5 Steps for Choosing a Cremation Urn

Monday, April 19, 2021

Unfortunately, the time comes when we all have to make final arrangements for a loved one. And if you have chosen cremation, chances are you are looking to select an urn. 

But cremation urns come in different shapes, sizes, and are made out of a variety of materials. This can make choosing one difficult and overwhelming.

That's why we're going to break down the process for you into simple steps. Here are the five things you need to consider when choosing an urn for your loved one's ashes.

1. Consider the Use

First, you need to consider the ultimate purpose of the urn. You have a couple of different options.

  • You might choose to bury the urn underground
  • You may want to display the urn in a Columbarium Niche
  • You might prefer to keep your urn on display at home
  • Perhaps you want to scatter your loved one's ashes, and need a vessel for transport to the scattering location

If you plan to bury your urn, you should consult your preferred cemetery or mausoleum to make sure you stay within their size and measurement requirements. 

If the urn will be on display, you will probably want to make your choice based on aesthetics. 

And finally, if you plan to scatter your loved one's ashes, you may opt for a temporary urn or a scattering urn. And if you plan to travel to the scattering location, be sure to choose materials like wood or cultured marble.

2. Think About Material

Based on intended use, you should now consider the type of material for your urn. Common urn materials include marble, wood, and brass. There's no wrong answer, and most people choose their material based on aesthetics.

You can also opt for biodegradable urns for ashes. This is an Earth-friendly option if you are hoping to bury the urn.

3. Choose the Size

1 pound generally translates to 1 cubic inch of ashes. So if a person weighed 100 pounds, their urn would need to have a carrying capacity of 100 cubic inches. 

If you are displaying your urn in a Columbarium Niche, you may have exact size specifications you need to pay attention to. And if you are dividing the ashes among multiple holders, you can opt for smaller keepsake urns.

4. Consider Personalization

Many people opt for an urn that reminds them of their loved one. There are decorative themes and designs you can choose from that might fit their personality or interests. Additionally, you can have your urn engraved with their name, important dates, and even a favorite quote.

5. Think About Permanence

The first urn you buy might be the urn you use for your loved one's ashes forever. But there are also many reasons to buy a temporary urn. That may be because you are transporting the ashes, or planning to bury the ashes with a spouse or partner.

Ashes are typically kept in a bag within the urn, so transferring them from one urn to another is no problem. Many funeral homes can help you with this task, too. Before you purchase an urn, consider whether you want it to be permanent or temporary.

Choosing the Right Cremation Urn

The "right" cremation urn is different for everybody. But with these five steps, you can choose one that is perfect for you or your loved one.

For additional assistance, please feel free to reach out

Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home and Crematory is the only private on-site crematory in Pottstown, PA.That is why we can truly say, your loved one never leaves our care. Our funeral directors are crematory technicians certified by the Cremation Association of North America, which provides advanced certifications to help insure the highest standards.  

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