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Using Urn Displays During a Memorial Service

There are so many beautiful, touching, and creative ways to hold a memorial service for a cremated loved one, whether within a loved one's backyard, a Church, or a funeral home. Losing someone you love is one of the most profoundly challenging journeys we may faceā€”end-of-life planning and the little details can add to that stress quickly. Many of us may get caught up in the other significant information when pre-planning a memorial service. During a time of mourning and trying to do right by a loved one who left no instructions, we could miss a vital aspect of service: decorating and using cremation urns in a memorial.

Today, we will share some ideas that may help get you started. 

Why Have Urn Displays in Memorial Services? 

When a loved one passes away, finding ways to honor their memory and life is often a significant facet of the grieving process for family and friends. A memorial service is one of the occasions where friends and family can gather to celebrate, remember, pay respects, and mourn a lost loved one. For loved ones who have chosen cremation, displaying a cremation urn becomes one of the central aspects of these services. The memorial cremation urn display is often on a table and has a fundamental place in end-of-life celebrations. 

An urn display serves as a focal point for the service and symbolically represents the person who has recently passed away. Urn displays customized with photos, mementos, favorite items, or any other object along the table with the urn tell the story of a person's life, creating a poignant connection for those who knew and loved the deceased. 

An urn and its display can become a symbol of presence, a story of a person's life, a vessel for emotion, and a cultural and personal statement by the deceased. 

Traditional Urn Display Inspiration

Selecting a suitable urn is the first pivotal step in planning an urn display for a memorial service. A few ideas for a more traditional urn display you may like are: 

  • Timeless, classic elegance. Urns that fit the ideal of timelessness are high-gloss, metal, jet-black granite, or black wood urns paired with a white draped table. Consider white flowers such as carnations, lilies, orchids, or roses for a floral arrangement. Consider a mix of black and white frames of various sizes with photos of the loved one to surround the urn, and add a soft touch by having a flameless candle burning at the table, should you wish. 
  • Nature's touch. If a loved one enjoyed whittling, carving, carpentry,  woodworking, or nature in general, consider a breathtaking urn created from or made to resemble Brazilian Cherry Wood. Cherry wood's warm, rich, earthy tones work well paired with warm beige, brown, or soft reds, or you can make the cherry wood urn a visual focal point by considering placing items of contrasting colors such as cool blue or green. You can gather items the deceased family member may have carved and created or their well-loved carpentry belt and favorite tools. Or surround the cherry wood urn with objects your nature-loving loved one adored in their life. Red roses, while signifying love, can signify eternal love or pair with red carnations. 

Ideas for Themes or Personal Touches For An Urn Display

Once you've found the urn that resonates most with you and your loved ones, you may be unsure what to decorate with around the urn. We hope these ideas can inspire you. 

  1. Items that represent their hobbies and passions. For example, if they were an avid musician, you may wish to display their favorite instrument or something representing it. You could also consider adding sheet music featuring their favorite songs. If they were a collector, you might wish to display a few prized pieces, and if they were artists, consider adding a creation of theirs or brushes and other implements they used to create their work. 
  2. Items that the deceased loved one created or gave to friends and family that they feel represented them. 
  3. If they were sports fans, surround their urn with their teams' favorite colors or display beloved jerseys and team memorabilia. 

Whichever you decide to do, know there is no right or wrong way to decorate an urn display regarding your grief. The thoughtfulness behind creating the display is often an emotional release for those making it and those who can see it and can help toward the healing journey.

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