Green Burial

Arranging burial for a family member or friend is a decision that most people make just once or twice in their lifetime, often during a time of grief and you may feel unprepared to make this decision, overwhelmed with options and lacking the knowledge needed to make an informed choice.

There are many options for caskets, and they can be customized to fit your individual personality and budget. From an elaborate, bronze casket to a green burial with loved one clothed in only a Linen covering, the professional staff at Taylor Family Funeral Home is here to help you learn more about caskets, the options available and what to consider when choosing a casket or deciding on a green burial for yourself or your loved one.

What is a casket?

A casket is a container which holds the body of someone who has passed away. A casket is used during the visitation or funeral service to allow family and friends an opportunity to say a final goodbye.

After the service, the casket is transported to the final resting place and then buried in-ground or laid to rest aboveground, as in a mausoleum.

Casket materials and features.

Caskets come in a variety of materials with many different features. Although, caskets are not able to permanently preserve a body, the features and materials of the casket bring lasting honor to a loved one. With a wide variety of options, we will help you find the right casket for your family’s plans and budget.

The most common casket materials are listed below.

  • Laminate caskets are made from plywood and covered in a hardwood laminate.
  • Veneered wood caskets are made from high-density fiberboard and then painted with a wood veneer.
  • Steel caskets are available in various thicknesses, from 16 gauge (the thickest) to 20 gauge (the thinnest).
  • Solid wood caskets are fashioned from solid wood varieties including mahogany, walnut, maple, cherry, oak, poplar or pine. Their price can range depending on the variety of wood and features of the casket.
  • Solid copper or bronze caskets are also an option, though they are typically more expensive than wooden caskets.
  • Earth-friendly “green” casket designed to easily decompose when buried. Green caskets are sustainably produced with materials from renewable resources and don’t add toxins to the Earth as they decompose. Some common green casket materials include cork, banana leaf, recycled cardboard, organic cotton and hemp.

Some of the more popular casket features include:

  • A partial opening (half couch) or full opening (full couch) to make it easy for family and friends to see your loved one for a final time during a viewing, visitation or open-casket funeral.
  • Different styles of fabrics to line the interior of the casket, usually polyester, velvet or satin, and various embroidery options for the interior of the casket lid.
  • Exterior ornamental features like handles, designs and emblems.

Is a burial vault needed?

When a casket is buried, the need for a burial vault or outer burial container is dependent on cemetery regulations. An outer burial container is a sealed container which houses the casket underground. It helps protect the casket from damage that may occur from the weight of the earth above it, water or heavy machinery that may be necessary to reach other nearby burial spaces.

Please note that no outer burial container can provide full protection from the elements. Outer burial containers do not come with any guarantee.

When arranging a cremation, one important decision to make is the selection of a cremation container, urn or remembrance item. A variety of styles, colors and materials are available, along with customized options, giving you the choice of selecting something as unique and special as the individual it represents.

From ceramic urns to carved wooden containers and eco-friendly options, you can find the urn that best reflects your loved one to celebrate their life.  We can assist you in planning each aspect of a cremation, including selecting the urn that is right for you.

Full-size funeral urns

Cremation urns come in many shapes and sizes. The most traditional way to remember someone you love is a full-size urn that will hold the cremated remains (or “ashes”). Most people are familiar with vase-shaped urns, but funeral urn designs can be as simple as a beautiful box. The cremation box can be square or rectangle, tall or short.

These choices are very popular among families and the personalization options are numerous, allowing the cremation container to be as unique as the person being remembered.

Materials used for full-sized cremation urn

Urns come in many materials like stone, wood and metal. Let’s look at a few popular options:

  • Stone – For thousands of years, stone has been crafted into items both utilitarian and inspiring. An urn of stone combines these characteristics, transforming a raw material into a work of art. Families may choose between smooth marble, tiger eye (dark in color) and natural textured stone.
  • Wood – Possessing beauty, strength and warmth, a wood urn offers a classically elegant means of preserving a lifetime of memories and can be as understated or expressive as the person it honors. Consider a chest made of birch, cherry or red Alderwood. Some wooden chests have beautiful inlaid stone or wood accents to complement the color of the chest.
  • Metal – Whether burnished to a fine sheen or antiqued to heirloom quality, metal offers lasting strength and unique beauty. Designs of all shapes and styles provide suitable selections for any need. Whether it’s a copper urn with red cascading flowers, a nickel-plated urn with blue accents and a dove design, or an understated, solid, polished pewter or cast-bronze urn, your metal burial urn can represent your loved one’s personality.
  • Glass – Some materials are ultimately made more beautiful through heat. Glass urns exhibit a graceful motion and elegant beauty and represent a unique way to honor and remember. Consider a hand-blown glass bowl with a gilded crown or a beautiful, jewel-tone glass urn.
  • Resin – A resin-based urns combine artificially produced materials with handcrafted artistry. Choices include a floral motif on a deep indigo or burgundy background.
  • Ceramic – Ceramic artwork has been cherished by many cultures throughout history. It can serve as a beautiful way to commemorate a special life. Whether it’s an understated earth tone or a bold rose bouquet, a ceramic urn is a beautiful way to remember your loved one.
  • Eco-conscious – The beauty of nature is unparalleled. These natural-material and scattering urns celebrate the serenity of nature and a personal connection with the land, air and sea. Options include medium-density, fiberboard urns, rock salt urns, sand urns or recycled paper and cardboard. Both the rock salt and sand urns are meant for water or sea burials and will dissolve in the water in a few days or as little as a few hours.

Many full-size urns allow for maximum personalization. The funeral urn can be engraved with names, dates, poems, images, Bible verses or any non-copyrighted writings. The funeral urn can be as unique as the person being remembered.

Keepsake urns for remembrance

Remembering your loved one is part of the healing process. In addition to our full-size urn options, you might choose to give or keep a smaller gift of remembrance with beautiful keepsake urns. These small and precious reminders can help provide comfort for families as you honor and remember the one you loved. Choose from unique styles such as a wooden acorn or a handcrafted brass memento in the shape of a heart, rose or songbird.

Types of keepsake urns

Keepsake urns can be personalized by engraving names and dates, non-copyrighted lyrics, poems or quotes. As with full-size burial urns, there are many materials and shapes to choose from. Many of the full-size funeral urns also come in smaller keepsake sizes.

Materials for keepsake urns

  • Metal – Families can choose from a nickel-plated brass vase, shiny silver-finished brass, an intricately designed rose or a brushed-pewter heart.
  • Stone – Marble or natural textured stone are both options for a stone keepsake.
  • Wood – Wooden keepsakes can come in numerous shapes, such as a rectangle, heart-shaped or square cremation box, a star, or an acorn.
  • Lamps – Imagine a stained-glass butterfly lamp holding the cremated remains of your loved one and resting on a small table. Unique options like both the butterfly and a traditional lamp shape can be an alternative to a traditional-shaped funeral urn.

Alternatives and additions to traditional cremation urns

Scattering urns and biodegradable urns

Elegant scattering urns will allow you to reunite your loved one with the natural spaces they loved. Beautiful urns made of natural rock salt and other biodegradable materials are designed for sea burials or water funerals and will dissolve after a few hours in the water. Biodegradable urns will allow you to place your loved one near a tree or flower garden as a continuation of their love of nature. Please remember to check with your local government, as there are often restrictions on where scatterings can take place.

Cremation containers

When funeral planning for a loved one who has chosen cremation, a cremation container may be selected for use during the funeral or viewing. A cremation container is like a casket and allows friends and family to say goodbye during the funeral ceremony, visitation or viewing before cremation is performed. After the viewing or funeral service, the cremation container is transported to the crematory where the cremation will take place.

Cremation jewelry

A wearable remembrance piece can bring comfort and peace wherever you go. Whether it is a necklace or a charm bracelet, the memory of a loved one can be kept close to you.

Cremation jewelry product options include a lovely charm bracelet with a small charm that holds ashes. This allows for multiple people to have a charm to remember the relationship. A very small container can also be worn as a necklace. Various metals are available, and they can also be personalized by adding names or dates as space allows.

Through keepsakes, whether it is a small urn or cremation jewelry, you can always keep your loved one close with a lasting token of remembrance. Children, grandchildren, spouses, and siblings may especially appreciate a personal way to remember their special relationship.

Here to help

Our selection of merchandise whether you have selected a traditional burial or a cremation, will accommodate all taste and budgets. The professionals at Taylor Family Funeral Home are always available to help you with any questions you may have to customize a fitting tribute for your loved one.

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