The selection of a funeral urn is an import step in the funeral arrangement process. It is important to know that an urn does not need to be available immediately after the cremation has been completed. The crematory will provide you with the ashes in a temporary container and you can transfer them to an urn whenever you like. Because there is no urgent need to purchase the urn, it is advisable to spend some time learning how to choose a funeral urn before you make your decision.
Cremation is becoming the most popular choice of funeral arrangement. Cremation is more affordable and easier to plan than a traditional burial. Cremation provides families with more options and families can still choose to bury the funeral urn, can place it in a niche, or take it home to keep. There are numerous materials and styles of urns available and you will have no problem finding a beautiful urn to memorialize your loved one.
How To Choose A Funeral Urn
Funeral Urn Purpose
Burial – If you plan to bury the funeral urn, or place the urn in a columbarium niche or mausoleum, the urn you select may be different than if you plan to display the urn at home. Interment or inurnment of a funeral urn will permanently place the urn out of sight and families who choose this option may purchase a lower cost or less decorative urn.
Display – If you plan to keep the funeral urn in your possession and display the urn at your house the style of the urn will have more significance. You will want to choose an urn that is visually appealing and that you will be happy to display on your mantle or other location in your home.
Keepsake – Nowadays it is possible to purchase a funeral urn that includes matching small keepsake urns. If you want to divide the ashes amongst a number of urns for family members, than this should be kept in mind when choosing an urn.
Biodegradable – Recently biodegradable urns have become popular amongst families who want to scatter or bury their loved one’s ashes. A biodegradable urn can be buried or sunken at sea and will biodegrade without harming the environment.
Funeral Urn Material
Metal – Metal is the most popular type of urn because of its low-cost and durability. Metal urns are often made of bronze, but can also be made of steel, copper, pewter or another type of metal.
Stone – Stone urns are also very popular, but can be quite expensive. Typically stone urns are made of marble, but other types of stone can be used.
Porcelain – Porcelain urns are typically very decorative and beautiful patterns can be painted on the urn.
Wood – Wood urns are a low-cost alternative to metal and stone urns. Wood urns vary from simple designs made from softwoods to more elaborate designs made from expensive hardwoods.
Other – There are numerous other urns available and almost anything that could hold ashes could be used as an urn. Glass, cloisonné and paper are just a few of the other materials available to use to create an urn.
Funeral Urn Style
Size – Typically 1 pound of body weight equals 1 cubic inch of ash. An average urn will have a capacity of 170 – 200 cubic inches, but sizes can vary greatly and you should check the urn capacity before purchase. The urn height and width is an important consideration if the urn is going to be placed in a columbarium niche. You should first speak to the cemetery and have them provide you with the dimensions of the niche. It is important that you don’t purchase an urn that is too large to fit inside the niche.
Design – The urn style is a personal preference. The shape and design of a funeral urn can vary from a tradition shape to a custom design. Custom urns could be shaped like a piece of sports equipment, a motorcycle, an angel, a clock, or any other shape. Choose an urn that reflects your loved one’s personality and interests. The options are endless when looking for a funeral urn for a loved one.
With the increasing popularity of cremation there are numerous types of urns available today. Your local funeral home will have a number of urns available to choose from, or there are numerous online retailers where you can purchase a funeral urn. Aside from the different urn materials available, there are plenty of styles and themes to choose from. This makes it easy to find the perfect urn to memorialize your loved one.
Updated: March 5, 2013