An urn is a receptacle used to hold cremated remains. Urns are available in a wide range of prices and in a variety of materials, including bronze, wood, marble, pewter, aluminum and stoneware.
The selection of the urn is very important since the urn provides both a protective and dignified receptacle for the cremated remains. It can become an important focal point at a memorial service and can serve as a permanent memorial to the deceased.
Deciding what will be done with the cremated remains may help decide what type of urn to select. The family may decide to bury the urn on a cemetery lot. Some cemeteries allow urns to be buried on the same space as a previously interred casket or other urn. When burial of the urn is the choice, many families opt to use a special urn vault to house and protect the urn. The urn may be permanently placed in a mausoleum or columbarium, special above ground structures designed for this purpose. Some families elect to keep the urn within the home.
Other options include scattering the cremated remains in a cemetery scattering garden, at sea, or in some other location, so long as it is in accordance with local laws. The decision to scatter should be chosen carefully in that it is irreversible. When scattering or any other form of disposition is chosen, a small portion of the cremated remains may be kept in a smaller keepsake urn created to become a focal point of memorialization in the home.