Stunning Stained Glass Cremation Urns

by Jerri Haaven

Image by David Joyce*

A few years ago, “The Most Stunning Stained Glass Windows in the World” appeared on the Huffington Post website. When a friend recently sent me the link, I was simply in awe of the beauty and translucence of these works of art, which are typically found in religious institutions. How I would love to see them all in person! Then I got to thinking, what is the story of stained glass?

According to Pliney the Elder, stained glass art was discovered accidently. The story goes that shipwrecked sailors set their cooking pots on blocks of natron (a hydrous native sodium carbonate), and then built a fire underneath the blocks. By morning, it had all melted, cooled, and turned to glass. However, Pliney was noted for his unscientific fact findings in his famous volumes of Natural History. Some sources believe it’s more likely that ancient Egyptian potters discovered stained glass and refined it.

The Stained Glass Museum website tell us that:

References to stained glass in England date from the 7th century, and by the 12th century it had become a sophisticated art form. … Stained glass continued to flourish in England until the Reformation of the Church in the 1540s when changes in religious outlook undermined the need for sacred art. Although coloured glass continued to be made in the 17th and 18th centuries, the craft declined and skills were lost. Only in the 19th century was there a serious attempt to rediscover the techniques of the medieval glazier. … As a result of [Charles] Winston's technical experiments of the 1850s, the quality of coloured glass approached that of the medieval glaziers. Today almost all parish churches and cathedrals contain Victorian windows. Their quality and craftsmanship are now widely recognised.

Although stained glass was well known as an art form, it was also recognized that the windows imbued a cathedral with light without being transparent. Today stained glass windows are brilliant in color and artistic design. They emanate light, glory, and beauty.

Doctor Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, noted author of On Death and Dying that explored the theory of the five stages of grief, once wrote:

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Profound statement, right? My expanded interpretation of this quote is that in life we radiate light – and even sparkle when living our purpose! But when we die, we can no longer emanate the light through our physical presence. But our “light” continues to emanate warmth through the memories that our loved ones hold in their hearts.

This concept may reveal a distinct theme when choosing a cremation urn for yourself or for someone who has passed on. Have you been described as a shining star?  Someone with a sparkling personality, or who is known as a ray of sunshine? Was your loved one known for his or her colorful personality? Perhaps a beacon of bright light? Or someone who lit up a room? Then stained glass cremation urns might be a wonderful way to honor and remember your loved one.

Qualities of a stained glass cremation urn

Many people ask if it’s okay to keep cremation ashes at home. A stained glass urn offers a lovely way to conceal and keep a loved one’s ashes at home. Below is a brief list of what you can expect with a stained glass urn.

A stained glass cremation urn:

  • is a memorial display urn
  • stores the ashes of a normal sized individual (up to 200 pounds)
  • is bound on each side with a high-quality resin casing that is perfect for engraving
  • features opaque, vibrant colors that beautifully disguise the compartment that holds human ashes
  • has a discreet opening in the bottom to access the ashes chamber
  • has an opening that is secured with a threaded cap to keep the ashes tight and secure
  • is not intended to hold a candle
  • is 11.7 inches high and 7.4 inches wide

OneWorld Memorials is fortunate to work with artisans who hand craft unique stained glass cremation urns. This video features a Red Rose Stained Glass urn.


Stained glass cremation urn designs – flowers and contemporary Mission-style

Spring has sprung and our days are getting longer. We can look forward to gardens blooming, and filling our senses with the sights and smells of flowers. And while Spring is noted for new beginnings, for some it may mean new beginnings after the loss of a loved one. For someone who once loved digging in and planting a garden, or who relished lush and fragrant flowers, the Pink Tulip Stained Glass urn might be a perfect memorial.

Other stained glass designs include:

  • blue iris
  • orange poppy
  • red rose
  • Easter lily
  • blue forget-me-not, and
  • Mission-style in emerald, ruby, amber, and indigo

People who have purchased the stained glass cremation urns have commented that they don't look like urns. They can be placed anywhere inside the house or an office – emanating light from within year-round.

*Image can be found here:

Jerri Haaven is a freelance writer, and a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant. When caring for her dad, who suffered from dementia and COPD, Jerri struggled with the negative side effects of his illness. She developed positive outlets to express herself and recover from her loss. Today as a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant, she uses her skills to help people who are in the midst of their own personal story of grief and loss.

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