Cremation Memorials ... making the selection
It is never too soon to set up a visual symbol in beautiful surroundings that will perpetuate cherished memories. But beautiful memorials don't just happen. They require forethought and planning.
Many families make their memorial selections in advance so that decision-making can be done together and can be eliminated during a time of stress. But whether a memorial purchase is made prior to need or at the time of need, you will want to be familiar with the many cremation memorial options that are available.
A columbarium is an indoor or outdoor wall containing niches. A niche is defined as a recessed compartment designed to hold urns. Columbariums may be an entire building, a room, a wall along a corridor or a series of special alcoves or halls in a mausoleum, chapel, or other buildings located in a cemetery or on other dedicated property. Niches come in many sizes with a selection of fronts such as glass, marble, bronze, granite or mosaic. Glass fronts may be clear, tinted, frosted or etched. Some columbarium niches are designed for specific size urns while others may contain a double size space for two urns or even larger niches for multiple urns. Some clear glass fronted niches allow meaningful memorabilia to be placed inside along with the urn.
The Urn Garden
Many cemeteries or memorial parks have areas designated specifically for the interment of cremated remains. These areas are called Urn Gardens and are set aside for those who desire ground or above-ground interment. Some gardens offer individual urn burial plots that will accommodate a marker. Others offer unmarked areas for interment of the urn, with adjacent walls or sculptures for memorial plaques. Check with your cemetery or memorial park on the types of permanent memorialization they offer for garden interment of cremated remains.
If you already own a burial plot or have a space in a family lot, you may choose to inter the cremation urn there. Cemeteries often permit the interment of the cremated remains of more than one person in a single adult space. Or if you wish to be interred in a family plot, but do not want ground interment, there are monuments available to house the cremated remains. These monuments can be used for those who have chosen cremation or in combination with family members who have chosen casketed burial. Grave site committal of the urn is available and some cemeteries require that the urn be placed in an urn vault for interment. There are a wide variety of markers and monuments available but you should check your cemetery's rules before purchasing your memorial. The monument or marker you select will be a lasting genealogical record for the generations of your family and a lasting symbol of the special life you want to remember and commemorate.
Urns for the permanent containment of cremated remains come in a variety of sizes, styles and materials. In fact, there are urns to satisfy every taste, requirement and, as well as, every budget. You may select an urn from bronze, pewter, marble, granite, brass or from selected hardwoods. They are also available in porcelain, ceramic, stone, hand-blown glass and cloisonné. Urns range in size from single to multiple capacity, and in styling from the traditional book shape and classic Grecian design to novel creations and decorative art pieces and can be personalized to depict an individual's hobby or special interest. Some designs have a matching picture frame to display a photo of the individual being memorialized. Keepsake Urns and Similar Options
Many urns are also produced in smaller versions to hold a small portion of the remains. These are referred to as Keepsake Urns. They are especially appropriate when only a portion of the cremated remains are to be scattered or when families choose to divide the cremated remains among family members.
Other innovative options available are: Decorative pendants, known as Keepsake jewelry, are available in a number of styles and are designed to hold a small portion of cremated remains; Memorial Glass sculptures where a portion of the cremated remains are permanently embedded in the glass of these fine art pieces; and Memorial Tablets where the cremated remains are integrated into a granite-like material suitable for placement in a cemetery, church memorial garden, or placed in the ground.
Presentation urns, which are large enough to hold a temporary urn, are also available for use at a memorial or religious service, when a family is undecided as to the final disposition of the cremated remains.
With so many beautiful and unique urns available, you may have difficulty in making a selection. But before making a final decision, it must be decided where the cremated remains will be placed. If it is going to be placed in a columbarium niche, what size and shape urn can it accommodate? Will it be interred in an urn garden or family plot? Do you need an urn vault? Does your cemetery or columbarium require a specific type of urn be used? These are some of the things you should take into consideration before you make your selection.
Beyond permanent memorialization, there are options for remembering your loved one in smaller ways and shared among family and friends. Keepsake urns, cremation jewelry, memorial diamonds and more products exist to personalize your memorial tribute.
Cremation Memorial – the lasting tribute
Although the selection of a cremation memorial may be time-consuming and require some important decision-making, once it has been accomplished it will give you and the generations that follow much satisfaction. Permanent memorialization not only provides a lasting tribute to a loved one, but also gives peace of mind and a place of pilgrimage. Caring about and remembering others are what life and memorializing are all about.