By: Jill Darby
Monday, December 11, 2023

In the realm of funeral service, the terminology used to describe outer casket protection can be as diverse as the communities they serve. From burial vaults to grave liners, concrete boxes, and a myriad of other names, the interchangeable use of these terms can be perplexing. Sadly, this can result in confusion and more significantly, disappointment, particularly among grieving families who may not have a clear understanding of the product they have chosen

Within the death care industry, there are certainly times when we receive gentle reminders that many families lack prior knowledge or experience with funeral service, including the distinctions between grave liners and burial vaults. Thus, it becomes paramount to provide clear, concise explanations to guide families in making informed decisions during pre-need and at-need situations.

For many families, choosing between a burial vault and a grave liner can be overwhelming. They need to grasp the primary difference between the two options - the level of protection they offer. By presenting these distinctions in plain terms, families are empowered to make confident selections. The preferred approach is to start by explaining that concrete grave liners are designed to bear the weight of the earth and prevent the grave from collapsing. Families should also be aware that water will flow freely into and out of the casket space. This information will enable them to better comprehend why a grave liner tends to be more cost-effective than other options. The key points to communicate about burial vaults are that, unlike grave liners, they are lined, sealed, and come with a warranty. Explaining that they fulfill the same foundational function as concrete grave liners while offering greater tensile strength and better protection against external elements further emphasizes their added value.

Families who choose lined burial vaults benefit from a multitude of fea tures and advantages that go beyond traditional burial solutions. 

PROTECTION AND PEACE OF MIND Trigard burial vaults offer multiple layers of casket protection, including the thickest cover in the industry, a vacuum-formed polymer liner, reinforced concrete, and a tongue and groove tape seal. With warranties extending from 50 to 85 years, they ensure protection against defects and workmanship. Moreover, they exceed the National Concrete Burial Vault Association guidelines for strength. In our society, first impressions are often considered the most important. 

However, when applied to the passing of a loved one, the last impression can be the most important part for those left behind. Departing the graveside after services are concluded can be one of the most difficult parts of the funeral experience. Family members can be at ease knowing a superior vault protects the departed’s remains.

THE POWER OF PERSONALIZATION Burial vaults can serve as more than just protective containers. They serve as poignant memorials that initiate the grieving process and encourage healthy healing. In some regard, the burial vault can be viewed as the final gift bestowed upon a loved one. By incorporating decorative columns, intricate moldings, and beautiful finishes, the product’s appearance can be elevated. A simple nameplate, engraved with a heartfelt sentiment, adds a personal touch that pays tribute to a life well lived. Aesthetic elements such as photo graphs, appliqués, and emblems often evoke fond memories and lead to the sharing of stories, providing solace during a difficult time. This July, Trigard introduced a new selection of appliqués that brings African-American culture to the forefront of remembrance. “The Bridge” is an expressive series that cap tures the richness, aspirations, and resilience of African-American heritage.

SPECIAL CEREMONIES Enhancing the graveside service is a great way to create a unique experience and establish tradition. Trigard’s exclusive Healing Tree® burial vault allows families to participate in an interactive ceremony. The Healing Tree includes twenty dove-shaped Memory Rings® that are affixed to the decorative cover plate. After a touching poem is read, family and friends can say their final farewells as they take a Memory Ring keepsake. These rings can be attached to a necklace or bracelet or simply kept in a meaningful place to preserve a lasting connection to the departed. 

Research shows that, under normal circumstances, the average person understands and retains only about 50% of any given conversation. Grief experts tell us that someone who has suffered a recent loss will have an especially difficult time listening and processing information. Families who have lost loved ones are faced with making many decisions at a time when they are not always able to focus on the task at hand. Given that most people are not overly familiar with outer burial containers, describing the differences between products can be particularly challenging.

VISUAL DISPLAYS Trigard aims to supply funeral directors and cemetery sales professionals with impactful visual aids that enhance their burial vault presentations. We offer FREE customizable wall panels, showcasing high-resolution images accompanied by text highlighting the unique protective qualities of each vault. Available in various sizes, graphics can feature three, five, or six vaults and call attention to the various personalization components. The funeral home or cemetery name can be added to the tent, and there are several tent, chair cover, and skirt color options as well.

DIGITAL TOOLS Another exciting resource available nationwide and in Canada is Trigard Connect. The online portal gives funeral homes access to place new orders, add notes, and update existing orders, automatically emailing the production status to customers. Personalization features and accessories like precious metals, polymer colors, appliqué images, and more can be viewed on any screen, giving the family an accurate visual representation. Current products available on this tool include burial vaults, urn vaults, as well as toddler and infant casket vaults.

TACTILE EXPERIENCE Perhaps one of the best ways to enhance a product presentation is to create a hands-on experience. Our lightweight, foam-filled Healing Tree® vault is ideal for a selection room that can accommodate a full-size unit. Meanwhile, our Healing Tree wall display® features a sample section carapace complete with Memory Rings® and is best suited for smaller spaces. Miniature vaults can also be ordered instead of, or to compliment, a modern wall display to give families a general idea of the overall look and feel of a burial vault.

ALTERNATIVE DISPLAYS In addition to our standard wall displays, we offer specialized options. Funeral homes and cemeteries transitioning to Trigard can benefit from our customizable x-banner stands. These portable and easy-to-set-up stands are ideal for interim displays, accommodating multiple product lines. They are also a flexible choice for locations seeking adaptable solutions or planning selection room renovations. PVC posters are yet another versatile option that can be used as a reference during the arrangement conference or as an add-on educational display.

Jill Darby is a copywriter and a member of the Trigard Marketing Team. She grew up in the funeral industry, as her family-owned funeral homes in the Midwest. After graduating from Miami University, Ohio in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Business, Jill worked for a global funeral product manufacturer. Her experience includes sales, merchandising, as well as funeral home and cemetery operations. She is married to the co-owner of Trigard, Rich Darby, and in her free time loves spending time with her family and two labradoodles.

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