What Urns Can be Buried?

Deciding on the type of urn that will keep your loved one’s ashes safe will depend on the funerary form you or your loved one choose. While more and more people are choosing cremation over burial, the question remains of what families should do with the cremains. Burying the ashes is an increasingly popular option, providing an ideal balance between a traditional burial ceremony and a cremation. Cemeteries are responding to this trend by creating burial plots specifically for cremated remains. These plots are smaller in size and are more affordable than traditional burial plots. If you or your loved one decides to be buried the traditional way, there are several considerations and decisions to be made. Not all materials are suitable for an outdoor burial. In this guide, we take a close look at the many materials available to you. Keep reading to learn more, so you can shop for a burial urn with complete confidence.

Urn Materials Suited to the Outdoors

The type of urn material you choose should correspond to the type of burial chosen. Metal urns and urns made from cultured materials are suitable for burial. Cultured materials include granite, marble, onyx or custom blends of resin and filler that have the strength to withstand the underground forces which can cause physical stress to the urn over time. Grave spaces can also be used for environmentally-friendly burials. Biodegradable urns are made from leaves, recycled paper, wool fiber, tree bark, untreated wood, compacted peat, coconut shells, rock salt, sand and materials that will break down in the earth offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional metal and stone urns. To learn more about biodegradable urns or how to decide whether a biodegradable burial is right for you, read our blog: Biodegradable Urns – What Are They?

Urns made from cultured materials and metal are also suitable for burials performed in memorial gardens or outdoor spaces other than cemeteries. Bronze and brass may oxidize over time and develop a green patina, but both metals are extraordinarily resistant in terms of corrosion. Urns are also available in aluminum or stainless steel for a budget-friendly option that's just as durable as pricier urns. Alternatives to burial urns include memorial benches, rocks, or trees. Some cemeteries may require that you buy a burial vault to store your urn for additional support and to ensure the structural integrity of the ground around the urn. Much like burial vaults, urn vaults support the soil and ensure that the urn does not collapse beneath the weight of soil above. An urn vault will also protect the urn from moisture and weathering caused by the elements.

Urn Materials Suited to Columbaria

Storing your loved one’s urn in a columbarium is another great way to provide a place for family members and future generations to visit. A columbaria offers the benefit of being located above ground, where an urn vault will not be needed. Columbaria are also generally located in public places, so friends and family can visit the deceased without intruding on the bereaved. Ceramic and glass urns are the most popular materials used to make columbarium urns. Glass urns have incredibly aesthetic appeal and they can vary in color, pattern, or shape. Ceramic is the most widely used material to make funerary urns. Ceramic urns often feature smooth surfaces with artistic embellishments. Ceramics and glass are very delicate, but wood may be a welcome alternative to anyone who likes the idea of a green burial. Wooden urns are often kept for display at home or in a columbarium. Wooden urns may develop cracks over time when stored in a dry environment, because wood shrinks as it dries. There are also numerous wood varieties that can be used as part of an earth-friendly burial. Biodegradable woods pose no threat to the environment.

If you have any questions about urn materials or would like to learn more about OneWorld Memorials, please contact us today to speak with one of our customer service representatives for additional information or further assistance.

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