After cremation services in Adelphi, MD, you have a lot of options for what you want to do with your loved one’s cremation remains. One option that you have is to permanently store the cremation remains of your loved one in a columbarium niche.
A columbarium is a structure that contains small vaults where urns with the cremation remains of loved ones can be stored. A columbarium may be a separate building in a cemetery, or it might be part of a cemetery mausoleum.
However, a columbarium is a final resting place for the cremation remains of loved ones, so it is treated with respect and honor just like any other final resting place.
Each vault (also known as a niche) in a columbarium is large enough to hold urn or cremation container with your loved one’s cremation remains, as well as a few small items that may have had special meaning to your loved one.
Some columbarium niches have a clear piece of glass (that lets you see the contents inside the niche) with memorial information for your loved one on a plate underneath the niche. Other columbarium niches have solid grave maker (with your loved one’s memorial information on them) covering them.
If you want your loved one’s cremation remains stored in a particular style of columbarium niche (clear glass or solid gravestone), your funeral home director will make sure that your wishes are honored.
Not all columbarium niches are the same size. Columbarium niches that are designed for a single urn are about nine cubic inches. However, some columbariums have bigger niches that can accommodate multiple (two or more) urns so that family members can be stored together.
Therefore, when you are thinking about a columbarium niche for your loved one who has died, the size you choose may be a factor if you and/or other family members want to be stored with them when you and/or they die.
Columbarium niches are a very good option with cremation services because they serve many practical purposes.
One practical purpose of a cremation niche for your loved one’s cremation remains is that friends and family have a fixed site where they can spend time with your loved one. When families keep urns in private homes, no one can spend time with that loved one unless they visit the home.
With a columbarium, however, friends and family can visit with your deceased loved one without having to plan a visit or ask for permission during the hours when the cemetery is open, and in that sense, it is similar to a grave site.
Another practical reason for choosing to store your loved one’s urn in a columbarium is space. In larger cities across America, cemeteries no longer have much space for burials. These cemeteries find it difficult to expand horizontally either because there is no available land or because the purchase price of available land is cost-prohibitive.
To counter this dilemma and to still meet the needs of the public, cemeteries are using the remaining space they have to expand vertically by building columbariums. This greatly increases the number of spots they have to offer as final resting places for deceased loved ones.
That is because columbariums inhabit a small amount of horizontal land space, but they can inhabit a lot of vertical air space.
Some columbariums have a small number of niches, while others have an almost infinite supply of niches. No matter how tall a columbarium is built, it is designed so that all the niches are easy to get to and so that there is private space at niches to allow families to have private time with their deceased loved ones.