Burial and Cremation Services in South Boston

There are many things to consider when reviewing options for burial and cremation services in South Boston. We have assembled answers to the common questions surrounding burial services and cremation services in South Boston, Massachusetts. Please contact us any time with additional questions.

Burial Services in South Boston

There are many things to consider when deciding if burial is right for either you or your family, whether it is at the time of death or if you are pre-planning a funeral. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make involves choosing both the cemetery and the specific grave location within its grounds.

Whatever your preference, the caring staff at O’Brien Funeral Home will listen to your needs and together we can create a meaningful service that is right for your family. With the special touches we can add to any memorial your loved one’s tribute will be poignant and personal.
We can help you choose the ritual, ceremony, and resting place that best reflects your values, lifestyle, and fits your budget. We invite you to call or come to our office where we will help you craft a service that truly expresses the story of your loved one’s life.

A monumental cemetery is the traditional style of cemetery where headstones or other monuments made of marble or granite rise vertically above the ground. There are countless different types of designs for headstones, ranging from very simple, to large and complex.

A lawn cemetery is where each grave is marked with a small commemorative plaque that is placed horizontally at the head of the grave at ground-level. Families can still be involved in the design and in choosing the information contained on the plaque, but in most cases the plaques are a standard design.

A mausoleum is an external, free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb, or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum. The most famous mausoleum is the Taj Mahal in India.

Columbarium walls are generally reserved for cremated remains. While cremated remains can be kept at home by families, or scattered somewhere significant to the deceased, a columbarium provides friends and family a place to come to visit. Columbarium walls do not take up a lot of space and a cheaper alternative to a burial plot.

Natural cemeteries, also known as eco-cemeteries or green cemeteries, are a new style of cemetery set aside for natural burials. Natural burials are motivated by the desire to be environmentally conscious. While natural burials can be performed at any type of cemetery, they are usually done in a natural woodland area. Conventional markings, such as headstones, are generally replaced with a tree, bush, or the placement of a natural stone.

For You to Consider

Opening and closing fees can include up to and beyond 50 separate services provided by the cemetery. Typically, the opening and closing fees include administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission, and the completion of other documentation which may be required, entering the interment particulars in the interment register, maintaining all legal files), opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling the interment space), installation and removal of the lowering device, placement and removal of artificial grass dressing and coco-matting at the grave site, leveling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site, and leveling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles.

The actual opening and closing of the grave is just one component of the opening and closing fee. Due to safety issues which arise around the use of machinery on cemetery property, and the protection of other gravesites, the actual opening and closing of the grave is conducted by cemetery grounds personnel only.

To remember, and to be remembered. Whether you choose burial or cremation, a permanent memorial in a cemetery provides a focal point for remembrance and memorializing the deceased. Memorialization of the dead is a key component in almost every culture. Psychologists say that remembrance practices serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping them bring closure, which allows the healing process to begin. The provision of a permanent resting place is an important part of this process.

When a cemetery runs out of land, it will continue to operate and serve the community. Most cemeteries have crematoriums, and some historic cemeteries even offer guided tours.

We think of cemetery lands as being in perpetuity. There are cemeteries throughout the world that have been in existence for hundreds of years.

There is no law that states a specific time-span for burial. Considerations that will affect the timeline include: the need to secure all permits and authorizations; notification of family and friends; preparation of cemetery site, and religious considerations. Public health laws may limit the maximum amount of time allowed to pass prior to final disposition. Contact your local funeral provider for more details about questions about burial or cremation.

No. Embalming is generally a choice, one which depends on factors like if there is to be an open casket viewing of the body, or if there will be an extended time between death and internment. Public health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported by air or rail.

When it comes to burial or cremation, some cemeteries offer interment in lawn crypts or entombment in mausoleums, in addition to ground burial. Most cemeteries provide options for those who have selected cremation. These often include placement of cremated remains in a niche of a columbarium or interment in an urn space.

These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket and may be made of a variety of materials, including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic, or fiberglass. A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which keeps the grave surface from sinking in.

Most large, active cemeteries have regulations that require the use of a basic grave liner or burial vault for maintenance and safety purposes. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements. Some smaller rural or churchyard cemeteries do not require use of a container to surround the casket in the grave. There are alternatives to burial. See Cremation Services below.

Cremation Services in South Boston

Many people believe that if you choose cremation, you cannot have a gathering, visitation or a ceremony – however just the opposite is true. Cremation does not limit choices, but, in fact, provides you with more options to personalize a service. It is a process which is performed in a respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways. Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burials or other forms of disposition.

A cremation service can be arranged with a family gathering or with a funeral service. A traditional visitation followed by a religious or personalized celebrant led service and cremation may be just the ritual needed by one family. For other families, an unaccompanied (direct) cremation followed by a contemporary memorial service may be more spiritually fulfilling for another. Cremation services can be simple or elaborate, traditional or non-traditional to meet the needs and preferences of your family. Ritual and ceremony should be as individual and unique as you or your loved one.

Cremated remains can be scattered, buried, or they may be kept with the family in a decorative urn.

There are many ways to dispose of ashes today: cremated remains can be placed in an artificial coral reef in the ocean; they can be launched into space or sent up in helium balloons; they can be spun into glass pieces of art or diamonds.

Whatever your preference, the caring staff at O’Brien Funeral Home will listen to your needs and together we can create a meaningful service that is right for your family. With the special touches we can add to any memorial your loved one’s tribute will be poignant and personal.

Just as with every step of the cremation process, you have several options to consider about a final resting place. We will be here to help you determine whether bringing them home in an urn, scattering in a meaningful location or burial is the best choice for you and your family. Some cemeteries will allow you to bury them in an existing family plot, even if the plot is full. Reach out to our caring staff to discuss all the options available in a cremation arrangement.

For You to Consider

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body using high heat and flame. Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.

No, a casket is not required. Most states require an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard; however, in some states, no container is required.

No. It is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.

Yes, most crematories allow immediate family members to view the deceased prior to cremation.

Yes they can; some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber. Some religious groups ask for this as part of their funeral custom.

Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass. Including cremated remains as a part of the funeral provides a focal point for the service.

While laws vary state by state, for the most part, remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or in a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered.

All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error. Since it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time, and the vast majority of crematories can only cremate one body at a time, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.

It all depends on the weight of the individual. For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weigh between 7 and 8 pounds.

An urn is not required by law. An urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.

Let Us Help You

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146 Dorchester Street,
South Boston, MA 02127