Planning your funeral can seem daunting, but it's important to think about where you want your final resting place to be so that your loved ones can honour your wishes.
One option to consider is a columbarium.
Columbaria are buildings or structures that house cremated remains in columbarium niches. A columbarium niche is a space in a wall used to store urns containing cremated remains.
Read on to find out if a columbarium is the right choice for you.
What is a columbarium and what is its purpose?
If you've never heard of it before, you might be wondering, "What is a columbarium?"
A columbarium is a structure with many small compartments called columbarium, or cremation, niches, each designed to hold one or more urns. The word “columbarium” comes from the Latin word for “dovecote,” which is a structure that was used to house doves.
Columbaria can be stand-alone structures, or they can be part of a larger mausoleum complex. They are often found in cemeteries, but they can also be located in other places, such as churches, funeral homes, or private homes.
There are several reasons why people choose to have their cremated remains placed in a columbarium. For some, it is a way to be close to the remains of their loved ones. For others, it is a more affordable option than a traditional ground burial. And for still others, it is simply a matter of preference.
What is a columbarium niche?
A columbarium niche is a small compartment, usually made of stone, marble, or other type of durable material, that is used to hold the cremated remains of a person who has died. Niches store cremation urns and are typically located within the walls of a columbarium structure.
They can be purchased outright, or they can be rented on an annual basis. Columbarium niches can accommodate one or more urns, depending on their size.
What are the benefits of choosing a columbarium?
There are many benefits to choosing a columbarium for your final resting place. Columbaria are typically less expensive than traditional ground burials, about a third of the price, since there is no need to purchase a casket or burial plot.
They are also more environmentally-friendly, as columbarium niches require less land than a traditional cemetery (usually 32 square feet per grave plot).
Finally, they provide a place for friends and family to gather and remember the person who passed away, allowing you to memorialize your loved one in a unique and special way.
How can you find the right columbarium for your needs and budget?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a columbarium. The first is location. You will need to decide whether you want the columbarium to be located in a cemetery, church, funeral home, or some other location. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks.
The second factor to consider is cost. Columbaria can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the size, style, and location.
The third factor is what type of cremation urn you will use. There are many different types of urns available, from simple plastic or ceramic models to more elaborate bronze or wood designs. The type of cremation urn you choose will largely be a matter of personal preference.
What should you consider when choosing a columbarium niche?
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a columbarium niche. The first is size. You will need to make sure that the urn you have chosen will fit comfortably in the columbarium niche.
The second is location. Some people prefer to have their cremation niche close to the ground, while others like to have it higher up. There is no right or wrong answer here, it is simply a matter of preference.
The third is decoration. Many columbaria allow you to personalize the appearance of your niche with things like photos, mementos, and engraved nameplates. This can be a nice way to make the space your own and to honour the memory of your loved one.
What is the process for interring ashes in a columbarium?
The process for interring (placing) ashes in a columbarium is generally quite simple. The first step is to contact the columbarium provider and let them know that you would like to arrange for a columbarium niche.
They will then provide you with a list of documents for you to fill out and sign. These may include an interment authorization form, a cremation certificate, and a death certificate.
Once all of the paperwork has been completed, you will need to deliver the urn containing the ashes to the columbarium. The staff will then place the urn in the niche you have chosen and seal it.
How can you personalize columbarium niches?
There are many ways to personalize a columbarium niche. The most common is to add a photo or other memento of your loved one. You can also have their name and dates engraved on a nameplate.
Some columbaria also allow you to add special lighting, such as LED lights or solar-powered candles. This can create a nice ambiance and make the space more personal.
Columbarium etiquette - what to expect and how to behave
When visiting a columbarium, it is important to remember that it is a place of reverence and respect.
There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting:
- Dress conservatively. Avoid loud colours or patterns, and avoid revealing clothing.
- Speak quietly. This is not the time for loud conversations or laughter.
- Be respectful of other visitors. Do not intrude on someone else's grief or space.
- Follow the columbarium's rules. Some places may have specific rules about photography, smoking, or what you can and cannot bring inside.
Following these simple guidelines will help to ensure that everyone has a respectful and enjoyable experience when visiting a columbarium.
Planning for your funeral can seem like a daunting task, but it’s one that is important to do so that your loved ones can honour your wishes after you pass.
We hope this blog post has helped to demystify the process of choosing a columbarium and gives you the information you need to make an informed decision about where you want your ashes interred.
If you have any questions about planning your funeral, including getting final expenses or funeral insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to reach out to us - we are here to help.
What is the difference between a mausoleum and a columbarium?
Both a mausoleum and a columbarium are permanent public memorials for large groups of people. Both memorials can house dozens or even hundreds of remains. Mausoleums, however, are designed for entire bodies. On the other hand, columbaria are designed to hold cremation urns.
What is the difference between a columbarium and a cemetery?
A columbarium is a type of memorial, like a mausoleum or monument. A cemetery, on the other hand, is a piece of land where people can be buried. This is where a more traditional burial takes place.
Cemeteries may have columbaria on their grounds, but not all do.
What do you put in a columbarium niche?
The columbarium niches are the section within a columbarium, which are for containing the ashes after someone has been cremated. The ashes are typically in an urn or other container, which is placed into the columbarium niche and then sealed.