A cremation niche is an above-ground burial space, in which a decedent’s urn, containing their cremated remains, is placed and sometimes sealed.
What are cremation niches?
Similar to a mausoleum, there is usually a wall with recessed compartments for placing cremation urns permanently. The purpose of a cremation niche is to give the family a place to visit their loved one’s cremated remains. The niches are available in single, double, and family size, with four spaces. Most cremation niches are made of marble or premium granite. Some cremation niches have a glass front, which allows visitors to view the urn and any personal memorial items that are displayed with it.
A columbarium contains many cremation niches, designed to hold urns. It may be located within a mausoleum, chapel; or it may be a stand-alone building or wall, indoors or outdoors. A columbarium may also be located in a cemetery, but must be built on dedicated property only. The term “columbarium” in modern usage can also be used to describe a “mausoleum”; the two terms are interchangeable.
The cost of a cremation niche will vary
There are indoor and outdoor cremation niches available at most facilities. The indoor niches are usually more expensive as they provide a comfortable place to visit, especially in bad weather. Costs vary by location and cemetery, but a typical 9″ x 9″ x 9″ size cremation niche, purchased pre-need (before death), averages $750 to $2,800. Expect to pay 20 to 25 percent more if purchased at need (at time of death). The cost of a cremation niche includes the property holding the urn, endowment care, one inurnment (including labor), recording of the process, and name and dates engraved on the urn. Most columbariums and mausoleums will charge an additional $200 for a Saturday inurnment.
Reasons to consider a cremation niche
- In many cities, cemetery space is limited and expensive.
- In states like Louisiana, the water table mandates above-ground burial, so cremation niches are popular options.
- Above-ground burial niches are not subject to extreme weather conditions.
- Above-ground burial is a good option to grave burial for visiting a loved one’s final resting place.