It has long been a requirement of most cemeteries that obligate you to purchase a burial vault, or some type of grave box or liner. The reasons for their requirement are manifold, the least of which is esthetics. Due to modern day use of heavy equipment upon the cemetery grounds, and across the graves themselves, a sturdy burial vault (container for the casket) acts to defer soil displacement, and greatly compensates for natural ground sink that happens when any a volume of soil is removed and placed back in the same area. Here in the Midwest, we are prone to seasonal water tables. This variability can send less heavy items (like caskets) protruding out of the ground. Granted, this doesn’t happen often, but it did just that a few years ago with spring time flooding along the Mississippi river and among some very old cemeteries. There remain some private and church owned cemeteries that do not require vaults, etc., but they are the exception, not the rule. If it is cost you are concerned with, your funeral director offers a wide range burial vaults and grave liners and will be happy to answer all your questions regarding type, construction, strength, durability, options, guarantee, and yes, even esthetics. From simple to elaborate, the median priced vault reflects only about 15% of the funeral’s total cost.