Here we try to answer any questions you may have about funeral urns. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What is a funeral urn and what is it used for?
Called a funeral urn or cinerary urn, the urn is actually a closed vase in which the ashes of a deceased person are kept after cremation.
It can be made of marble, bronze, stone, alabaster, ceramic or even biodegradable materials such as cardboard.
The ashes and the funeral urn
The funeral urn is legislated in France for its manufacture, use and deposit. Amalgamation is often performed, but a funeral urn can be distinguished from a reliquary. The latter can only hold part of the ashes of the deceased, whereas a funeral urn contains all the ashes of the missing person. However, from a legislative point of view, this difference in vocabulary is not made.
It is the duty of undertakers to deliver the ashes of the deceased in their entirety to the next of kin. All in one container. As a result, ashes can only be deposited or scattered in one place. The ashes are not deposited directly in contact with the walls of the urn. Inside the so-called decorative urn there is a container which is sealed inside the urn.
What is cremation?
Cremation is a process by which the body is incinerated to be reduced to ashes at a high temperature. The body is placed in a casket or container and the casket or container is inserted into a 1200 degree Celsius preheated cremation device.
Cremation can last from 2 hours to 2.5 hours.
After cremation, bone fragments (cremated remains) remain which are turned into ashes, cooled and then pulverized into a fine powder. These remains are placed in the funeral urn purchased by the family. The total duration of this process is about 3 hours.
May you transport a funeral urn?
You can carry a funeral urn in the cabin or in the hold.
- In cabin
Maximum dimensions are those of carry-on baggage: for instance 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm.
- In the cabin and in the hold – The urn must be sealed and packed in a container that does not allow other passengers to identify it as such.
You must be in possession of a certificate from the crematorium, in order to avoid the opening of the urn by the security services.
Most domestic U.S. airlines will transport cremated human remains, either as air cargo or in your checked or carry-on baggage.
However, there are many rules and regulations governing the transport of cremated human remains for which you must plan.
Is it possible to attend the cremation?
It is indeed possible for relatives to attend the cremation.
Is it necessary to make funeral arrangements even if cremation is chosen?
One of the advantages of cremation is that it allows a lot of flexibility in making funeral arrangements. The memorial ceremony may be held before the cremation, with the deceased displayed in a casket, at the time of the cremation or afterwards, with the urn present.
Do you I have to buy a casket if decide to have the memorial service before burial?
Most funeral homes provide casket rentals. “Shell caskets” are now available, in which a more standard casket, with fabric and padding, is placed. This standard casket, which will receive the remains, will burn with the rest. Only the “shell casket” is kept and can be used several times.
What options are available for the disposal of ashes?
You can choose to bury an urn in the ground. In this case, a bronze plaque or monument may be used to mark its location.
Columbariums are also available in several cemeteries: these are places composed of compartments intended for urns.
Cremation allows several options for the disposition of the ashes: burial in earth, in a niche, kept by a family member or placed in another location, chosen by the deceased.
Is it possible to dispose of the ashes in any other way?
It is possible to have your ashes scattered in a meaningful place, as long as this ritual is permitted by the local authorities. However, it is best to discuss this option with your family and friends.
Is it possible to keep the ashes at home?
Of course it is! Funeral urns are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, as well as materials. So it’s easy to keep your loved one’s urn at home, if you prefer.
If you or the deceased person did not choose a burial site, and you want to take some time to think about it, it is entirely possible to keep the urn.
The sizes of the funeral urn
When choosing the funeral urn, you have to consider the capacity of the urn.
For funeral urns:
- 0.5 liters for newborns,
- 2 liters for people of medium build,
- up to 3.5 liters for heavy people.
A fireproof cinerary bag is placed inside the urn to contain the remains.
A transport pocket is also provided to carry the urn discreetly while protecting it.
If the funeral urn complies with a strict regulatory framework, the aesthetics are free.
The funerary urn can therefore be made of wood, resin, ceramic, porcelain, granite, metal, clay or, more recently, cellulose, with an ecological concern.
Depending on its destination, it must be biodegradable (sea or burial in nature), or non-degradable if the urn is to be placed in a burial site.
Aesthetics are not subject to any particular constraints, so all shapes and materials are possible, at all prices.
Legislation for funeral urns
Funeral legislation is governed by several articles.
Each state, and even each county, has its own variations on federal regulations governing the cremation process. There is usually at least a 24-hour waiting period after the death before the deceased can be cremated, but in some states the law on cremation states that 48-hours must lapse between the death and the cremation. The coroner or public health department can override this if there is a public health concern and the body must be immediately disposed of.