A World of Memorial Uses
Memorial urns today are almost synonymous with cremation, hence they are often called, at least in Western cultures, memorial cremation urns. But, before a discussion of memorial cremation urns proceeds, it might be interesting and useful to think of all the other uses mankind has for urns in general.
In pottery terms, urns are simply vases, and, like vases, they have been put to any number of uses besides the storing of cremation remains. Urns have been used over the years to store water, flowers, and even, in the 16th century, dinner knives. One of the most famous memorial urns in the world today, in fact, has nothing to do with cremation: an urn is the coveted prize in a legendary biannual cricket competition between England and Australia. The competition is known as The Ashes, and the famous prize is an urn filled with the ashes of a cricket stick that was burned hundreds of years ago, before the competition series began.
Given all of these non-cremation-related uses of urns, it should not be surprising if, in most of the world, where cremation ashes are not necessarily stored in urns, urns are not associated with cremation as readily as they are in the United States. A retailer who runs an “urn store” in, say, New Delhi, India, might in fact be surprised to hear requests for “memorial urns” designed for cremation ashes. It is likely that he or she might never have even considered such a use for the store’s products.
That said, the types of memorial cremation urns intended specially for cremation in the United States, and other Western cultures, vary almost as much as do the other uses for urns. Memorial urns intended for cremation ashes have historically followed classic shapes and designs. The famous “Grecian Urn” is still a model in common use today. (But it is interesting to note that the famous poem by John Keats “Ode to a Grecian Urn” does not specifically mention cremation. In fact, the poem can conceivably be discussing any number of other types of urns.)
But memorial urns for cremation are also available in many, many other styles today. Memorial urn selection is as varied as the individuals for whom the urns are to be memorialized. Memorial urns are made of almost every conceivable material, style and design imaginable. They can be made of wood, bronze, metal, marble, glass, or ceramic, and they certainly do not all follow traditional “Grecian” designs. A quick look at any retailer’s memorial urn selection today, is likely to evoke responses ranging from “weird” to “interesting” to “beautiful” to “wild.” And, most certainly, the final reaction to at least one piece will usually be “perfect.” The variety of cremation urn options ensures a memorial tribute that will be as unique as the lifetime of memories it will preserve.
Whatever their design or style, memorial cremation urns remain timelessly appropriate for memorializing a loved one because they can be personalized. The décor of memorial urns can speak volumes about the people the urns memorialize, assuring that memories stay alive for generations to come. So, while cremation and memorial urns may be synonymous with cremation in only parts of the world, there is definitely a wide variety of memorial urns available to make the urns synonymous with any personality and spirit of any man or woman. And that makes memorial cremation urns perfect for remembering your loved one.