Types of Cemeteries
There are several different types of cemeteries to choose from if traditional burial or cremation interment is part of your funeral planning efforts. In the United States, most people have a choice of four cemetery categories. Each one has its own pros and cons, and the cost of each one varies depending on location and cemetery organization.
City/County Cemeteries: These cemeteries are affiliated with the local government at the city or county level. Typically one of the least inexpensive options, city cemeteries are open to virtually anyone who lives in the area.
Because they are publically run, tax dollars are used to maintain upkeep in a city cemetery. There may also be limits on how much of the space can be reserved for use by a single family, since it is intended for use by everyone. City burials (those done on behalf of those who cannot pay for a funeral) also typically occur here.
Religious Cemeteries: Cemeteries with religious affiliations are the oldest and most traditional types of burial spaces in existence. Often located alongside a church or other facility, these cemeteries are usually open to members of the congregation. Costs are similar to what you can expect from a private or city cemetery, though you may be able to get financial support through the church itself.
Not all religious cemeteries are affiliated with a specific church, however. Some private cemetery companies have roots in a specific belief system, and straddle the line between an independent organization and a religious institution.
Private Cemeteries: These cemeteries are the ones most often owned and operated by corporations or individual proprietors. Because they are run as for-profit businesses, you can expect competitive pricing as well as benefits (like package discounts, better visiting hours, and more regular upkeep) designed to get your business. In many cases, you can reserve large spaces for use by entire generations, and regular expansions ensure enough room for everyone.
As noted above, religion can play a role in a private cemetery’s composition, though most of them have different areas that cater to different religious denominations.
Veteran’s Cemeteries: These government-run burial spaces are reserved for veterans and select family members of veterans. They are part of the National Cemetery system, which has been in operation since the Civil War (Arlington National Cemetery is the first and most recognized of them).
Veteran cemeteries have the benefit of not only being provided at no cost to eligible families, but also carry a certain prestige. For many families, burial here is a great honor.
Each of these types of cemeteries can also have other appealing factors. Many people prefer the age and ambiance of religious cemeteries, while others like the guaranteed landscaping of a private cemetery. Still others might be restricted by cost or even available burial space.
In almost all cases, however, the funeral home of your choosing can work with the cemetery to help with funeral planning efforts. In the funeral industry, everyone works together regardless of religion or organization ownership to ensure that the burial process is run smoothly and with minimal hassle to the grieving family.