When a loved one passes away, there are alot of decisions that need to be made. In many cases, your loved one may already have made plans regarding what would happen to their body once they are gone. Many cultures and religions are very specific about the rituals and traditions that come with death, but for others they may not be so set in stone. Entombment is one of the burial options to consider.

What is Entombment?

Unlike ground burials, entombments are above ground burials. The body or cremated remains are typically placed within a crypt, tomb, mausoleum, or columbarium, which is then sealed. These structures are often made of marble or granite, and can house the remains of one person or multiple persons. 

While the cost is generally higher than a ground burial, many cemeteries offer both options.

What Are My Entombment Options?


A tomb is not necessarily a place of interment, but rather anything contains the remains of the deceased, such as an urn, special container, or casket.


Crypts are vaults that house a casket. They are usually found below churches or within private or public mauseluems. 


A mausoleum is a external monument containing several crypts which house the remains of those who have passed away. Unlike columbariums, which are designed to house urns containing ashes, mausoleums are meant to inter traditional caskets. Using mausoleums is a form of above-ground burial.


A columbarium is a structure that houses the cremated remains of the deceased. Each urn of ashes is stored in a separate space called a “niche,” some of which can be large enough to hold several containers. 

What is the Entombment Process Like?

The entombment process can be complex or simple depending on what your loved one wanted or what you decide to do. Some people prefer entombment within an indoor building, while others prefer an outdoor crypt. Some families even choose to have a custom made structure designed for their loved one.

What Are Some Other Options Besides Entombment?

One of the most common options are ground burials. Family or religious traditions are often a factor for choosing burial.  Several decisions need to be made, such as whether the deceased needs to be embalmed, the selection of a casket and vault, and what cemetery to use.

Cremation is also a common choice for families. With cremation the body is exposed to heat leaving ashes behind. The ashes can be kept in an urn or scattered in a place that was meaningful to your loved one while they were alive. If you choose cremation, you can still have a burial service or memorial service in their honor. Many families choose to perform the cremation after a traditional viewing and visitation.

To learn more about entombment and other burial options, contact Madison Memorial Home today. We will explain all our options and assist you with making these decisions.