Selecting a funeral monument for a loved one is a process marked by respect and remembrance. This crucial step in the grieving process makes it possible to pay a personalized and perpetual tribute.

In this article, discover the different types of graves and funerary monuments, which offer a multitude of ways to remember and celebrate the lives of the deceased, each reflecting a unique aspect of their legacy.

Funerary monuments

Choosing the right type of funeral marker involves making or following a choice for the final resting place of the deceased. This place of contemplation and tribute can vary in form depending on the context of the cemetery and individual or religious preferences.

1. The tombstone: a symbol of eternal memory

A tombstone as a type of funeral monument

A tombstone is a funeral monument that takes the form of a stone slab which covers the grave. It is the most common monument in cemeteries, it is customizable, it allows loved ones to pay their respects, and it can accommodate flowers and other personal commemorative objects.

The stele, an integral part of the tomb, is a key element that bears symbols, inscriptions, or essential information reflecting the life and legacy of the deceased directly on it or on a plaque.

The different types of tombstones

Tombstones come in a variety of models, each reflecting the personality and legacy of the deceased in a unique way.

The two most common types are:

The selection of a tombstone, whether they are upright monuments or flat markers, offers a range of options to honour the memory of the deceased in a meaningful way. Each type, from custom-shaped tombstones to those chosen based on cemetery space restrictions, provides a unique opportunity to reflect the individuality of the loved ones we wish to remember. Through these varied options, families can find comfort in creating a personalized tribute that stands as a lasting symbol of their legacy.

2. The funerary crypt: to gather and pay your respects

Crypts as funerary monuments

A funerary crypt is a masonry room housing coffins and urns. It is usually chosen to reunite the members of a family in the same eternal resting place. It also lets you pay your respects in an enclosed, sheltered place.

3. The chapel: a personal sanctuary to pay your respects

A chapel in a cemetery as a type of funerary monument

Taking the form of a small house with an iron door, an enclosed chapel can accommodate one or more coffins and has an altar inside.

Chapels come in a variety of styles, ranging from classic for a traditional look to the most modern designs, offering a wide range of choices for a personalized commemorative monument.

4. The cenotaph: grandeur and heritage

A garden cenotaph as a type of funeral monument

cenotaph, for its part, is a monument erected to honour the memory of one person or a group of people whose bodies are not present on the site. These monuments also symbolize grandeur and heritage, often built to commemorate historically or culturally important individuals (visible in military cemeteries, for example).

They play a crucial role in maintaining collective memory and recognizing a significant contribution to society or history.

5. The mausoleum: a grandiose building of memory

A mausoleum surrounded by green lawn -type of funerary monument

mausoleum is a stately funerary monument, often made of granite, marble, or stone blocks, intended to honour the memory of a family.

Its impressive structure and richly detailed architecture distinguish it as a majestic eternal resting place. Inside, coffins and cremated remains are placed in individual niches or boxes. The possibility of a custom design allows families to create a personal tribute that reflects the spirit and legacy of their loved ones, making each mausoleum a unique monument, just like an ancient monument revered through the ages.

Unlike a funerary vault, which is generally a simpler underground construction, this type of monument is distinguished by its architectural grandeur on the surface, offering a larger, more customizable space for contemplation.

6. The cremation crypt: wall crypt for eternal rest

A cremation crypt with flowers in a cemetery

funerary niche has the unique feature of being raised above the ground. It may contain one or more coffins, and its façade can be decorated with personalized engraving.

Cremation monument

cremation monument is intended to accommodate the urns of deceased loved ones. Much like the funeral markers that we have just seen above, they can take different forms depending on the preferences of the deceased and their family.

1. The funerary urn: a central commemorative element

Urns as funeral monuments

funerary urn is designed to receive the ashes of a cremated person. It is possible to choose its material as well as its patterns. These urns can vary considerably in terms of design, ranging from simple, sleek styles to artistic, personalized creations.

These types of monuments can also include engravings and inscriptions, making it possible to add a personal message or the name of the deceased, making the tribute even more meaningful.

2. The columbarium: a personalized design for the preservation of ashes

A columbarium on a lawn representing a type of funerary monument

columbarium is a collective cremation monument that serves as a memorial. It can contain dozens of funerary urns. It can also be privatized in a separate location, such as a cemetery plot to accommodate the ashes of different members of a family.

3. The urn tomb: a cremation marker with compact dimensions

Two urn tombs with leaves

An urn tomb (also called a cremation tomb) is a grave that includes one or more buried funerary urns. Generally consisting of a sealed concrete slab, an urn tomb can be topped with an engraved headstone. As with the previous monuments, it is a memorial option with a variety of sizes, forms, and colours.

Other cultural monuments and religious variations

Depending on their culture or beliefs, families of the deceased may have specific expectations that directly influence the type of monument chosen:

With over 100 years of experience in producing different types of custom funerary monuments, Martel & Sons, a family business, offers you high-quality products to honour the memory of your loved ones. If you are interested in having a mausoleum, a memorial bench, or any other type of monument, contact us to learn more about our catalogue. We can help you create a place of contemplation that reflects the last wishes of your loved ones.

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