October 24, 2022

What Is a Crypt and Should You Use One?

Have you ever thought about your final resting place? For those who want to plan for their final phase in life, you can consider various burial options. Aboveground burials are increasing in popularity, and many are looking to crypts to house family remains. But what exactly is it, and how is it different from cremation and ground burials?

Here’s everything you need to know about crypts to help you figure out if it’s a suitable option for you and your loved ones. 


What Is a Crypt?


Crypts are vault-like structures usually found inside mausoleums that house caskets or urns. It’s a flexible burial option, allowing families to stay together even if they’ve chosen different dispositions for their remains. It’s an aboveground burial method, offering visitors a physical structure they can visit when they want to pay their respects. 

There are various types of crypts. A single model only has room for one casket. A companion crypt can house two end-to-end caskets, but some are wide enough to hold them side by side. Westminster crypts are spacious enough to contain the remains of an entire family.  

If you’re confused between crypts and mausoleums, it’s easy to differentiate them. Crypts house remains, while mausoleums house crypts. 


A Short History of Crypts


In ancient Christian times, crypts were built under churches in Italy, Greece, and South Africa. They were for holy and noble people, usually priests, saints, and martyrs, who were worthy enough to be buried within the church. One of history’s most famous crypts is Saint Peter’s, found under the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.


How Are Remains Placed Inside a Crypt?


Usually, caskets are interred in a crypt after a final prayer and in the presence of closest relatives. Once everything is in place, the space is closed off with a metal shutter and another layer of material, usually granite or marble. There are drainage holes at the bottom of a crypt and vents at the top corners. That way, air can circulate within the structure. The front face will have an inscription or memorial plaque containing personalized information about the deceased. 


How Fast Do Remains Decompose Inside a Crypt?


Various factors affect the decomposition rate of a body inside a crypt. If the remains were embalmed and the climate inside is dry and cool, it can take decades for decomposition to happen. But all bodies are different and will decompose at various rates, even with similar crypt environments. 


Are You Allowed to Visit Crypts?

You should have no problem visiting a loved one entombed in a crypt, especially if it’s in a public mausoleum. If the crypt is inside a private mausoleum, it’s best to call ahead first and ask for permission. 


How Much Does a Crypt Cost?

Many variables can affect the cost of a crypt, including the mausoleum’s location, the type of crypt, and the kind of memorial service you prefer. But generally, they’re more expensive than other dispositions like cremation and ground burial. However, the additional costs might be worth it if you want to house your loved one’s remains in a physical structure within a serene location. 


Call Wyuka Today!

Crypts are a suitable burial option for families who want to stay together for generations. To learn more about it or make arrangements, contact Wyuka Cemetery at (402)-474-3600.


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