Inurnment Ceremony Ideas

Let's take a look at inurnment ceremony ideas to honor your loved one.

What is Inurnment?

Inurnment is the technical term for when the cremated remains (or "ashes") are placed into the urn.

Similar to "interment", which is when a body is placed into a grave or tomb, inurnment is the equivalent idea for when the body is cremated and the remains are put into the final resting place.

What is an Inurnment Ceremony?

An inurnment ceremony is a ritual observance meant to show honor and respect to the deceased as their remains are being placed into a cremation urn.

Inurnment ceremonies are also called cremation ceremonies, although the latter sometimes refers to a ceremony at the time of cremation.

Because the urn is the "final resting place" for the individual's cremated remains, many families choose to make the inurnment a formal and dignified occasion by having a eulogy, saying prayers, singing songs, observing a moment of silence, or other gestures of respect.

Who Does the Inurnment?

Most often the funeral director will do the inurnment for you. If you prefer, you can do it, or you can ask a family member or close friend to do it.

If you would like the funeral director to inurn the ashes for you, but you still want to have an inurnment ceremony, talk to them about it. They'll be happy to comply with any wishes you have to honor your loved one.

On the other hand, you can choose to inurn the ashes yourself. Here's how to open and fill a cremation urn (videos of various types of urns being opened; wood, metal, etc).

If you are purchasing a cremation urn online, you can either fill the urn yourself or bring it in to the funeral home and ask the funeral director to do it for you.

All right... now that some of the basics are covered, let's look at the inurnment ceremony itself.

Inurnment Ceremony Ideas

Here are some creative, thoughtful, and meaningful ideas for an inurnment ceremony.

Choose a Special Place and Time

Some people prefer to have the inurnment right away, as soon as possible. In this case, ask the funeral home or crematorium if they have a special or nice room you can use, such as a chapel.

If you would prefer to wait for a specific date or until family members can be present, schedule the inurnment accordingly.

You can also inurn the ashes at a special location, such as a favorite hiking spot, in their workshop, or in their beloved garden in the backyard.

Invite People & Dress Up

Inurnment ceremonies are much smaller and more intimate than a funeral, where everyone is invited. So keep it to just the closest family members and friends.

Tell them ahead of time your plans for the ceremony, and let them know so they can dress appropriately - Sunday-best for at the funeral home, or hiking clothes for a remote location.

Say a Few Words (or Give a Full Eulogy)

Open up the ceremony with a prayer or quote, light a candle, or just say a few words. You can simply thank everyone for coming, go into detail about about their legacy, or give a full eulogy. It's up to you!

Share Stories

Everyone will have fond memories of your dearly departed one. And in a small gathering, more people are likely to open up and share something. So invite those who wish to do so to share a favorite story or something that they loved and will miss about the person.

Sing Songs

Christians love to come together to sing. It's entirely appropriate to sing at a funeral, and it's equally appropriate to sing at an inurnment. Choose a favorite hymn or two, print out or text everyone the lyrics, and sing together.

Other traditions enjoy singing together as well. (I'm a Christian, so that's what I know best.) Whatever is meaningful in your faith or family tradition, do it. It will be meaningful for those present.

Say Prayers

Same thing here - if your faith tradition involves prayers, say some prayers. Invite the pastor or minister to attend and lead a prayer, or use one of these Scriptural prayers that are ideal for a funeral.

Have a Moment of Silence

This is a way to help everyone gather their thoughts as you remember and honor the memory of your loved one.

Play a Favorite Song

With portable speakers or even just your phone, it's easy to play a favorite song anywhere you have the ceremony. Take the time to reflect on the life of your loved one.

Show a Slideshow

Pair a favorite song or two with a slideshow of photos and videos. This is simple to do with one of many online slideshow makers.

Have a Reception

Invite everyone to stay to break bread and spend time together. Serve dinner, hors d'oeuvres, dessert, or have a potluck. Catch up with one another, comfort and encourage one another, and cherish the memories of your loved one that you shared.

Show Off the Urn

If you're going through all of this for the inurnment, you'll want a beautiful and meaningful urn for the ashes. Shop our collection of premium and unique cremation urns here to find the perfect memorial.