Cremation: What Does This Mean for Memorials?

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Columbarium at a Long Island cemetery
4 min read

During the grieving process, many people search for the “correct” answer to all of their questions. What is the right inscription for my loved one’s memorial? Which headstone style should I have? What material should the headstone be? The truth is, there are no simple answers in this process. The family should arrange the memorial using their best judgement and intimate knowledge of their loved ones.

This is especially true when determining arrangements for anyone cremated. Most elect to place the urn in a central location within the home. Some choose to utilize a columbarium. Additionally, you can honor cremated loved ones with a burial. Here is some info on cremation, as well as how to create a memorial when a loved one is cremated.

What is Cremation and Why Choose It?

Cremation is the process of reducing a body to bone fragments through intense heat. This usually takes place in a crematorium, which is a facility built for this purpose. The process takes two to three hours, and the resulting ashes are typically stored in an urn.

There are many reasons why people choose cremation. For some, it’s a matter of convenience or cost. Cremation is less expensive than a traditional funeral. It’s also done relatively quickly. Others believe that cremation is more environmentally friendly than burial, as it doesn’t require the use of land. Finally, some people simply prefer the idea of their bodies being reduced to ashes.

Cremation Across Cultures

Cremation is an increasingly accepted custom throughout different cultures. While it is still most common in Hindu and Buddhist societies, cremation is becoming more popular in the Western world. For example, in the US, the cremation rate is now above 50%.

What Does Cremation Mean for Memorials?

Cremation can make planning a memorial service simpler, as there is no need to choose a casket or arrange for burial. Instead, you may choose to scatter or keep them an urn.

Also, memorial services are sometimes held for loved ones that are cremated. A memorial provides an opportunity for friends and family to gather and remember the deceased.

If you are considering cremation, it’s important to think about what you would like to do with the ashes. You may want to scatter them in a place that was special to the deceased, or keep them in an urn or other container. There are many options available, and you can find something that suits your needs and budget.

St Charles Cemetery Exterior

The exterior of St Charles Cemetery containing a Columbarium

Put the Urn in a Memorial Columbarium

If you choose to cremate your loved one, there are still plenty of options for memorializing them. One popular choice is to inter the ashes in a columbarium, which is a structure designed to hold urns. Columbariums can be found in cemeteries, churches, and other public places. They are the most common method of housing ashes.

Columbariums contain various “niches,” or shelves, that the urns sit on. Because of the privacy, they make for respectful ways to pay one’s respects during visits. Generally, a plaque identifying the remains is on the exterior.

Bury the Urn and Memorialize with a Cemetery Monument

Some cemeteries will permit urns to be buried in grave plots. Obviously, urns are significantly smaller than caskets. So, it’s common for cemeteries to allow more than one urn buried in a plot.

Additionally, cemeteries that allow urn burial may require that the urns be placed in an urn vault. Similar to a burial vault, an urn vault prevents remains from seeping into the soil.

Choosing to bury cremated remains in a cemetery will enable you to commemorate your loved one with a headstone. Selecting the right unique monument for your loved one can be difficult, but at St. Charles we’re here to help.

Garden Statue to memorialize a loved one

Garden Statue in honor of a loved one – Created by St Charles Monuments

Memorialize with a Garden Statue

One popular option for honoring a loved one’s memory is to have a garden statue or memorial installed in their honor. This can be a great way to create a lasting tribute that can be enjoyed by everyone who visits the space.

Some choose to scatter remains where the statue will sit. The location can be a significant space to your family or where your loved one spent a lot of time.

If you’re interested in this option, we have a wide selection of statues and monuments to choose from. We can also custom design something unique if you have something specific in mind.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, deciding what to do with cremated remains is a personal decision. There are many options available, and which one you choose depends on what you feel would be the most fitting tribute to your loved one.

At St. Charles Monuments, we specialize in creating beautiful and unique memorials for those who have passed away. Whether you’re interested in a traditional monument or something more creative, we can help you design the perfect tribute to your loved one.


What people say about us

“Thank you Marcus. We drove by the monument yesterday afternoon. My husband and I were very pleased. Thank you for giving us a gift of comfort and peace.”

Mary Amber

“Thank you so much. It has been a comforting and pleasant experience working with St. Charles Monuments. The memorial set looks great.””

Pam Carter

“The headstone is beautiful. They did a fantastic job. Again my family and I thank you for all your help with suggestions and with the arrangements.”

Laura Leddy

“My family and I visited my husband’s grave today. We were very pleased with the results. It looks very nice. Thank you.””

Mrs. Guginsky

 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ