such as Hindus, cremate their dead after which the ashes are submerged in the sacred Ganges river. Cremation is an alternative to the burial process, in which the body is buried as opposed to being burnt. Cremation dates from at least 20,000 years ago in the archaeological record, with the Mungo Lady, the remains of a partly cremated body found at Lake Mungo, Australia.

In short, burial and cremation are two different types of method of disposing the body but funeral is a ceremony that is used to honor and celebrate the life of the deceased.  

Comparison between Burial, Funeral and Cremation:






Is when the body is buried in a casket

Is the services that are held for the deceased

Is the process of burning the body, with only the ashes remaining


Is placed in the casket before it is put underground

May or may not have the remains (depends on the family members)

Are ashes that are presented in an urn


At the cemetery

At the church or a religious place. It can also be at the home of the deceased or his family members

The urn can be kept anywhere, but the body is usually cremated at the crematory

Image Courtesy: wikipedia.org, albins.co.uk, funeralhomelawyer.com

Most Searched in Education and References Most Searched in Society and Culture
Most Searched in Sports Most Searched in Home and Garden
Plasma Membrane vs Cell Wall
Sunmica vs Laminate
Revenue vs Receipt


Well! In fact, many people still have a preference for burial for religious or sentimental reasons, but if your priority is finding something that’s affordable, easy, and flexible – while still being meaningful – then cremation is likely to be your best choice.

Thanks for clarifying!

Add new comment

Plain text

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.