A Urn As Unique As The People They Memorialize
Cremation urns have been used for centuries to memorialize the dead. Though they all have the same basic purpose, storing the ashes of the deceased, cremation urns are also all as unique as the people they memorialize.
The tradition of cremation urns dates back to at least the Ancient Greeks who made cremation urns from a special type of urn called a lekythos. In the days of the Roman Empire, cremation urns were often displayed together in a collective tomb called a columbarium. This practice continues today with cremation urns at many cemeteries.
Cremation urns have inspired a number of great literary works over the centuries. Most notably, perhaps, is John Keats’s “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” which classically relates the unique décor of almost every funeral urn ever made to mankind’s eternal struggles with mortality. And, in 1658, English writer Thomas Browne explored similar themes about funeral urns in his Hydriotaphia or Urn Burial, a classic work prompted by the discovery of a Bronze Age cremation urn in Norfolk, England.
Cremation urns, of course, are often still displayed in columbariums, but it’s not uncommon to see cremation urns in private residences. Cremation urns are also commonly placed in urn vaults and buried in standard graves – often atop the grave of a loved-one. And then there are special, smaller-than-average- “keep sake” cremation urns that are often used by far flung families who want to share the ashes of their loved ones. And, special biodegradable cremation urns are often used today to provide an environmentally friendly disposal of cremation ashes.
Whatever their ultimate destination, cremation urns are particularly appropriate for memorializing a loved-one because they can be personalized. The décor of cremation urns can speak volumes about the people the cremation urns memorialize, assuring that memories stay alive for generations to come.
Cremation urns come in a wide variety of materials and styles. They can be made of wood, bronze, metal, marble, glass, or ceramic. Different materials, of course, are required for different purposes. If they are to be buried, cremation urns are usually made of bronze or some other metal. If they are to be displayed beautifully at a funeral or in a home, cremation urns are often made of glass, wood, or ceramic. And if they are to be displayed outdoors – or as part of a columbarium — cremation urns can be made of marble.
Cremation urns are often styled for very specific uses. Elaborately decorated cremation urns are used for display in residences and during funerals. Smaller cremation urns are used for the ashes of children or infants. Some cremation urns are designed specifically to hold the ashes of two people. And still other cremation urns are designed and decorated to follow important religious, military, or family themes.
Cremation urns have been around for centuries as beautiful tools for assuring that a person’s memory lasts for the ages. Though many have the same basic purpose, storing the ashes of the deceased, funeral urns are also all as unique as the people they memorialize.