The Golden Urn: Choosing The Ideal Receptacle For Cremains

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Cremation services at most crematoriums and funeral homes begins with the selection of an urn. Most people opt to purchase an urn in advance to their death, but if they do not select one, that leaves the job up to their survivors. If you are left with the task of selecting an urn for the cremains of a loved one, here is how to go about it.

Size of the Person Dictates Size of the Urn

Despite the fact that cremated remains removes much of what makes a large body less bulky, the ashes still have volume. A "big and tall" man, for example, will still produce a sizable amount of ashes. For this you will need the right size urn to contain the ashes. Likewise, a child's cremains will need a smaller urn because there is less ash. The funeral home or crematorium director will help you choose an urn that is the correct size to contain the amount of expected ash that the deceased will produce.

Pick a Style or Finish That Represents the Deceased

If you know the deceased well, then this is easy. Gold and silver are common finishes for urns, but there are many other styles and finishes as well. Funeral urns often take design elements from Greco-Roman themes, as well as Art Deco and Art Noveau-inspired pieces. It all depends on what you think the deceased would have liked as far as flourishes or just the simple and basic. If you know that the ashes will be interred in a stone block in a cemetery, then maybe you would prefer to opt for a decorative wooden or porcelain box instead.

Choosing Multiple Receptacles When Family Want to Share Cremains

Sometimes families want to share the cremains and take a little of the deceased home with them. While others may find this practice a little odd, it is common and the surviving family members find it comforting. When this occurs, you have to select more than one receptacle, and the task at hand is best managed when the other family members come along to choose their own receptacle. This alleviates you of some of the burden of selecting additional urns or boxes as well as preventing any problems between you and family members should other family members not like the urns or boxes you have selected for them. It also allows every family member the ability to spend within their budget whatever they want to spend on an urn or box for the cremains they take home.