Did you know the tradition of keeping a loved one’s ashes began in ancient Greece and Rome? Over millennia, people have come up with some beautiful ways to keep their loved ones close to them after they pass.
Choosing the best urn for your family is a highly personal decision. Yet, it’s also one of the most critical factors in the sanctity of your loved one’s passing and the mourning process.
If you’re not sure where to begin, you’re in the right place. Below, we outline everything you need to know about choosing an urn for your loved one.
Table of Contents
1. Consider Your Loved One’s Size and Weight
Choose an urn that accommodates the full weight of your loved one. If the ashes are weighed before cremation, look for an urn with a weight limit that equals this number.
If the deceased was petite, look for a smaller urn that won’t be overpowered by the size of the urn in comparison to the deceased. You may opt for a taller urn to help it fill out a niche or shelf, or for aesthetic reasons.
2. Prioritizing Quality and Durability
Look for urns with solid construction and materials that last. Most urns are made of durable materials such as hardwoods, metals, and ceramics. Choose the material that best fits your needs.
Urns come in a variety of sizes, so be sure to select the one that your loved one deserves. Carefully examine the craftsmanship of the urn, inspecting for any flaws or imperfections that might not stand the test of time.
3. Consider Your Budget for the Urn
It is important to remember that urns come in a wide range of prices. If you have a larger budget, you can find a custom-made urn. If you need the means to spend a large amount of money on an urn, look for a basic shape that will be meaningful to you and your family.
4. Know the Rules for Urn Disposal
Depending on the type of urn you choose may influence where you can and cannot scatter the ashes. Many cemeteries have rules about the material and size of jars that can be used.
It is important to check with the cemetery before purchasing an urn. Order a unique urn that will meet the requirements set out by the cemetery.
5. Research Urn Personalization Options
Research different urn personalization options to make the urn unique and special. Popular options include engravings and other etchings of meaningful memories, designs, photographs, funny memorials, or an inscription. There are even options for a customized urn with different materials.
6. How Will the Urn Be Used
When choosing an urn for a loved one, the primary consideration is the purpose for which it will be used. Here are the different urn options you can choose from:
Keeping the Urn at Home
The urn can be kept in a special place in the home, such as in a place of honor with photos and memorabilia or in a quiet place where it can be looked at privately.
It can be placed in the living room where family members can gather around it and take turns telling anecdotes and stories about their loved ones. Keeping the urn at home can also serve as a reminder of the bond of love and connection shared among family and friends.
People may carry out the ceremony with family, friends, or a spiritual leader. The exact method for spreading the ashes is determined by preference. A common way to do so is to have a scattering tube.
The scattering tube can be filled with the ashes and then opened to spread the ashes slowly and gently. Many people accompany this ceremony with a brief thought and reflection or add a few words of remembrance or tribute.
Water or Natural Burial
The urn used for water or natural burial is created with biodegradable materials like wicker, willow, seagrass, or bamboo. The deceased’s ashes are placed in the urn. The urn is then placed in a water body or a nature spot that the person holds close to their heart.
The surrounding environment will ultimately consume the ashes, creating a unique memorialization choice. This allows one to return to nature and become part of the earthly cycle.
Columbarium Niche Inurnment
A columbarium niche is a space in a memorial mausoleum or a niche wall designed to store urns containing cremated remains. These urns are called columbarium urns as they are made to fit securely within the niche.
The remains within the urn are seen as symbols of a life lived, providing a means to remember the deceased and keep their memory alive in perpetuity.
The urn will be used in ground burial by first being lowered into the ground with an appropriate ceremony. It should be placed deep enough to avoid exposure to the elements and other outdoor hazards.
But not so deep that it cannot be tracked and found in the future. Depending on the cemetery’s regulations, the urn may be buried in the ground with or without a decorative cover.
Sharing Cremated Remains Among Family Members
Family members could divide the cremated remains in the urn and keep them in individual containers. The urn could also be used to send some ashes to relatives who cannot attend the memorial service. It can be used to store a permanent memorial of the deceased.
7. Seeking Guidance From an Experienced Urn Provider
It is important to seek guidance from an experienced urn provider who can help you understand your options and select the right one. Consider factors like size, material, style, and decorative elements like engraving or a picture to make it more personal.
If you need to know what type of urn you need, the provider can help. They can also advise about how much to spend and answer any questions you may have.
Choosing an Urn That Expresses Your Loved Ones
Caringly selecting an urn for a loved one is a touching way to honor them. Researching materials and design styles ensure an appropriate and remembered memorial. From traditional to modern, stylish or understated, there is an urn to reflect the personality and life of your beloved.
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