Caskets play a significant role in Funeral services and rituals, and choosing one is often influenced by cultural and religious traditions, family preferences or budget. Caskets are available in a wide range of price points, and individuals and families can choose one that best aligns with their circumstance.
Funeral Directors typically offer a variety of options to accommodate different needs and tastes. However, caskets do not need to be purchased from a funeral home.
Funeral Homes are not only obligated by law to accept a casket purchased elsewhere, but they cannot charge additional fees for handling or using the casket.
There are many considerations to take into account when purchasing, including:
Funeral Home Offerings: Funeral homes typically offer a selection of caskets for purchase as part of their funeral services and vary in materials, styles, and prices. Funeral homes often provide a price list of available caskets for transparency.
Casket Retailers: Casket retailers, both physical stores and online, specialize in selling caskets directly to consumers and offer a wide range of caskets in various materials and styles. Purchasing from a retailer may even provide more options and be cheaper compared to buying one through a funeral home.
Price Comparison: It's best to compare prices before making a decision. Funeral homes are required to provide prices over the phone and these should be compared with similar products from online retailers.
Delivery and Timing: If a casket is purchased outside a funeral home, be sure to coordinate delivery with the funeral director to ensure it arrives in time for the funeral or burial service.
Ask Questions: When considering casket options, ask the funeral home or retailer for information about materials, warranties, and any additional services they provide, such as customization or engraving.
Eco-Friendly and Alternative Options: Eco-friendly or alternative burial casket options, such as biodegradable caskets, shrouds, or natural burial containers, may be preferred. These may be available from specialized suppliers or providers offering Green Burial services.
When considering a casket, it's also important to consider its environmental impact:
Caskets, used for both burials and cremations, have varying environmental impacts depending on factors like materials and manufacturing processes. Wooden caskets, typically made from hardwoods, are biodegradable, but their production can contribute to deforestation.
Metal caskets, made from steel or bronze, have a significant environmental footprint due to resource-intensive manufacturing. Other materials like fiberglass and composites may offer eco-friendly alternatives.
Casket manufacturing can be energy-intensive, and some caskets are treated with chemicals. The choice of casket, along with the Disposition method (burial or cremation), can also impact the environment.
Caskets feature many different ornamental and celebratory elements including:
Design and Style: Caskets come in a variety of designs, styles, and finishes. They can range from simple and understated to elaborate and ornate. Choosing a casket style is often based upon cultural, religious, and personal preferences.
Interior: The interior of a casket is lined with fabric, often including a pillow and bedding. The quality and type of fabric can vary, with options such as silk, velvet, or satin.
Handles and Hardware: Caskets are equipped with handles and hardware for ease of carrying and lowering into the grave. These features can be decorative or functional, depending on the casket's design.
Sealing: Some caskets come with a sealing mechanism or gasket that provides a seal around the casket's lid. This seal is intended to help keep out moisture, dirt, and other elements. However, the use of seals is a matter of choice and is not necessary in all cases.
Decoration and Personalization: Many caskets allow for personalization through various means, such as decorative panels, customized engravings, or the addition of symbols or religious emblems.
Cremation Caskets: Even if the deceased will be cremated, a cremation caskets be purchased. These caskets are typically simpler in design and constructed to be combustible.