Built For A Variety Of Memorial Uses
Memorial urns have been used for centuries to memorialize the dead and protect their final earthly remains. The tradition of storing cremation ashes in memorial urns dates back to at least the Ancient Greeks who placed the ashes of a loved one or respected member of society in special type of urn called a lekythos. In the days of the Roman Empire, memorial urns were often displayed together in a collective tomb called a columbarium. This practice continues today with memorial urns at many cemeteries.
Memorial 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 memorial urn ever made to mankind’s eternal struggles with mortality. And, in 1658, English writer Thomas Browne explored similar themes about memorial urns in his Hydriotaphia or Urn Burial, a classic work prompted by the discovery of a Bronze Age memorial urn in Norfolk, England.
Though they all have the same basic purpose, storing the ashes of the deceased, memorial urns are also all as unique as the people they memorialize. Memorial urns, of course, are often still displayed in columbarium’s, but it is also common to see memorial urns in private residences. Memorial urns are also commonly buried in standard graves – often atop the grave of a loved-one. And then there are special, smaller-than-average- “keepsake memorial urns” that are often used by far flung families who want to share the ashes of their loved ones. And special biodegradable memorial ash urns are often used today to provide an environmentally friendly disposal of cremation ashes.
Whatever their ultimate destination, memorial urns are particularly appropriate for memorializing a loved-one because they can be personalized. The décor of memorial urns can speak volumes about the people the urns memorialize, assuring that memories stay alive for generations to come.
Memorial 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, memorial urns are usually made of bronze or some other metal. If they are to be displayed beautifully in a home or at a funeral, memorial urns are often made of glass, wood, or ceramic and if they are to be displayed outdoors – or as part of a columbarium, memorial urns can be made of marble.
Memorial urns are often styled for very specific uses. Elaborately decorated memorial urns are used for display in residences and during funerals. Smaller memorial 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 memorial urns are designed and decorated to follow important religious, military, or family themes.
Memorial urns have been around for centuries as a beautiful tool for assuring that a person’s memory lasts for the ages. Though many have the same basic purpose, storing the ashes of the deceased, memorial urns are also all as unique as the people they memorialize.