Mausoleums are freestanding monuments that house caskets and are purchased for a funeral service. There is a wide variety of different types, ranging from indoor to outdoor and private to public. Regardless, they serve the same purpose: to house people above the ground once they pass.
Historically, mausoleums were primarily used by prestigious families to commemorate their dead. However, mausoleums are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity, as they appeal to people who wish to be laid to rest above the ground or located closer to their families.
You may not be sure if purchasing a casket for a mausoleum is the right decision for your funeral service. Below, we'll break down further details about mausoleums, including the pros and cons and different styles. After reading, you should have a better idea of whether choosing a mausoleum is right for your service.
Different Types of Mausoleums
When you think of mausoleums, you may think of historically large structures with pillars. However, mausoleums come in many shapes and sizes.
For private mausoleums, single crypts can be made which are large enough for just one coffin. Other options include:
- 'Side-by-side crypts,’ where caskets are laid horizontally
- ‘Companies crypts,’ where caskets are lined up ‘end-to-end’
Family mausoleums can be made for as many family members as is required.
Public or community mausoleums allow families to purchase a private section of the entire space, which is called a niche. Columbariums are also shared spaces, but urns of ashes are stored instead of coffins.
Lawn crypts are essentially mausoleums, but they are built under the ground. The drawback is that they do not have an entryway. Instead, families visit their loved ones by spending time in the commemorative space or garden above. With garden mausoleums, no indoor spaces are provided either. They are most commonly used as a place to display urns and remembrances.
Elevation in Areas Prone to Flooding or Hard Ground
Sometimes, cemetery land is too hard or wet to bury a person adequately. For example, some soil in New Orleans has a high water table, which makes in-ground burials difficult to conduct. It can also be quite dangerous for gravediggers to dig up to 7 feet down while water is coming in, weakening the sides of the graves and making them more likely to collapse, this is the main reason why vaults are usually required.
However, mausoleums can circumnavigate issues with soil quality. They are particularly useful in areas prone to flooding, as they protect the deceased above ground.
As land becomes an increasingly scarce commodity, mausoleums may also offer an environmentally friendly alternative. Only one plot of land has to be purchased. Whole families can be buried together, rather than on separate plots. Caskets are usually stacked on top of one another, rather than next to each other, which reduces the amount of space required to accommodate multiple people.
Suit Burial Preferences
Many people do not like the idea of being buried underground, and o mausoleums can make people feel more comfortable. The spaces are much cleaner and dryer than a grave and are usually above ground.
One of the most appealing aspects of investing in a mausoleum is that it can be personalized, down to the minute details. This could be something as straightforward as choosing from different materials – for example, granite or marble – or it could be choosing the building's moldings, steps, vases, etchings, and engravings.
Some people like to design the benches or chairs that will be placed inside the space, and there may even be the option to add further embellishments such as stained-glass windows.
In some mausoleums, the spaces are climate-controlled, and background music can even be played to create a calming atmosphere.
The Whole Family Can Be Buried Together
Having the family together in one place means that friends and relatives can visit just one location rather than having to move between cemeteries to commemorate and mourn their loved ones. Future generations of a family can also come to spend time with their ancestors collectively. Some people view their mausoleum as a permanent reminder of their family's legacy.
They Are Long-Lasting
Because of their size and the robust materials used (usually granite or marble), mausoleums are extremely strong and durable. They can resist different weather types, damage, and natural corrosion over the long term better than single gravestones.
They Are Arguably Cost-Effective
Mausoleums are undoubtedly expensive, but so are regular burials. By creating a space that all family members can be buried together, mausoleums may save some money on the expenses of buying separate plots of land. It also cuts back time spent on organizing several burial sites.
They can also be seen as an investment, as future family members will also use the space.
Mausoleums make it easier for loved ones to visit in every season, as the spaces are usually sheltered and offer some kind of seating. All family members can comfortably spend time in the mausoleum, especially if they are elderly or disabled.
They Have Rigorous Health Standards
It is important that caskets for a mausoleum remain protected from the environment. Human remains are considered hazardous, so professionals must make sure that the mausoleums are built to safely separate the deceased from any outside entities.
Ventilation techniques are followed to ensure that air circulates and that gasses are released away from visitors. Sealing the crypts is also important with inner and outer coverings, along with special glue or caulk, which is used to seal the mausoleum crypts.
They Are a Time-Consuming Project
Building a mausoleum is a huge project. Entombing a coffin is a complicated process. There are dozens of regulations in place to ensure that the space is safe. Of course, there are professionals who can help, but the task is nevertheless a large undertaking.
If you would like to buy a casket for a mausoleum, know that the space will not be ready by the time of the funeral.
They Can Be Expensive
Mausoleums are undoubtedly expensive. The land often has to be bought before the mausoleum can be built, and there may be hidden fees that arise during the designing and building process.
Depending on the cemetery, there may be rules around maintenance and visiting hours. These rules may extend to what ornaments and flowers can be left by the mausoleum and may restrict how many people can enter the space.
Checking these rules with prospective cemeteries is the best way to avoid later disappointments.
Maintenance Is Necessary
Although mausoleums are much more robust than gravestones, they still have to be maintained, incurring extra time and money. Natural degradation may cause water damage to the caskets or urns, so upkeep is crucial.
Sometimes gases are released during decomposition, which builds pressure in the coffin and can cause an explosion. This risk can be reduced by working with professionals who install “burpers” in the seals of caskets for a mausoleum. This way, the release of small amounts of gas is slowly controlled over time.
These explosions are extremely rare but remain a small risk to keep in mind.
Not Available in All Cemeteries
Mausoleums cannot just be built anywhere and are not offered in every cemetery. Because of this, some families have to choose a cemetery further away from their home than they would have initially hoped for. If the distance is too far, then the mausoleum becomes a less viable option.
Consider a Mausoleum For Your Funeral Service
Mausoleums are special places used to home those who have been laid to rest. Both historical and practical, they are now gaining popularity as a means to save on land usage and keep whole families together. Dry, quiet, and clean, they can also be comforting places to visit.
They ae expensive and complicated to build, which is why it's essential to work with experienced professionals. You will also want to choose the best casket for a mausoleum, as not every option is suitable for these structures. Check out the selection of caskets for a mausoleum from Trusted Caskets for more information.