Cremation urns have become increasingly common, allowing family members to choose their loved one’s resting place. Some prefer to cherish their memory at home on a mantelpiece, while others request a cremation niche that’s more permanent. As your family prepares the burial arrangements, consider the following memorial options available for cremation.
Public and private columbaria
A columbarium is a room or building that houses cremation urns. They’re similar to mausoleums—the only difference being columbaria are resting places for cremated remains rather than the bodies of loved ones. Every columbarium contains two or more niches, which are the compartments that hold the urns.
Columbaria have become popular memorial options available for cremation. Family members can choose to honor their loved one in either a public or private columbarium. Public columbaria are open to the community where anyone can stop by to pay their respects. The niches in a public columbarium hold loved ones from various different families.
You also have the option of housing your loved one in a private columbarium. Access is limited to family members and close friends, and every cremation niche is reserved for future generations of a particular household. Private columbaria often hold companion niches, which allow two people to share a resting place.
Types of cremation niches
A cremation niche is the compartment within a columbarium that holds a loved one’s urn. The most common materials are glass and granite, both of which have their benefits. Glass niches are a great memorial option available for cremation because they allow friends and family to view the urn housed inside. You can open up the niche and place mementos next to the urn like flowers, letters and photographs. However, glass niches aren’t weather resistant and must be kept indoors.
On the other hand, granite niches are impervious to the natural elements and are designed to last many generations outside. Granite is the perfect material for mounting bronze epitaphs and burial decorations. The stone is more traditional than glass and is available in a wide range of colors including black, brown, pink, gray and more. The only downside to granite niches is you can’t view the urn or place mementos next to it.
Some families may choose to immortalize the memory of a loved one by housing their urn inside a memorial bench. These benches make gorgeous additions to cemeteries, but the family can also request to have it placed at their private residence. Alternatively, family members can reserve a cremation niche for their loved one and still have a bench created in their memory.
All these choices can get overwhelming in a time of great loss. The monument makers at Steedley Monument Works will create a resting place designed uniquely for your loved one, so you can focus on processing the grief with friends and family. Our mission is to craft niches as memorable as the people whose cremains inhabit them. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more—we’re committed to assisting you during this difficult time.