Burial Services

Whether to be buried or cremated is one of the first decisions to make. It is a choice dependent upon many factors, such as family precedent, values, religion, and intuitive preference. This may be a clear choice or one that needs to be considered further. We hope that the following information helps you to understand what each involves.

There are actually two parts to burial, as there are two parts to cremation:

  • how the body is cared for in death
  • how the person is memorialized by the living.

Burial Service written on a tombstone

Burial & Entombment

How is the body cared for if burial is chosen? Most people are familiar with the concept of burial, also called “interment,” as under the ground in a cemetery marked with a monument. Another option is entombment, whereby a body is placed in a niche in a mausoleum, an above-ground structure. In both cases a casket or a shroud surround the body.  

Before burial, a person’s body may be embalmed, but embalming is not required. The main reason to embalm is to help the living say goodbye with a viewing. We can certainly view our family member without embalming, as our families often choose to during "Family Time" (a brief goodbye before cremation). The deceased looks much as they did at the time of their death. However, when embalming is chosen we often hear families say, with relief in their voice,  how good they look. Again, embalming is not required and we treat all families with the same respect, however they choose.

What is embalming? Our licensed embalmer cleans the body, sets the features, and then performs surgical procedures to inject preservative chemicals. The embalmer then dresses and styles hair and does makeup as instructed by the family.  They are laid in a casket that can be closed or opened, or opened for a private time.

Why do this? For some, one's physical presence is a continued way of being part of the family. Psychologically for the living, seeing a loved one in death may help to understand what has happened, helping the grief process. 

All natural finish, environmentally friendly casket "Enviro" for cremation

Steel caskets in James Reid's selection room

Solid wood caskets in James Reid's Selection Room

The choice of casket depends on taste, religion, budget, and values. We like that many of our caskets are made in Ontario. We have a variety of woods, some metals, some cloths. They are displayed on the second floor of our funeral home. Many others can be ordered. 

Other considerations, such as the burial plot, will be taken care of directly with the cemetery. Some cemeteries require a vault, sometimes called “outer burial container,” but not all do. Would you like to protect your loved one’s casket with a concrete vault? We carry vaults along with caskets if you decide in favour of a vault. 

Green Burial” is available in designated cemeteries. Biodegradable caskets are used and monuments are not used, to keep the landscape as natural as possible. We carry environmentally friendly caskets and use environmentally friendly embalming fluids when requested. 

Memorialization with burial can be as simple as a private graveside service or a Celebration of Life in our Celebration Centre. Traditionally, a burial service involves a visitation, followed by a funeral service in our chapel or a church.  The casket is typically present at both these events. Burial, as a way to care for the body in death, is amenable to non-traditional services as well. Burial is a time-honoured way of caring for the body in death, as many religions testify. Please Contact Us with your thoughts, and consider your Funeral Options here.