“The classical man's worst fear was inglorious death; the modern man's worst fear is just death”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb
In today's society one of the few enduring characteristics we all have in common is the inevitable end of mortality. As unique as we all like to consider ourselves we are unlikely to ever escape this common mortal fact. However, it is most often through our lives and our legacy that we distinguish ourselves - how we stand out, or rather up, and establish that which is us, that which is you, and that which is me. An even more dominating characteristic that we all share is the need for identity. No matter how complex or how small each of us considers ourselves to be ourselves.
"One size fits all" is a modern day cliche' often proclaimed by a variety of enterprises when trying to add appeal to their wares. But this idea serves to benefit the retailer and the manufacturer over the average consumer. Just imagine this idea applied to footwear or eyeglasses. In many ways 'one-size-fits-all' is merely a recipe for frustration. So, imagine the struggles a cemetery consumer must endure when trying to find a final disposition that "fits" their own needs and desires. In many communities there is a burden akin to the mythological tale of Procrustes when it comes to the options available to Cemetery Owners and the Public.
Indeed there are a variety of crypt space types available within the modern Community Mausoleum. Whether designing for an Indoor/Chapel mausoleum or an Outdoor/Garden mausoleum there can be applications for an arrangement of multiple crypt space types (see also- the primary types of Community Mausoleums ). It is important to understand the limitations and benefits of each crypt type in order that the Community Mausoleum fulfills its potential to provide an affordable product to the consumer while also enhancing the property with quality and variety.
As many cemetery terms have a varied meaning across different communities, consider the following definitions:
- Casket - A single coffin containing the deceased's remains.
- Crypt - An enclosed space for the entombment of a casket(s).
- Niche - An enclosed space for the entombment of an Urn(s) (container of cremated remains).
- Shutter - A single piece of polished granite or marble that covers the crypt opening and is used to secure the nameplate, bear the etching, secure the vase, etc.
- Sealer - A single substrate that is mounted to the crypt opening behind the Shutter. This substrate is securely fastened to "seal" and secure the crypt.
The basic unit of a Community Mausoleum crypts is the Single Crypt. This unit is designed to entomb one casket, even though some properties may also permit the addition of an Urn. The casket is oriented by its shorter dimension when placed in this type of crypt. A Single Crypt provides a simple and autonomous memorial for the deceased.
|Exploded View of a Single Crypt, Sealer, and Shutter.|
A variation of a Single Crypt is commonly known as a Couch Crypt. This unit is still designed to entomb one casket but it orients the caskets lengthwise to shutter when being placed. This results is a much larger and more dramatic Shutter dimension and incurs a greater expense by the consumer. A Couch Crypt can allow for either a single casket (Single Couch) or two caskets (Double-Depth Couch).
|Exploded View of Couch Crypt, Sealer, and Shutter (left:Single Depth - right:Double Depth). Note the distinct multi-piece Shutter style that is possible with this crypt type.|
The next unit is the Tandem Crypt or True-Companion Crypt. This unit is designed to entomb two caskets positioned 'end-to-end'. The caskets may be entombed at the same time or years apart. The Tandem Crypt provides a consumer perception of a 'shared' space while also allowing for a more affordable product. It also encourages economy by having the expense of a single Shutter and Memorial being shared across two entombments rather than one.
|Exploded View of a Tandem (True Companion) Crypt, Sealer, and Shutter.|
A variation on the Tandem Crypt and Single Crypt is the Side-by-Side Crypt. This unit allows for 2 caskets to be entombed at the same orientation as a Single Crypt without the presence of a 'wall' between them. This configuration provides for a variety of Shutter styles and appeals to many consumer's perception of a 'couple relationship'.
|Exploded View of Side-by-Side Crypt, Sealer, and Shutter (Note that the Shutter can be a single piece or 2 pieces)|
Another variation, similar to the Side-by-Side Crypt, is the In-and-Over Crypt. The entombment configuration for this unit is identical to that of the Side-by-Side Crypt with the exception being for how the first casket is placed. This configuration is an excellent method to mitigate interior corner conditions for plan layouts. The Side-by-Side Crypt is best used to provide feature areas which enhance the value of a Community Mausoleum through variety of cost and diversity of product.
|Exploded View of the In-and-Over Crypt, Sealer, and Shutter. (Note that the fixed feature panel is adjacent to the operable single piece Shutter)|
|An example of how the In-and-Over crypt facilitates a feature panel for a Mausoleum.|
|An example of how the In-and-Over crypt|
facilitates a back-lit stained glass feature.
|An example of how the In-and-Over crypt|
facilitates a mosaic feature.
|Exploded View of the Westminster Crypt, Sealer, and Shutter.|
The Sarcophagus, the Triple-Depth Crypt, and the Oversize Crypt are examples for other types of configurations that are not as commonly used. These crypt unit types are found in limited quantity and usually only to meet the specific needs of a project or consumer market. Though it should be noted that the Oversize Crypt (for all Crypt Types) represents a module that is designed to accommodate an above-average-width casket where necessary for the community.
The evaluation for each of these types of crypts when planning a Community Mausoleum is critical. Many consumers benefit from having a diverse range of product to select from when they consider a Community Mausoleum. A deliberate offering of these types of crypts adds variety, enhances experience, and provides affordability to a broader range of consumer interests and needs.
It is rather obvious that the various types of crypt configurations can satisfy the Public need for variety and diversity. But they also provide a consistent format for their consumer needs. The ability to have each configuration respond to a predictable pricing scenario allows the consumer to purchase a Community Mausoleum Crypt that best meets their needs and budget. Another great feature of these crypt configurations is their ability to accommodate a variety of Shutter styles and Shutter configurations.
The versatility, monumental quality, and affordable value offered by a Community Mausoleum is unlike any other cemetery offering. Its uniqueness becomes apparent when one understands the remarkable characteristic of how it enables a meaningful individual expression for the most common of human conditions. The modern and well-designed Community Mausoleum may certainly be Theseus for the heroic labour of giving the cemetery consumer a much needed rest.