Interment of ashes
The interment of ashes is the procedure of placing cremation ashes in a permanent location. It’s common to hold a service to accompany the interment of ashes, helping to bring closure to friends and family who are saying goodbye to a loved one.
Options for the interment of ashes
Cemetery or churchyard
In order to proceed with an interment of ashes service at a cemetery or churchyard, you’ll be required to sign a burial plot application form which is typically issued by your local council or cemetery.
You may wish to inter the ashes in a family burial plot, should you already have one. If you don’t have an existing plot, you’ll need to purchase an exclusive right of burial. This is typically purchased for a period of 75 years and will have certain conditions attached to it, depending on what type of grave it is.
Natural burial ground
Many natural burial grounds and woodland burial sites across the UK offer plots for the interment of ashes. If this is an option which you would like to explore, you may need to purchase a biodegradable urn.
Similar to scattering ashes on private land, the interment of ashes on private land is legal as long as you have the landowner’s permission to do so.
A columbarium is a building, room, or wall which is designed to hold cremation urns. It’s an above-ground interment option and they can be found in some cemeteries and crematoria across the UK.
Read our guide on burying ashes for more information about where you can do this in the UK.
Interment of ashes service
An interment of ashes service will typically take place after a cremation, with family and friends gathering at the burial plot. The service can be led by a religious leader, humanist, or someone close to the deceased, and may include prayers, readings, and poems.
The ashes are usually placed inside an urn, sealed, and then lowered into the ground. Depending on the site, some interments may not need an urn at all. In these scenarios, the cremation ashes may be poured into the plot through a funnel. If the service is being held at a natural burial site, you will need to choose a biodegradable urn.
Cost of interment
The overall cost for an interment of ashes service will largely depend on the price of the burial plot. These vary significantly across the UK and are beyond our control.
If you already have a family burial plot, we can arrange for it to be reopened before the interment of ashes service. If you would like burial plots which are next to each other, you can enquire about purchasing or reserving multiple plots. Your local Dignity Funeral Director will be able to advise you on costs and local charges.
Interment of ashes poems
You may wish to read a poem at an interment of ashes service. This can help bring comfort to family and friends during such an upsetting time.
Popular poems for an interment of ashes service include:
- Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
- Let Me Go
- Remember Me
- Don’t Cry For Me
- Gone, But Not Forgotten
View our full list of funeral poems.
Alternatives to the interment of ashes
Here are some popular alternatives to the interment of ashes:
1. Scatter the ashes
Scattering the ashes of a loved one can be a great way to pay tribute to their life; this can take place at a memorable location, or somewhere that meant something to the deceased.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, read our guide on popular places to scatter ashes in the UK.
2. Divide the ashes
If your family cannot decide or agree on what to do with your loved one’s cremation ashes, it’s perfectly acceptable to divide them up and do several different things. This can be a great way to fulfil the wishes of the deceased and those who are mourning the death.
3. Cremation jewellery
Cremation jewellery can help you feel close to a loved one again. Popular pieces include necklaces and rings, and you only need a small amount of your loved one’s ashes to create a beautiful keepsake.
If you would like to do something a little more creative with your loved one’s ashes, read our guide on unique things to do with cremation ashes.