Traditional Cremation Services Vs. Direct Cremation – Which One Is Right for You?

Cremation has become more and more popular over the years due to being more eco-friendly and cost-effective compared to a traditional burial. Opting for cremation provides flexibility when it comes to the timing and location of the service. But there are two types of cremation services: traditional cremation and direct cremation. Here are a few of the differences between these two options and which one might be right for you or your loved one.

Traditional Cremation Services:

Traditional cremation has been practiced for many years and is still considered the most common form of cremation. It typically includes a viewing or visitation for family and friends to pay their respects to the deceased before the cremation process begins. Visitation may be held in a funeral home or the church. Once the procedure is finished, it is customary to hold a service that may include religious or non-religious rituals, according to the preference of the deceased or their family. Depending on the preferences of the family or the deceased, a traditional cremation can be followed by a burial or scattering of ashes.

Direct Cremation:

In contrast, direct cremation is a simpler option with no visitation or service beforehand. The cremation process immediately takes place after the death, and the ashes are returned to the family. This option is less expensive than traditional cremation, mainly because there is no need for embalming, cremation casket, funeral director involvement, or other additional expenses. It is a basic service that can be carried out quickly and efficiently without any fuss. This option suits families that are looking for a cost-effective alternative to traditional funeral services.

Cost Comparison:

When it comes to cost comparison, it is usual to find direct cremation cheaper than traditional cremation. Direct cremation is a basic service that involves little to no involvement in the services of funeral directors or embalming. It is the least expensive option for cremation processes, with total expenses of cremation being around several hundred dollars, whereas traditional cremation can cost a couple thousand. If having a service is not a must, then direct cremation would be a better option in terms of costs. However, if family members want to have a traditional funeral service, then traditional cremation would be a more appropriate choice.

Environmental Factors:

Traditional cremation is known for being relatively more environmentally friendly, with the practice of using a biodegradable container or traditional casket. Direct cremation, however, is not as environmentally friendly as traditional cremation as the cremation process takes place immediately after the death, leaving no time for any biodegradable material to be used. However, direct cremation is more eco-friendly than traditional burial as it does not involve the use of any wood or materials that would harm the environment.