Urn Vaults: Providing Ultimate Protection For Cremation Urns
Regardless of the many choices people have for cremation urns for ashes, some families prefer to stick with tradition. Historically, cremation urns have been stored in a permanent place in a cemetery, or otherwise kept at home. People who wish to have their ashes placed in an urn and put to final rest in a consecrated cemetery should consider purchasing an urn vault to hold their urns. Urn vaults are often required by cemetery administrators for proper maintenance of a person’s final remains. There are many different styles available for an urn vault, so that people can select the vault that is best for their needs.
Burial Options for Cremation Urns
When people wish to have their urns put in a cemetery, they can choose between a traditional burial plot and a columbarium. Columbaria are not unlike mausoleums, beautiful buildings on a cemetery’s property designed to house human remains. Depending on the individual cemetery’s rules and local regulations, those who want to put their ashes in the columbarium may need to purchase an urn vault. If columbaria are not available, some families decide to purchase a burial plot. This is often done in cases where one member of a family wishes to be cremated and buried with relatives who were buried traditionally. In this case, urn vaults are often required.
History of Cremation Burial
Although the widespread popularity of cremation is fairly recent, people have sought different ways to keep the ashes of their loved ones for thousands of years. Throughout history, families often preferred to keep their loved ones’ remains underground. For example, archaeologists have discovered columbaria built and kept by the Etruscans well over 2,000 years ago. This protected the ashes from theft, vandalism or accidental scattering.
What is an Urn Vault?
More recently, people realized that they need a way to protect their loved ones’ remains without necessarily having to put cremation urns for ashes underground. Thus, the urn vault came to be. Simply put, an urn vault is a sturdy container that will typically hold one or two urns. The material for the urn vault varies, although many are made from wood or stone. Others may be made from concrete or special polymers that are designed to avoid erosion over time. The principle behind the urn vault is to provide an additional layer of protection, so that the person’s ashes are not scattered by weather or vandalism.
Why Urn Vaults?
Beyond following the rules of a cemetery, many people wonder why they should consider buying an urn vault. The reasons are many, and they are as varied as the people who have their ashes contained within. Most families opt to use an urn vault because they want to have the ashes buried in a cemetery, and the cemetery requires it. Others may have different perspectives on the matter. When burying the ashes of several family members in a columbarium is not an option, people might select an urn vault that will keep them together for eternity. Some realize that their chosen urns are not sturdy enough to withstand burial on their own. An urn vault provides the support needed for an urn to maintain its shape underground, despite the movement of the earth or necessary cemetery maintenance.
Styles For Urn Vaults
Like urns, urn vaults offer some excellent choices in styles and customization. First, families should consider whether they would like the vault to hold one urn or more. Second, they may select the material they would like for the urn vault. These include:
Most urn vaults are lined with other materials, such as metals or plastics, which are also designed to prevent penetration by water, insects or rodents. Third, people simply need to settle on the design that fits their needs. Some vault manufacturers offer a specific, interesting design cut directly into the vault, as well as many different colors to choose from. Others are more plain and traditional, with a sleek, elegant presentation.
Adding custom choices is important to help cemetery maintenance staff identify the remains contained within without having to disturb the urns. Most vault manufacturers offer customization in the form of handmade engraving on brass plates that are attached to the front or top of the urn vault. Some vaults provide the option to add pictures of the people whose ashes are buried there. For vaults that hold more than one urn, the ability to add separate plates for each person is useful, particularly if the vault is created when one person has passed and the other is still living.
For families who choose to cremate and bury their loved ones in a cemetery, urn vaults provide the level of class and protection to their beloved’s final rest. The act of burying cremation urns for ashes has a long and rich history. Urn vaults now allow people to ensure that their cremation urns will be protected for decades to come. With the many choices available for materials, lining, colors, styles and customization options, families can select the urn vaults that best represent the personality and flair of their loved ones.