Everything to Know About the Interment of Ashes

Interment of ashes refers to cremated remains being buried in the ground or placed in a columbarium. A columbarium  is a building specially designed to hold ashes. 

Interment is ideal for people who do not wish for their ashes to be scattered or displayed in the home.  

There are also religious reasons for ashes to be interred. For example, Catholicism states that ashes should not be scattered, kept at home, or altered in any way. For Catholics, the interment of ashes is the only option once cremated by rules of their faith. Click here to learn more about how religions from around the world view cremation. 

Additionally, the interment of ashes is a popular option for those families that have filled their desired urns. Interment can allow families to distribute their loved one’s ashes to a different location. 

In this post from the Neptune Society blog, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about the interment of ashes. This post will outline possible locations, types of urns for the interment of ashes, and information regarding interment ceremonies. 

What Are Appropriate Places For Ashes To Be Interred? 

Deciding on the proper final resting place for the ashes of your loved one can be a difficult decision. Consider which regions were meaningful to your loved one, a location that could be considered an ideal final resting place. The location can be where they lived, where they raised their family or where they were born. You should attempt to respect their wishes for their final resting place.

When it comes to where you can inter ashes, you have options: 

  • Columbarium 

Columbariums are buildings, typically found on the property of a cemetery, specifically designed for the interment of ashes. They are essentially mausoleums, but instead of storing caskets, they house cremated remains. 

Columbariums can accommodate multiple individuals and even entire families. Each urn has its own designated space, known as a niche. 

 These niches sometimes display the urns and feature custom engravings.  

  • Cemetery 

You can bury ashes in a cemetery like a casket, so long as you use the proper urn type. As urns are much smaller than caskets, a single burial plot can accommodate multiple urns. It’s essential to check with the cemetery before moving forward with burying multiple urns in a plot. 

Cemeteries may have guidelines that need to be respected. For example, when interring ashes in a cemetery, it’s common for the family to add a standard headstone, just like when burying a casket. 

  • Urn Garden 

They will have a specialized space reserved for urns at some cemeteries, known as an urn garden. These are much smaller plots when compared to typical burial plots, but the cemetery may have special rules regarding headstones and grave markers. 

  • Public Property 

When interring ashes on public property, like a national park, it may be possible to do so with written permission from the party responsible for the public area. However, a permit may be required and presented at the time of burial. The rules for burying ashes on public property are similar to those for scattering ashes on public property — ask for permission first. 

  • Private Property  

If you own a property, It’s perfectly legal to bury an urn on it. But, keep in mind that if you decide to sell, you’ll need to dig up the urn and bring it with you or disclose the presence of human remains to the buyers. If looking to bury ashes on private property owned by another individual, always seek written permission before moving forward with the interment of ashes. 

Choosing The Right Urn For The Interment Of Ashes 

As there are many different kinds of urns, you have to ensure that the one you’re using for the interment of ashes is appropriate for burial or interment. Some urns may degrade over time, so be sure that the urn is composed of durable materials.  Here are some kinds of urns that are appropriate for interment:

  •  Metal & Fine Stone Urns 

Metal and fine stone urns, like granite or marble urns, are ideal for ashes you desire to bury. 

 These are the most durable urns you can find. While they won’t last forever in the ground, they will remain in place for numerous generations before finally degrading into the earth. 

  •  Biodegradable Urns 

Biodegradable urns are an increasingly popular option for those who are eco-conscious and would like to have a “green funeral.The concept of a green funeral allows the deceased to return to the earth as quickly as possible. Green burials are ideal for people who love nature and care for the environment. Biodegradable urns are composed of bamboo, untreated wood, cardboard, and other environmentally friendly materials. 

  •  Decorative Urns 

Decorative urns are a great option for those who wish to have their urn displayed. Some columbariums are able to display urns while protecting them from the elements. 

Since the urn will be on display, a decorative urn that represents and expresses the deceased is an excellent tribute to who they were as a person. Urns that are protected in a columbarium can be made from a variety of materials such as porcelain and glass. 


Check out our blog post on Specialty Urns to learn more about how you can honor your loved one’s personality and passions in a unique and meaningful way. 

What About Interment Ceremonies? 

Ceremonies to accompany the interment of ashes are common, similar to traditional burials. 

Interment ceremonies are similar to graveside services, providing closure and offering family and friends an opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones. 

Funeral Directors & The Interment Of Ashes 

Funeral directors can often help arrange the ceremony and the interment, including acquiring the location and plot for the interment or niche. In addition, you can expect funeral directors to have relationships with the local cemeteries to help the process along and make it seamless in this stressful time of your life. 

Plan The Service Accordingly 

Make sure to plan out how you’d like the interment ceremony to go. Whether it will be a friend, family member, or religious leader conducting the ceremony, it must align with the deceased’s wishes and their family. You have the option to perform a eulogy for your loved ones or say a few kind words to express your feelings. 

 Planning an interment ceremony can be stressful, but it can be a beautiful memorial for the person who has passed away with proper preparation.

 However, suppose you’re unsure how to prepare a cremation memorial. In that case, we have Cremation Memorial Service Ideas that will honor your loved one’s memory with honor, dignity, and love. 

Looking For Assistance With Interring Ashes Of A Loved One? Trust Neptune Society 

At Neptune Society, we have helped countless Americans with the interment of ashes for their loved ones. Through our cremation services and relationships with local cemeteries and funeral homes, we’ve moved the process along smoothly for individuals experiencing the death of a close friend or family member. For more information, contact us online or give us a call today at 1-800-637-8863.


The Neptune Society is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan cremation services in advance, we are always available to assist you and your family.

Call 1-800-NEPTUNE (800-637-8863) today or contact us online to learn more.