What to do with an urn

A cremation urn is the container in which cremated remains are placed. It can be a permanent or temporary container. The type of urn you choose should be based on what you plan to do with the cremated remains on a long-term basis. Here we will take you through the options.

Many families choose to place the urn on display at their home. In this case, they generally choose a decorative urn that will look like a piece of artwork. Something to consider with this choice is whether you want to have the urn on display in 5, 10 or more years, or even later after you are gone. Will your children also want to display the urn? It might be worth considering a final placement in a cemetery at a later date.

You have many choices of urns for display. They come in many material types, such as wood, metal and acrylic, and many shapes and sizes. Some are detailed statues with a compartment in the base for the remains. Others are simple shapes that can be engraved or personalized. You will want to consider the d├ęcor of your home before making your selection.

Other families choose to place the urn in a cemetery, either in a burial space or a niche, which is the official term for a compartment that holds an urn. Please see the photo which illustrates a glass-front niche, common in many cemeteries. When you choose cemetery placement you may still keep a small portion of the remains in a small urn as a keepsake, or select an item of cremation jewelry that incorporates a very small portion of the remains.

Urns that are suitable for cemetery niche placement must meet the size requirements of a niche. They are typically square or rectangular, although any urn made out of permanent material will work if it fits the size requirements. If you choose to bury the urn, you will most likely need to purchase an urn vault as well, which protects the urn from the weight of the earth and heavy cemetery equipment.

Some families choose to scatter the remains in a meaningful spot. It is important to follow local regulations concerning scattering. While popular culture may reference scattering in the ocean or other bodies of water, this is actually not legal in all waterways. Find more information about scattering ceremonies here.

Scattering urns can be temporary in nature, like paper tubes, or made from permanent materials like wood or metal. All scattering urns have a removable panel or lid that allow the remains to be easily scattered.

When you decide what to do with the urn after it is returned to you by our staff, that will best inform your choice of urn. Your funeral director will help you understand all of your options.