The Difference between Entombment and Burial

After funerals at funeral homes in Rockford, IL, our loved ones will take one last ride to the cemetery where either a burial or an entombment will put them in their final resting places.

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Entombment is one of the deceased person is placed inside a tomb. A tomb can be either aboveground or below ground. We are probably more familiar with aboveground tombs, since in the ancient world, that’s how people were buried.

We see in the account of Abraham, in the Bible, that he purchased a cave to bury his wife, Sarah, in. Later, Abraham and some of his descendants were buried in the same tomb.

We also see entombment in the New Testament. One famous example of a burial in a tomb was that of Lazarus. When Jesus came to Bethany, his friend Lazarus had already been entombed for four days. Jesus asked that the tomb be opened, and there was great concern about the odor from decomposition. However, the tomb was opened and Jesus famously resurrected Lazarus from the dead.

Jesus, after His crucifixion, was also entombed. Joseph of Arimathea owned a brand-new tomb that had never been used. After getting Jesus’ body, Joseph and Nicodemus laid Him in the tomb and placed a rock in front of it to close it. We see the same tomb opened three days later, with Jesus resurrected by God and His burial clothes folded neatly inside the empty tomb.

Usually entombment refers to a deceased person being placed in a niche in a place that is specifically designed to be interment space. These spaces are either underground rooms, known as crypts, or in rooms or structures that are aboveground, which are known as mausoleums.

The deceased person is entombed in a casket that is placed in a niche in a wall of a crypt or mausoleum.

Burials, on the other hand, are when a casket is buried in the ground. Burial requires excavation, so backhoes are brought in to dig a cemetery plot that is approximately six feet deep.

Ideally, the top of the casket should be at least two or three feet below the opening of the grave. This means that there will also have to be room for the vault that the casket will be placed in (almost all cemeteries now require vaults to keep the graves stable and to keep the ground around them from sinking), so the true depth of the grave may be as much is eight feet.

Once the grave is dug, then the casket is placed inside and then the backhoes will cover the casket with dirt and make sure that the grave can’t be disturbed.

Therefore, the main difference between entombments and burials is the placement of casket. With entombments, the casket is placed inside a designated burial structure like a crypt or mausoleum. With burials, the casket is placed directly into the earth in a cemetery plot.

One thing that both entombments and burials have in common is that they are full-body methods a final disposition, which is in contrast with cremations, in which the final disposition is cremated remains of the body that are either buried, stored in a columbarium, or kept by the family.

For more information about entombments and burials at funeral homes in Rockford, IL, our compassionate and experienced team at Collins & Stone Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 128 S 5th Street, Rockford, IL 61104, or you can call us today at (815) 965-1515.

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