In unseren FAQ erhalten Sie hilfreiche Antworten auf häufige Fragen, die sich bei der Planung einer Bestattung und der Auswahl von Urnen ergeben.
Definition: What is an urn?
An urn is a vessel for the ashes of a deceased person.
A distinction is made between an ash capsule and a decorative urn. The ash is filled into the ash capsule after the cremation. The decorative urn is selected by friends, family or relatives of the deceased person. The ash is arranged in the decorative urn during the funeral service. Urns are available in different colours, forms and versions. For more information please go to Individual urns.
What are an urn’s measurements?
The standard ash capsule from the crematorium has the size 16,5 cm x 21 cm. Thus a diameter of 16,5 cm and a height of 21 cm.
So there should be enough space in the urn for a capsule of this size. Furthermore, it shouldn’t be bigger than 25 cm x 25 cm so that it fits into the urn wall, depending on the burial method.
How does an urn look from the inside?
How is an urn constructed?
The structure of an ash capsule is generally always the same. It is black, cylindrical, made from metal, it has a firebrick below, and it is sealed with an engraved metal lid at the top.
The measurements are always the same:
- Diameter 16,5 cm
- Height 21 cm
Exceptions: Urns for animals, urns for children
You can find a photo of an ash capule’s inside in our blog article "What’s an ash capsule?"
After which period of time does an urn decompose?
The periods can vary significantly depending on the soil and weather conditions. In a loose sand soil the process is much faster than for example in loamy soil. For this reason, the cemeteries have different burial times according to the soil compositions.
|Urn's material||Decomposition time when buried in soil|
|Liquid wood||after approx. 5-8 years|
|Beech wood||5-15 years|
|Tree trunk urn||approx. 15 years|
|Vale urns (cellulose based)||2-5 Jahre|
|Urns for sea burials||1-10 weeks|
|Metal||20 until 200 years|
|Marble urns / Glas Urns||Unlimited|
What happens to an urn in an urn wall/columbarium?
Usually, the niches in an urn wall are sealed with glas or stone. Thereby, the normal degenerative process of an organic urn is prevented. The corrosion of metal urns or the decomposition of wooden urns is also extremly decelerated. In this way, the whole urn still exists after the usual 20 years of burial time. Especially marble urns or stainless steel urns are basically undamaged.
Get more information about columbariums in our article "Urn wall – what is a columbarium?".
How deep is the urn buried in the earth?
An urn is mostly between 70 and 90 cm underground. Please check the cemetery regulations for more information.
Urn burial – What to bring along?
You bring flowers to an urn burial.
But it can differ depending on the dependants‘ wish. In some cases, flowers are already organised, and so there is no reason to bring them. Others wish for a donation to charity in the name of the deceased person instead of buying expensive flowers.
To know what to bring to the burial, please ask the person organising the obsequy and the burial in adavance, or contact the responsible undertaker. Depending on the setting of the burial, it can be either more or less appropiate to throw something different than soil into the grave during the burial.
In a handbag for an obsequy belongs: tissues, a sewing kit, waterproofed makeup, a comb, a pencil, a slip of paper; as well as – if necessary – notes with comforting words for the mourners, texts, thoughts, plus an encouraging item.
Urn burial – What things are allowed in the grave?
Only biodegradable objects are allowed for an urn burial.
- Flowers, petals
- Soil, sand
- Paper, letters, photos
Not allowed are:
- Rings and other jewellery
- Cuddly toys
- Non-biodegradable mementos
There are exceptions to this rule. Please contact the undertaker or the cemetery administration in advance for more information, or alternatively read the cemetery regulations
When choosing a flower, please consider any symbolism and the deceased person’s favourite flower.
Chart flower symbolism
|Roses||Love (red), purity (white), restraint (pastel), friendship (yellow)|
|Carnations||Hope (white), generosity, fidelity|
|Tulips||Luck, beauty, evanescence|
|Daffodils||Bride (white), spring (yellow), fertility, victory, sleep, death|
|Lilies||Innocence (white), hope, platonic love, death, mercy, forgiveness|
|Calla||Eternity, elegance -also called death flower|
|Sun flower||Harvest, growth, happiness, good wishes|
|gerbera||Candour, fate, long life|
|Orchid||Beauty, wealth, power, ingenuity|
|Violets||Bescheidenheit, Verschwiegenheit, Groll|
How do I order an urn?
Follow these five easy steps to order an urn:
- Select an urn in our shop.
- Add it to your shopping cart.
- Enter the relevant data for the payment and the shipping, and click on „Go to checkout“.
- Check your data for correctness.
- Finally, confirm your purchase by clicking the button „buy“.
For further questions please contact us.
Can my order directly be sent to the undertaker?
Yes, on request, we gladly send the urn directly to the undertaker. There are no additional costs for you. The invoice is sent to you. Find out more in the category "shipping".
How can I find the right urn?
We purposely offer different kinds of urns as well as a wide range of different motives. You can find all of the urns in our shop, neatly sorted by categories. Furthermore, our infographics help you choosing the right urn.
To find the right urn, you should:
- Decide for a burial method.
- Choose the appropriate material.
- Design 1: Settle on a basic colour or consider a certain artwork for the urn.
- Design 2: Choose a logo, lettering or a self-design
- If necessary: enquire a personal offer and order the urn.
Which material for the urn?
Do you prefer a durable material or a biodegradable urn?
Our biodegradable urns are made from root wood, tree trunks or from so-called liquid wood (set of organic urns). Needless to say that there are also regular wooden urns made from different kinds of woods and in different forms.
All of these urns are decomposable and rot in the earth in the short-term or medium-term. Therefore, these urns are especially suitable for cemeteries with a short burial time. They also meet the requirements for natural burials. For sea burials, we offer special urns.
Which design for an urn?
You wish for another motive? Or you have found a motive, but you would like to have it in another colour? Then we can help. Please contact us with your wishes and details of the design, and we gladly prepare an individual offer (please click here for our contact form).
Is an individual inscription necessary or rather possible?
An individual design of the urn is easily possible. A personal inscription of the urn makes it unique and emphasises the deceased person‘s character. According to our experiece, it makes the mourning for the dependants easier.
In many cases, the name and the date of birth and death are choosen for the inscription. Of course personal texts are also a possible choice. Please just send us a request for that, and we gladly advise you (please click here for our contact form).
You haven’t found the right urn yet?
In this case, please contact us, and we gladly advise you in a personal talk regarding your wishes and improvements. Often a short talk is enough to limit the choices. Alternatively, you can design your urn yourself.
We offer an urn painting set for this case. It includes a blank organic urn plus a colour and brush set. With this set you can be creative and design a unique urn yourself. It’s popular among grandchildren which would like to paint the urn of the deceased grandparents themselves, so they can create a personal urn connected to the deceased person.
You have further questions? Write us your question using the contact form.