Alternatives to Burial

Deciding whether to bury or cremate the remains of your loved ones is ultimately a personal choice. Sometimes that choice may be dictated by religious beliefs or other traditions held by your family. Take note, however, that the majority of funerals in Singapore usually involve a cremation.

Both burial and cremation would incur certain costs. For instance, when you bury your loved ones you will have to include the cost of the burial lot, the casket, and other preparations.

In the case of a cremation, you will have to consider the cost of the cremation itself. Apart from that, you will also have to consider your choice of urn and the crypt or vault where the ashes of your dearly beloved will be stored.

We will go over your options in this guide to help you decide which option is best for you.

Types of Burials in Singapore

There are two types of burials that are commonplace here in Singapore. The one that many folks are aware of is called a land burial. However, there are also sea burials, which may be recommended in certain traditions.

  1. Land Burials

Like other island nations around the world, Singapore has a limited land area. That is why a land burial is not that common during funerals here. In fact, there is only one cemetery in the nation—the Choa Chu Kang/Lim Chu Kang Cemetery.

Most residents opt for a land burial mostly for religious reasons. And even after being buried in the ground, interment can only last for 15 years. After that period, the remains of your loved one will have to be cremated.

Expect this option to be more costly in Singapore. The average cost of a land burial will range anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 and higher. Certain factors like religious burial rites, package inclusions, and ceremonial procedures can make it more expensive.

The type of casket that you choose can also increase the price. For example, the really fancy caskets cost around $10,000.

  1. Sea Burial

A sea burial in the country refers to the scattering of the ashes of your loved ones after they have been cremated. This is actually the most affordable option compared to a land burial or a cremation with interment in a columbary.

Note that for safety reasons, you can only do a sea burial at a place and time designated by authorities. You need to contact Port Marine Safety Control Centre at 6325 6488 if you want to schedule this type of burial. It can only be performed in the waterways 2.8 kilometers south Pulau Semakau. You will only be allowed to perform the burial any time from 7 am to 7 pm.

In some religious traditions, you will need to wrap the remains in either a white or red-colored cloth. However, if you want a more affordable option, you can purchase scattering tubes that are easier on the budget. If you’re looking for more budget-friendly options, then you can get biodegradable urns, which cost less compared to regular urns.

Sea burials only cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000, which is cheaper compared to burials and regular cremations.

  1. Cremation

Cremation is the most common funeral option in Singapore for the reasons mentioned earlier. Take note that there are only three crematoriums in the country, which are the following:

  • Tse Toh Aum Temple
  • Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
  • Mandai Crematorium

The first two places in the list above are both private crematoriums. The third one (Mandai) is the only government-owned and operated facility in Singapore.

There are several things you need to prepare for when you’re getting a cremation performed for your dearly departed. You will first need to decide on the urn that will be used to house the ashes of the deceased.

Apart from that, you will also need to secure a niche in a columbarium of your choice. But you also have the option to store the urn at home so you can still be close to your loved ones.

If you do opt for a spot at a columbary, you will need to have a marble plaque made. It will contain the name of the deceased, the date of birth, and the date of death along with other details that you may want to include on it. We are able to provide urns with engraving services.

Although there is only one government-owned (the more affordable option) crematorium, there are three government-run columbaries in Singapore. You can also opt for any of the 60 private columbaries.

One important note here is that choosing a government-owned columbary is cheaper. But the drawback is that you won’t be able to select your niche.

Putting the costs together, you can spend anywhere from $1,200 to $1,700 at the least for cremation in Singapore. But if money is no object, then you can end up spending upwards of $10,000 for a lavish cremation and a niche with lucky numbers.

Are these options confusing and do you need to focus on grieving for your departed loved one? If that is the case then contact one of our funeral directors today. They can take care of everything for you and provide you with the best option that meets your needs.

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