Columbarium and Mausoleums

Funeral homes in Greenville, MI

Funeral homes in Greenville, MI, and the rest of the country offer bereaved a few different options when it comes to interring the deceased’s remains both below ground and above ground. There are two main above-ground options: columbarium and mausoleums. These buildings are common landmarks in cemeteries and funeral homes, but you might not know which is which, or even how the two differ from one another.

If you’ve ever been walking in, through or past a cemetery, you’ve most likely noticed the ornate but small buildings scattered around the grounds amidst the tombstones. These buildings are mausoleums, columbarium, or even a combination of the two. Both columbarium and mausoleums are defined as permanent, above-ground resting places for human remains, but they have a few key differences between them. Let’s start with mausoleums.

A mausoleum, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, is defined as, “a building designed for above-ground placement of a casket. The casket is placed into a crypt that may be designed for one or two persons.” Mausoleums can have one crypt, or a chamber designed to hold one body, or a larger space made to hold a few people like a family or a couple. Some mausoleums have more than one room for different parts of a family. These buildings are often decorated with exterior markers to denote who is resting inside. Some even have glass windows that allow those on the outside to view the coffins.

Mausoleums can be found in different variations and designs all around the world. One of the original Seven Wonders of the World was a mausoleum. Built in 353 BC near what is now known as Turkey, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was the final resting place of a famous Persian king named Mausolus. This king was so rich that he commissioned one of the finest mausoleums ever built and is actually how the term mausoleum was coined.

Unlike mausoleums that generally hold bodies, columbarium is designed to house cremated remains. The term columbarium comes from the Latin word “columba” which means dove. In the past, doves and pigeons were housed in buildings with niches on the walls for their nests. This design is very similar to how columbarium is made, as they have compartments built into the walls to house and display cremation urns. There are lots of different columbarium designs. Some are indoor and some are outside, while others are simple and more still are decorated and elaborate. You can choose whatever kind of columbarium you like for your lost loved one.

Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care is here to help if you’re looking for more information on common funeral questions or would like to learn more about Greenville, MI funeral homes and services. We can answer any questions you may have on burial, cremation, funeral services, and more. Please stop by and visit us today or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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