When considering cremation, one important decision to make is the selection of a cremation container, urn or remembrance item to memorialize your loved one. A variety of styles, colors and materials are available, along with customized embellishments, giving you the choice of selecting something as unique and special as the individual it represents.
From beautifully decorated ceramic urns to delicately carved wooden containers and eco-friendly options, you can find the perfect expression of your loved one to memorialize and celebrate their life. Offering styles to suit individual tastes and desires, we can assist you in planning each aspect of a cremation, including selecting the urn that is right for you.
Full-size funeral urns
Cremation urns come in many shapes and sizes. The most traditional way to remember someone you love is a full-size urn that will hold the cremated remains (or "ashes"). Most people are familiar with vase-shaped urns, but funeral urn designs can be as simple as a beautiful box. The cremation box can be square or rectangle, tall or short. These choices are very popular among families and the personalization options are numerous, allowing the cremation container to be as unique as the person being remembered.
Types of materials for full-size funeral urns
Urns come in many materials like stone, wood and metal. Let’s look at a few popular options:
- Stone - For thousands of years, stone has been crafted into items both utilitarian and inspiring. An urn of stone combines these characteristics, transforming a raw material into a work of art. Families may choose between smooth marble, tiger eye (dark in color) and natural textured stone.
- Wood - Possessing beauty, strength and warmth, a wood urn offers a classically elegant means of preserving a lifetime of memories and can be as understated or expressive as the person it honors. Consider a chest made of birch, cherry or red Alderwood. Some wooden chests have beautiful inlaid stone or wood accents to complement the color of the chest.
- Metal - Whether burnished to a fine sheen or antiqued to heirloom quality, metal offers lasting strength and unique beauty. Designs of all shapes and styles provide suitable selections for any need. Whether it’s a copper urn with red cascading flowers, a nickel-plated urn with blue accents and a dove design, or an understated, solid, polished pewter or cast-bronze urn, your metal burial urn can represent your loved one's personality.
- Glass - Some materials are ultimately made more beautiful through heat. Glass urns exhibit a graceful motion and elegant beauty and represent a unique way to honor and remember. Consider a hand-blown glass bowl with a gilded crown or a beautiful, jewel-tone glass urn.
- Resin - An ideal example of resilience and beauty, resin-based urns combine man-made materials with handcrafted artistry. Choices include a floral motif on a deep indigo or burgundy background.
- Ceramic - Ceramic artwork has been cherished by many cultures throughout history. It can serve as a beautiful way to commemorate a special life. Whether it’s an understated earth tone or a bold rose bouquet, a ceramic urn is a beautiful way to remember your loved one.
- Eco-conscious - The beauty of nature is unparalleled. These natural-material and scattering urns celebrate the serenity of nature and a personal connection with the land, air and sea. Options include medium-density, fiberboard urns, rock salt urns, sand urns or recycled paper and cardboard. Both the rock salt and sand urns are meant for water or sea burials and will dissolve in the water in a few days or as little as a few hours.
Many full-size urns allow for maximum personalization. The funeral urn can be engraved with names, dates, poems, images, Bible verses or any non-copyrighted writings. For your uncle who was a pilot in his spare time, a small airplane can be engraved on the urn. Or consider engraving a small bird for an avid bird-watcher. The funeral urn can be as unique as the person being remembered.
Keepsake urns for remembrance
Remembering your loved one is part of the healing process. In addition to our full-size urn options, you might choose to give or keep a smaller gift of remembrance with beautiful keepsake urns. These small and precious reminders can help provide comfort for families as you honor and remember the one you loved. Choose from unique styles such as a wooden acorn or a handcrafted brass memento in the shape of a heart, rose or songbird.
Types of keepsake urns
Keepsake urns can be personalized by engraving names and dates, non-copyrighted lyrics, poems or quotes. As with full-size burial urns, there are many materials and shapes to choose from. Many of the full-size funeral urns also come in smaller keepsake sizes. Be sure to ask your Dignity Memorial® expert what options are available in keepsake sizes.
Materials for keepsake urns
- Metal - Families can choose from a nickel-plated brass vase, shiny silver-finished brass, an intricately designed rose or a brushed-pewter heart.
- Stone - Marble or natural textured stone are both options for a stone keepsake.
- Wood - Wooden keepsakes can come in numerous shapes, such as a rectangle, heart-shaped or square cremation box, a star, or an acorn.
- Lamps - Imagine a stained-glass butterfly lamp holding the cremated remains of your loved one and resting on a small table. Unique options like both the butterfly and a traditional lamp shape can be an alternative to a traditional-shaped funeral urn.
Alternatives and additions to traditional cremation urns
Scattering urns and biodegradable urns
Elegant scattering urns will allow you to reunite your loved one with the natural spaces they loved. Beautiful urns made of natural rock salt and other biodegradable materials are designed for sea burials or water funerals and will dissolve after a few hours in the water. Or our biodegradable urns will allow you to place your loved one near a tree or flower garden as a continuation of their love of nature. Please remember to check with your local government, as there are often restrictions on where scatterings can take place.
When funeral planning for a loved one who has chosen cremation, a cremation container may be selected for use during the funeral or viewing. A cremation container is similar to a casket and allows friends and family to say goodbye during the funeral ceremony, visitation or viewing before cremation is performed. After the viewing or funeral service, the cremation container is transported to the crematory where the cremation will take place.
A wearable remembrance piece can bring comfort and peace wherever you go. Whether it’s a necklace or a charm bracelet, the memory of a loved one can be kept close to you.
Our cremation jewelry product options include a lovely charm bracelet with a small charm that holds ashes. This allows for multiple people to have a charm to remember the relationship. A very small container can also be worn as a necklace. Various metals are available, and they can also be personalized by adding names or dates as space allows. Talk to your Dignity Memorial provider to see the many cremation jewelry options available.
Through keepsakes, whether it’s a small urn or cremation jewelry, you can keep your loved one close at all times with a lasting token of remembrance. Children, grandchildren, spouses and siblings may especially appreciate a personal way to remember their special relationship.
Here to help
View our selections and find the best option for you by reaching out to your local Dignity Memorial provider. You will find many styles of urns for ashes, as well as remembrance keepsakes and other alternatives to traditional single urns. Dignity Memorial professionals are always available to assist in customizing a fitting tribute for you or your loved one.