If you’ve decided to keep your loved one’s ashes, rather than scatter them, it’s common to choose a container or decorative urn to hold the cremated remains securely. The options for designs, shapes, and materials are virtually endless. You can even create your own.
Urns for human ashes have been used as long as history has been recorded. As a Cremation Association of North America blog post notes, “Greeks placed their dead in urns of various materials, most often terracotta. The Romans placed their dead in urns of semi-precious stone.”
As cremation has grown increasingly popular in the U.S., there are urns to fit every taste and budget. This urn finder, through a series of questions, offers a guide to helping you make a decision on what fits your needs.
You can provide your own urn
Every funeral provider also sells urns and containers for cremated remains, and prefers for you to purchase there. But you don’t have to, and can buy your own urn elsewhere. As the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule states, a funeral home cannot require you to buy one of their urns, nor can they charge you extra for using an urn that they didn’t provide.
You can bring an urn to a funeral or memorial service
If you wish, bring the urn containing cremated remains to the memorial service, and display in a central place of honor. The family may also want to personalize the service by including memorabilia and photographs alongside the urn.
You can bury an urn in a cemetery
Your funeral home director can contact the curator or owner of the cemetery to obtain all the information needed for burial. If you wish, he or she can also make all the arrangements for you.
You can inter an urn in a columbarium
A columbarium is a building or structure with niches, or small spaces for placing cremated remains stored in urns or other approved containers. It may be located outdoors, or it may be part of a mausoleum.
The average cost to inter an urn in a cremation burial space or columbarium is $995.