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Different Types of Urns

Cremating the body of a loved one is an option for funerals that has become more and more commonly exercised. After the cremation, however, the ashes (or more accurately, the cremation remains) are left for the family of the deceased to deal with. Some choose to have the remains scattered, be it at sea, or in the air, or on land. The most common option, however, is to have the remains stored in an urn.

The major differentiating factor between the various types of funerary urns is their capacity in cubic inches. In general, one will require one cubic inch of space within an urn per pound the deceased weighs.

Cremation urns, the most common kind of funerary urn, have a capacity of around 200 to 300 cubic inches. In other words, they are intended to store the remains of one normal adult person. They tend to be simply decorated, seeing as they are usually interred in niches in a columbarium following the cremation process. Some, however, are more intricately decorated. These are the ones that are usually placed in homes for display.

Companion urns are much less common. They have capacities of 400 to 500 cubic inches, and if you couldn’t tell from the name, they’re meant to hold the remains of two adult individuals. Apart from being larger, they’re functionally the same as normal (single) cremation urns, though most of these urns tend to be buried, seeing as how most of them tend to be shared by a couple; consequently, there is little need to keep urns like these in the home since both parties of the marriage are deceased.

Keepsake urns are almost as popular as conventional cremation urns. They tend to have small capacities, usually only up to about 50 cubic inches, and they are not meant to store the remains of an entire human body. Rather, they contain portions of the ashes of the deceased. They are usually employed when the ashes are to be divided among several family members, or if the ashes are to be scattered, but it is desirable to retain some of the ashes for sentimental purposes. Keepsake urns are generally much smaller than cremation or companion urns; some of them are small enough to be used as pendants and other jewelry, which is a poignant way of keeping your departed loved ones close to your heart. Keepsake urns are usually more decorated than either the cremation or the companion urns, since they are meant more for public display, and as such, need to look more presentable.

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