Common Questions

How Do I Determine What Size Urn to Choose?

The Simplest Answer: In general, many memorial industry professionals have adopted the following - easy to remember - rule of thumb:

1 pound of Body Weight = 1 CI (cubic inch) of Urn Space

Various Urn Types

Large Size Individual Urns
This is probably the most common sized urn, designed to hold the cremation remains of one individual.  The average amount of cremation remains for an individual is usually a little less than 200 cubic inches, so our large size urns work well in the vast majority of cases.

Small Size Individual Urns
This size is commonly used for a child or a medium/large pet. These urns range in size from 75-94 cubic inches.

Keepsake Urns
These urns are the smallest that are available from the memorial industry. Ours range in size from 14 to 22 cubic inches. The most common use of a keepsake urn is to hold simply a small portion of cremation remains. Keepsake urns are most often used by families who want to share a loved one’s remains. A small portion of the remains are often poured into two or more keepsake urns, and those urns can be divided among families who live in various regions. They are also used for small pets.


How Does the Catholic Church Permit Cremation?

A guide for Catholic Funeral Rites prepared in 1997 by Bishop Emeritus Eugene J. Gerber says the church prefers that the body be present at funeral rites and that it be buried or entombed. When the church first made allowance for cremation, the guide adds, it was only in cases of necessity.
“Today, cases of necessity have increased because of extraordinary economic, geographic, ecological or family factors,” it says. “The church therefore wants to make reverent provision for cremation in these extraordinary situations.”

The cremated remains should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come, the guide says. “This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition.”

The church prefers that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites and that the cremation, if chosen, be done after the liturgy. The guide says cremated remains should be entombed in a mausoleum or a columbarium and should never be scattered or kept in the home of a friend or relative.

What Do I Do with the Cremated Remains?

Urns for Cemetery Interment
Nowadays, cemeteries in large and small communities offer a variety of permanent memorialization options to their cremation families.  From traditional ground burial, to inurnment in a columbarium or mausoleum niche, the type of urn you select will depend on what you plan to do with the cremated remains.

Burial urns can be made up of any material, including wood, marble, bronze, and porcelain.  When ground burial is chosen, most often the urn is placed into an urn vault to help protect it from the elements.

Cremation niches can have a solid front on them where the urn cannot be seen, or in many areas the niche can have a glass front where the urn and personal mementos placed inside the niche are visible. The type of urn suitable for niche interment varies by cemetery.  Based on the size of the niche will determine whether it will accommodate one or more urns as well as the size of urn or urns that will be able to fit inside.  For those cemeteries that offer glass front niches, the opportunity to express the deceased’s personality through the selection of a unique urn is very desirable to some families.



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