As funeral directors we are asked during the arrangement conference with families, why do we need a vault? What does it do? Do we have to have one? Is it a requirement? Let’s take the purely functional aspect of a burial vault which is to prevent the gravesite from settling and to protect the contents from the intrusion of water, insects and other natural elements. The product components (parts) are concrete, reinforcing liners and sealants, steel, and plastic are materials used in the construction of vaults. The resulting outcome is strength and protection against the elements. But the circumstances that this product is being used for, is to house and protect a loved one for eternity, which leads to an even greater whole which is peace of mind for the family. This is why a burial vault is so much more than a functional thing. A Burial Vault is not required by the State or government but by each individual Cemetery’s requirements. Some cemeteries have a minimum requirement for the type of vault used. This is something that you should find out before arrangements are made.
So far we’ve been discussing the burial vault and how its parts align to create a greater whole, but the burial vault is also just one part of the funeral service. The casket, memorial videos, memory tables, music, flowers, family, and friends share stories, the celebrant, the funeral home facilities, the funeral directors, the tent, chairs, greens and other components of the graveside setup – all of these and other parts create a synergy that forms one entity or experience that is worth far more than if the parts were independent of each other.
A good funeral director is an educator and in many respects an event coordinator. We have to continuously improve the experience for families, regardless of the products that they choose, and the only chance that will happen is if they make fully-informed decisions. Good experiences will also increase the chance that our families will return again for our help in creating a similar positive experience.