An Urn Will Protect Our Earthly Remains

An Urn, the dictionary says, is “a vessel that is typically an ornamental vase on a pedestal and that is used for various purposes (as preserving the ashes of the dead after cremation).” And the word, “typically” in that definition is interesting. It may be debatable even.

The number of urn style options available today offer a vessel for any taste or need

Historically speaking, of course, an urn is certainly shaped like a vase. In fact for much of modern history, the words urn and vase could be used interchangeably. But doing that is a risky proposition today: in today’s world of large variety in the world of memorials, an funeral cremation vessel is as apt to be shaped like a football as it is a vase.

When thinking of an urn today, it’s best to concentrate on “ornamental vessel” more so than the word “vase.” Today’s modern selection of urns has a huge variety of these vessels, something for every taste and every personality. Here’s just a summary of the types of urns that are available to help you memorialize your loved one in the most suitable way possible.

The Modern Urn

Fans of modern art will have no trouble finding a modern urn to suit their tastes. Urns today, like modern art, follow no concrete style and that, ironically, has become a style in itself. A modern urn can resemble a Michelangelo statue with a creative twist that only a 21st century mind could generate. Or a modern urn can be a simple box with a sleek aerodynamic design. Or it could be in the shape of something entirely unique to the history of sculpture, say, a seashell or even an egg. A modern urn can have the technological sophistication of a modern skyscraper and that means it can say a lot by just saying a little. Less is usually more, when it comes to modern art, and that is certainly the case with the modern urn. Ironically, even the modern urn can end up having the shape of a traditional vase. But the viewer, right away, would know that it is not your ordinary vase.

The Playful Urn

Urns range in variety from modern, to playful, to reserved and dignified

Still another type of urn will have a playful twist. A playful urn can feature a scene that inspires a sense of lightheartedness and fun, such as a fisherman wading after his catch, or a motorcyclist riding into a sunset. A playful urn can also be related to sports. Some models of urns, in fact, feature model baseball gloves or hockey pucks affixed to a base in which the ashes are stored. A playful urn will often feature a variety of bright colors that invoke the spirit of childhood which, for many people, is a life-long way of thinking and well deserving of being memorialized. And still other playful urns are available today that invoke the humorously wild imaginative spirit of the works of 20th century masterminds such as the great children’s author Dr. Suess. Plenty of play urns feature sculptures that bring to mind those great works. And as with the modern urn, it is not difficult to imagine a playful urn being based on the traditional, ordinary vase. But such an urn would hardly have a traditional look. Just add some creative, wild colors and a few other playful twists to a vase design, and you have a playful urn, and, fortunately, there are quite a number of ready-made urns already available for delivery today that would meet that description.

The Classic Urn

So it seems that the classic shape of a vase is, despite contentions made in the opening of this article, still at the center of many urn designs. And, while the vase shape can be expanded upon to give it a modern look or a playful look, it also has intrigue and popularity still in its traditional, classic look. The famous poet John Keats made the “Grecian Urn” a style to define a millennium with his legendary poem, and plenty of urn designers still follow that simple, but timeless, style. The rustic vase of the days of antiquity (and before) is still a viable, and easy to find, style for an urn, and there are a surprising number of variations available to make certain that the classic style will likely never lose its luster.

It seems as if we were to debate the word “typically” in our opening dictionary definition of the word urn, we would likely find that the winning side would be the one that kept that word in the definition. Typically speaking, the vase-like design will probably never go out of style — but that’s not to say it’s the only style for an urn.