As with all Cremation pre-planning, the time to choose an Urn for your loved one is well in advance. With the myriad of decisions that will bombard you and your family in the days following the passing of a loved one, Pre-Planning can bring a certain bit of peace to all involved. When it comes to selecting an Urn, the choices seem to be overwhelming. Where do you even start? At Cremation Society of America, we’re here to help.
Urns come in a bewildering array of shapes, sizes, designs and materials. You can refine your search by focusing on the following questions:
- Do I even need an Urn?
- How will I use the Urn?
- How much can I pay for an Urn?
- Of which material should the Urn be made?
- How should the Urn be designed and decorated?
Let’s take a look at each of the questions.
Do I even need an Urn?
When choosing to pre-plan for a Direct Cremation, there are many ways to honor and memorialize your loved one. Deciding how to remember your loved one will affect all other urn decisions, such as:
- Scattering Ashes at Sea: This is an increasingly popular option. You can choose an Urn with a removable lid or even use an approved biodegradable or alternative container
- Land Burial: Another instance where an approved biodegradable or alternative container can be used
- Urn for Display: This is the more traditional option for cremains. These Urns are made out of metal, marble, ceramic, stone or glass and are more permanent in nature
- Urns residing in a columbarium: Much like Urns for Display, these are made out of metal, marble, ceramic, stone or glass and are more permanent in nature. The size of the chamber or niche will dictate the scope and cost of the Urn
- Jewelry or Keepsake Urns: These can be quite ornate and store a small amount of cremains. These Urns are desirable when families wish to share the cremains
How much can I pay for an Urn?
Cremation Urns come in a nearly infinite price range, so the first step is to know what you’d like to spend. There are many high-quality urns in the $135 – $295 range. Competitive Internet pricing of Urns has made them very affordable without your having to sacrifice the quality or the ornate beauty of the vessel.
With a moderate budget you can select an Urn with higher production value and more expensive materials. Some marble urns, ceramic urns, glass urns, Cloisonné urns, and hand-crafted wood urns can be purchased for $250 – $500.
For high or even unlimited budgets, you can order a custom-made Urn that can be called a work of art, such as Artisan Urns that are made by hand. These Urns are literally a one-of-a-kind expression of love and honor for your loved one. Such Urns can cost from $900 to tens of thousands of dollars and are often made from glass, wood, ceramic or rare, expensive metals.
Of which material should the Urn be made?
Whether you have chosen to scatter the cremains, place the urn in a columbarium, or display in your home or office, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Biodegradable Urns – Ideal for burial because they are made from non-toxic, eco-friendly materials that decompose over time, releasing the cremains into the ground or water as materials break down.
- Permanent Cremation Urns – Used for display or for internment, placed in a columbarium or entombing in a mausoleum. These are usually made of marble or granite, or metals such as aluminum, stainless steel or bronze, even high-quality wood.
- Urns for Scattering Cremains – Designed and crafted to be lightweight, these Urns are ideal for performing a scattering ceremony on the water. These are usually made with biodegradable and water-soluble materials like paper or silk for releasing the cremains into the sea or other body of water.
How should the Urn be designed and decorated?
The possibilities are nearly infinite. Many families design the Urn to reflect their loved one’s personality, passions, hobbies or special interests to spark memories and stories so that the loved one lives forever. Some themes can include religious, patriotic, sports team or university, hobby motifs such as gardening, cars or music. Engraving is a preferred option for those who wish to personalize the cremation Urn to commemorate the loved one. Names, dates, or even quotes can be inscribed onto many urns.
Please contact CSA for more information regarding our selection of Urns and which Urn may best fit your Direct Cremation needs. We look forward to being of service to you and your family.