Interment vs Funeral: Difference and Comparison

When a human life comes to an end it is celebrated in some cultures and in some, it is mourned. It gives rise to a multitude of methods that expresses grief.

Those methods take the form of ritual, and it is called by various names. Interment and Funeral are two confusing words but differ greatly based on their meaning and processes.

Key Takeaways

  1. Interment refers to the burial or entombment of a deceased person’s remains.
  2. A funeral is a ceremony or service to honor and remember the deceased.
  3. Both practices are part of end-of-life traditions, with the funeral preceding the interment.

Interment vs Funeral

Internment refers to placing a deceased person’s remains in a tomb or grave, it is ritualistic in nature, and it is the physical burial of remains. A funeral is a ceremony held in honor of a deceased person, it can be religious or secular and may include speeches and gatherings of friends and family, and it is a cultural/social event honoring the deceased.

Interment vs Funeral

Interment involves placing a dead body into the ground. It is one for various purposes, such as the preservation of the dead body.

Various methods such as mummification, natural burial, etc. bodies can be put into a coffin, shroud, etc. based on the ritual of the community.

A funeral is a ceremony that revolves around burial. Communities use various practices to respect their dead. Through various practices, people show various beliefs such as rebirth, reincarnation, etc.

Practices include prayers, dance, etc., which convey different messages. The Latin word funus is the origin of the word funeral, which means corpse or funerary rites. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIntermentFuneral
DefinitionIt is a process in which a dead body is buried.It is a ceremony that revolves around burial and cremation.
VariationIt is practiced by every community that practices burial as the final disposition method.It varies depending upon the community and its beliefs.
Type of wordIt is a noun used to indicate a process.It is an adjective.
ImportanceIt is the most important part and doesn’t change.It can change according to circumstance and culture.
PracticesIt is just the burial of a dead body into the ground.It involves prayer, dance, and it can involve burning of the dead body as well.

What is Interment?

Interment is the ritual of burying the dead in the ground using various ways. It is done to slow down the decomposition process and protect the body from wild animals.

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This rite is as old as humanity and is done to respect the dead and celebrate life.

Various terms are used, such as burial and inhumation for interment. It is done in various ways, such as mummification, embalming, or natural burial, which is aimed at either preserving the body or giving back to nature what we take.

To achieve intermet, people dig a pit and either bury the body directly or use some sort of covering. The covering could be a coffin or any burial vault, etc.

In some cultures, the process involves burying other things with the body, which is supposed to help the dead in the afterlife. The most famous example is that of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tut.

His burial place was a tomb, and flowers covered his body. There was a golden chair, and various golden items were laid. It was believed to help him in his afterlife.

Burial practices are different, and the position of the body differs from culture to culture, and it differs according to the status of the person as well. Every Egyptian mummy has a different position suggestive of their social status.

interment

What is a Funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony that involves singing, dancing, chanting, etc., in connection with the disposition of a dead body.

The Customs of a funeral differ for different communities and for different religions. It is practiced to honor the dead and to celebrate their life.

It involves burning and burying a body, and some practices indicative of the beliefs of the people or culture involved.

Different religions, like Hinduism, involve the burning of the corpse. But in others, it can be buried or left at a height to let the body be used by nature.

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This practice predates modern humans, as archeologists have found evidence in different parts of the world. Floral pollen has been observed near the skeletal Neanderthal in a pattern that suggests funerary practices.

It can also be observed among animals as it has been observed that certain animals are found behaving in a pattern.

It is not only common to humans, as it can be observed in various animals that live in groups. Examples of such animal groups are elephants and lions.

Emotional and cultural practices characterize it. Community gatherings, significant symbols, ritual action, and cultural heritage can be observed during funerals.

funeral 1

Main Differences Between Interment and Funeral

  1. A funeral is a ceremony characterized by different rites and symbols, whereas Interment is simply burying a body into the earth.
  2. A funeral is common in animals and humans alike as it is associated with showing our emotions and beliefs, whereas interment is only observed in humans.
  3. A funeral is a practice common in every religion, whereas interment is only observed in certain religions and communities.
  4. A funeral may involve complete destruction of the body, whereas interment involves burying of the body for preservation purposes.
  5. A funeral can be changed according to circumstances and time, but interment cannot be changed as it requires burying of the dead body.
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References
  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal/article/funerals-as-feasts-why-are-they-so-important/49EFDEBE97F46CE0D09AA23A0ABA3079
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781003186106/funerals-matter-william-hoy
  3. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/asag/gen/2004/00000028/00000002/art00002
  4. https://search.proquest.com/openview/9759410c90bf5a26/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2924
  5. https://www.jstor.org/stable/660224

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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7 thoughts on “Interment vs Funeral: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article does not only tell the difference between interment and funeral but also gives the history and cultural practices of both rituals. I found this article very informative.

    Reply
  2. The article is very well organized and gives a detailed account of the practices of different cultures. It is good to see the facts backed by scientific evidence and citations.

    Reply
  3. The details provided in this post are fascinating and have opened new areas of exploration. It would be insightful to see more about the practices of interment and funerals in ancient civilizations.

    Reply
  4. Who knew that animals also had funerary practices? Very interesting to see the comparison drawn between funerals and interments. Loved this article!

    Reply
    • It is quite fascinating indeed. The comparison between human and animal funerary practices brings a new perspective to the topic.

      Reply
  5. I find the information provided in the article quite biased towards the Western perspective. More diverse perspectives from different parts of the world would have been appreciated. A more balanced approach would have been enlightening.

    Reply
  6. This post is a positive reminder that death can be a celebration of life. It offers an insightful view of how different cultures honor their deceased loved ones.

    Reply

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