When considering a burial mausoleum for a loved one, keep in mind the design, structure and materials that best suit your needs, preferences and budget. Burial in a mausoleum can be a wonderful expression of love and honor, an homage to those who have gone before us and a burial monument cherishing the memory of loved ones.
The difference between a traditional burial and a mausoleum burial is simply location. Instead of burial in the ground, a mausoleum burial inters the body of the deceased in an above-ground tomb. Families choose entombment in mausoleums:
- For a clean, dry area to place remains (some people are uneasy with the idea of being placed underground)
- To save on ground use
- Because the cost is comparable to a traditional burial, especially when the expense of a monument is taken into consideration
- and because the mausoleum can be built on either private land or public.
The size of a mausoleum can accommodate just one person, keeping the cost down, but investing in a family mausoleum can, in the long run, be more economical, as well as keep family members together. A burial mausoleum for a single individual represents admiration and respect for a well-loved relative, whereas a family mausoleum cemetery represents closeness; often a small group of mausoleums for the same family is found, sometimes with an individual burial mausoleum positioned alongside a family mausoleum.
Burial in a mausoleum offers different options in regards to crypt type. A vestibule mausoleum has wall spaces in which to seal caskets; a sarcophagus style mausoleum has a free-standing crypt in the mausoleum chamber. Most mausoleums are built six or seven crypts high and are designed for one entombment, or body, per mausoleum crypt. However, some mausoleums accommodate double crypts. Double crypts are:
- tandem - containing two entombments lengthwise in one crypt
- companion- providing two entombments side by side
- Westminster- a special design with one entombment above ground and another below.
After burial services, the casket is carried through the doorway of the mausoleum and carefully interred, if the mausoleum is a chamber with windows and doors. In the case of a sarcophagus mausoleum with no openings, a crane temporarily removes the roof or one wall to allow the deceased to be placed inside. In the event of cremation, a columbaria can be provided, a chamber or wall in which urns containing the ashes of the dead are stored.
A mausoleum is both a burial monument to a family and their stature, and a comfortable resting place carefully considered by families to convey to the world a tale of love and appreciation for, and devotion to, their beloved deceased.