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Everything You Need to Know About Urn Burial

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When it comes to honoring the memory of a loved one, choosing a suitable urn for burial is a personal decision. It’s not just about finding a receptacle for ashes; it’s about selecting a vessel that reflects the unique spirit and journey of the individual. This guide will explore options for urn burial, factors to consider when choosing an urn, and how to conduct the burial with respect and love.

This guide aims to walk you through various aspects of urn selection and burial, offering both information and comfort as you make these important decisions.

Options for Burying an Urn

You will find several ways of burying an urn. Here are a few popular options:

  • Using a “temporary urn” in which you receive the ashes
  • Using a custom-built cremation urn
  • Using a biodegradable urn for an eco-friendly approach
  • Securing the urn in a burial vault 
  • Keeping the remains of loved ones in a shared urn

Furthermore, you can choose from various location options for urn burial, such as cemetery, home, nature, and more. We have elaborated this for you below.  

The Right Place for Urn Burial 

Urn burial in the cemetery

Cemeteries offer a serene, dedicated space for memorializing. Many have specific areas or niches for urns, providing a physical location for visitation and reflection.

Urn burial in nature

Natural settings can provide a peaceful resting place. For those who felt a deep connection with the natural world, laying their ashes to rest in a beloved natural setting can be profoundly meaningful. Ensure you have the necessary permissions and that it’s an environmentally responsible choice.

A forest guide carries an urn used for mixing ashes and soil through a Better Place Forests Memorial Forest in preparation for a forest ceremony

Urn burial at home

Home burials offer a personal touch and a constant connection. It’s a way to keep your loved one close in a familiar, comforting environment. Check local regulations to ensure compliance.

Urn burial at a meaningful place

If your beloved was fond of nature and it added meaning to their existence, you can have a memorial tree for them and bury the urn under it, gifting them a place amidst nature. Better Place Forests offers memorial tree services in multiple US regions. 

Factors to Consider When Buying a Cremation Urn for Burial 

Burial vault

A burial vault is an additional protective layer that shelters the urn from the elements and maintains the integrity of the burial site. Several cemeteries will ask you to place the urn in a burial vault before the ceremony.

Material suitable for burial urns for ashes

Materials like stone, metal, and biodegradable substances offer unique qualities and symbolic meanings. While stone, marble, and metal urns for burial offer longevity, durability, and strength, biodegradable materials are ideal for a natural burial. You can choose the materials based on your choice of burying the urn. 

Material not suitable for burial urns

It is equally significant to understand that certain materials may not withstand underground conditions or may not align with eco-friendly practices. The materials to avoid burial urns are wood, glass, and ceramics. Wood is prone to decay over time, and glass and ceramics are notorious for their fragile nature, limiting them to withstand underground conditions.  

Size of the urn

The size of the urn is an important practical consideration, determined by the amount of ash and the intended burial site. The standard size for an adult is approximately 200 cubic inches. Always confirm the size before purchasing.

The Right Ways to Bury an Urn 

Embarking on the final journey of laying a loved one to rest in an urn is a ritual that weaves together respect, love, and the honoring of a life well-lived. Here are some thoughtful approaches to ensure the burial of an urn is carried out with dignity and care:

Adhering to cemetery regulations

If you choose a cemetery, familiarize yourself with its specific rules and guidelines. Each cemetery might have its protocols regarding urn burials, including the use of burial vaults, placement, and marker types.

Ensuring proper sealing

To protect the integrity of the ashes, ensure the urn is appropriately sealed. It is crucial, especially if the burial site is in a natural setting, to safeguard against environmental elements.

Incorporating personal touches

Personalizing the burial ceremony can be a beautiful way to honor your loved one. It could include reading a favorite poem, playing a significant song, or inviting attendees to share cherished memories.

Eco-conscious burial practices

If opting for an eco-friendly burial, consider biodegradable urns. These urns return the ashes to the earth, aligning with a natural life cycle.

If you want eco-friendly options, consider spreading ashes around a Memorial Tree in a protected forest. Talk to a Guide to learn more.

Respecting legal and ethical boundaries

Always ensure your chosen burial method complies with local laws and regulations, especially when burying an urn in non-traditional locations like private property or natural landscapes.

Inviting family participation

Encourage family members and close friends to be part of the burial process. Their involvement can provide emotional support and a sense of collective healing.

A ceremonial table hold an urn used for mixing ashes and soil in a Better Place Forests Memorial Forest.

Seeking professional guidance

Don’t hesitate to seek advice from funeral professionals. They can offer valuable insights and assistance in planning and executing the burial, ensuring everything is done respectfully and according to your wishes.

By approaching the burial of an urn with these considerations in mind, you create a space of reverence and respect, offering a fitting tribute to the memory of your beloved.


Choosing an urn for burial is a significant step in the journey of remembrance, encapsulating love, memories, and the eternal bond shared with those who have passed. It’s a decision that encapsulates love, memories, and the lasting bond we share with those who have passed. 

Whether you choose a traditional burial or a more personalized approach, the most crucial aspect is that it feels right for you and honors the spirit of your loved one.


What is the best type of urn for burial?

The best type depends on personal preferences, environmental considerations, and burial location. Durable materials like stone and metal or biodegradable options are commonly chosen for cremation urns for burials.

How big an urn do you need for human remains?

An urn for an adult typically needs a capacity of about 200 cubic inches, but this can vary based on the individual’s stature.

Can you bury an urn in your backyard?

Yes, in many places, but somebody should check local regulations and zoning laws to ensure compliance. Consider long-term implications and property transfers.

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