How to Choose the Right Cremation Urn

By: VGFS
Sunday, March 1, 2020

When it comes to cremation urns, there’s no shortage of choices. There are literally thousands of styles and options available, and you may wonder where to begin when deciding on an urn for your loved one.

In this article, we’ll share some practical tips to help guide you through the selection process.

Start by deciding how the urn will be used. There are many ways to honor the memory of a loved one, and your intentions for the urn will help determine everything else. The most common options include:

·       Display at home: Many people find comfort in the physical presence of their loved one’s ashes. In this situation, a beautiful decorative urn is great option. Available in metal, ceramic, marble, stone, wood and glass, you can choose a motif that’s appropriate for the deceased and that suits your décor, as well.

·       Columbarium niche: Storing the urn in a columbarium allows for a wide selection of types and styles. The most important factors to consider are the dimensions of the niche and the durability of the urn materials.

·       Land burial: To inter the remains in a plot at a cemetery, choose an urn material that is durable and non-biodegradable. Most cemeteries have basic requirements to ensure that the ground above and around the urn doesn’t collapse. Burial vaults and cremation urns made from robust material such as cultured marble or granite generally work perfectly. Be sure to contact the cemetery or speak with your funeral director to confirm that the vessel you choose is acceptable.

·       Water or natural burial: Biodegradable urns made from organic and recycled materials are designed to break down naturally when water or soil is introduced. Urns designed for water burials are made to sink and dissolve quickly. There are also eco-friendly urns designed for land burial, which return the remains to the earth in an environmentally-conscious manner.

·       Scattering ashes: Scattering urns feature a top opening designed to easily release the cremated remains. Afterwards, you may decide to place keepsakes or flowers inside the urn to memorialize your loved one.

·       Keepsake urns: Also known as sharing urns, these include miniature containers and cremation jewelry. They serve the purpose of storing a small portion of cremation ashes and are a particularly suitable choice when sharing ashes among other family members.

Consider your budget. Just as cremation urns are available in a wide array of shapes and styles, their prices also vary widely. Keep in mind that a smaller budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality or look of the urn you choose. For example, if you like the appearance of an urn made from precious materials such as bronze or gold but don’t have the funds for it, you can get the same look by using less expensive materials like pewter or brass.

Determine what size urn you’ll need. Cremation urns are measured in cubic inches, which refers to the amount of space inside the vessel. As a general rule, you’ll need at least one cubic inch of space for every pound of body weight prior to cremation. So for example, if the deceased weighed 170 pounds before cremation, you’ll need an urn that’s 170 cubic inches or more. If the measurements are very close, it’s best to choose the next size larger. If the urn is for an infant, child or pet, smaller urns in a variety of suitable sizes are also available.

Give thought to the urn’s design. Urn styles and themes are virtually limitless. From delicate cloisonné to masculine polished wood to themed motifs such as music and sports, there’s sure to be an urn that’s perfect for your needs. Consider your loved one's personality, passions, hobbies, or special interests to guide you in finding a style and color that’s reflective of him or her. Engraving names, dates, or favorite quotes is a great option if you want to add a more personalized touch to the urn you select.

Ultimately, the purpose of an urn is to act as a memorial to your loved one. Whatever style, color, size, or material you choose, ensure that it reflects the personality of the deceased and provides comfort to you and your family members.

If you have questions or need assistance selecting an appropriate urn for your loved one, please reach out to our caring, helpful funeral professionals. It’s always our pleasure to serve you.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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