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What is a Temporary Urn?

Temporary urns are the typical method funeral homes and crematories use to hand over the cremated remains at the end of the cremation process. Families can hold cremated remains in a temporary urn for numerous reasons, including transfer to a permanent urn, flying cremated remains on a plane, traveling with cremated remains or shipping cremated remains, temporarily storing the ashes before an ash scattering ceremony, and more.

What is a temporary urn?

A temporary urn is the container that cremated remains are placed in after a cremation is complete. Temporary urns are usually made out of cardboard boxes or plastic boxes and are not meant to hold remains permanently. The cremated remains are typically placed in a plastic bag that is then placed inside of the temporary plastic cremation urn or temporary cardboard cremation container.

Do I need to have a temporary urn?

If you have purchased an urn directly from the funeral home or cremation company, you may never see a temporary urn as the funeral home or crematory will deposit the ashes directly into the urn you purchased. If you purchased an urn online, you can bring the urn to your funeral home or cremation company and request that they deposit the ashes directly into the urn.

How do I get help transferring remains from my temporary urn to a permanent urn?

Since temporary urns usually hold the cremains in a plastic bag, you can generally pull the plastic bag of cremated remains out and place them into the permanent urn. Some prefer to keep the cremated remains in a plastic bag even in the permanent urn as well. Your funeral home director will usually help you make the transfer from temporary urn to permanent urn if you request help, even if you purchased the urn elsewhere.

Purchase an urn

How much are temporary urns?

Temporary urns are usually very inexpensive, sometimes costing less than a dollar. Some funeral homes may not explicitly bill for the temporary urn and will instead wrap it into the total price for a cremation; other funeral homes may include the small charge as an item on your bill. If you have your own urn or would like to avoid this cost, speak with your funeral director before the cremation takes place.

Can I keep a temporary urn instead of buying a regular urn?

You are able to keep a temporary urn until you're ready to move the ashes into a permanent urn or use them in a different memorializing way. Temporary urns are typically plastic or cardboard boxes, so you'll want to make sure it's not damaged if you intend to keep it longer term.

How to open plastic cremation box

Temporary cremation boxes are relatively easy to open, since they’re meant for temporary storage and eventual deposit into a different vessel. Most temporary cremation containers are simply boxes with a lid that you can open as you would open any plastic box. Additionally, you’ll likely see the cremains inside a plastic bag that’s located in the plastic cremation box. If you need assistance opening your cremation container, it’s a good idea to ask your funeral director for assistance.

Temporary urns are an important part of the cremation process, but are still only temporary vessels for your loved one’s ashes. If you’re searching for beautiful and affordable urns, be sure to check online before making a purchase at your chosen funeral home. Many funeral homes have a more limited selection (when compared to online marketplaces) and will likely cost you more than if you had purchased an urn online.

Find an urn

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Last updated March 21, 2022
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