Above-ground interment, also known as entombment, refers to the burial within a tomb or crypt. The casket or cremation urn is placed in a crypt or columbarium niche within a mausoleum. The crypt or niche is then sealed and a memorial is added. Interment rights are required.
Historically, entombment was generally available only to the wealthy. Small, privately owned mausoleums were built on the cemetery property for the exclusive interment of members of an extended family.
Today, mausoleums are typically large buildings designed to house hundreds of crypts for above-ground interment. Modern architecture, materials and construction techniques have brought the cost of above-ground interment in line with ground burial, making it possible for most families to afford one of the world's finest forms of burial.
Crypts are the structures designed to hold casketed remains. Following a casket entombment, the crypt is sealed, and a granite or marble front is attached.
There are different kinds of crypts, including:
- Single crypts designed for one entombment only
- Tandem crypts, which are double crypts permitting two entombments lengthwise
- Companion crypts, which are double crypts permitting two entombments side by side
- Westminster crypts, which are double crypts permitting two entombments, one below floor level and the other above
Most mausoleums are built four, five and sometimes six crypts high. The price of the crypt will depend on its type and location. Indoor crypts are made of marble, while outdoor crypts are made only of granite. As beautiful as marble is, it is not suited to harsh winters and airborne pollutants.
A columbarium is an arrangement of niches designed to hold urns containing cremated remains. Many columbariums in our cemeteries are free-standing structures with indoor and outdoor niches. Others are located inside mausoleums and chapels. Following an urn entombment, a niche front of granite, marble, bronze, wood or glass is attached.
One or more cremation urns may be placed inside a crypt with the permission of the interment rights holder(s). The size of the crypt front, however, limits the number of memorial inscriptions that may be placed on it.
An inscription on the crypt or niche front is the most widely chosen form of memorial for above-ground interment. Choice of materials varies with the location and structure. Cameos and other special memorials are available for above-ground interment.
Interment Rights for Entombment
Interment rights allow you to designate who may be buried in the crypt space and to place a memorial where permitted. A portion of the purchase price of all interment rights is contributed to the Care and Maintenance Fund. A portion of the purchase price may also be contributed to the Supplementary Care Fund. Income from both funds is used to provide regular care and maintenance activities at the cemeteries.
There are usually a wide range of crypt and niche locations and pricing. All arrangements for entombment can be made in advance. By planning ahead, you have the opportunity to consider the many options available as well as to make an informed decision about your funeral and cemetery arrangements.