8 min read

How to Plan an Internment of Ashes Ceremony

For many people, having a physical place to revisit their loved ones ashes can be an important part of the grieving process. An interment of ashes ceremony is one option for integrating a loved ones ashes into their celebration of life; providing a permanent and meaningful burial plot to revisit after the funeral service. Below, we provide useful information to help you evaluate this option, and navigate the planning of this funeral service.

Internment of ashes

Providing a final resting place for your loved one can feel like a lot of pressure. And, on top of navigating the cremation options, family gathering and personal grief, it can feel overwhelming to think of a memorable location to provide that permanent resting place to pay tribute for your loved one's life.

In Australia, there are many options for this interment site, from crematoriums, columbariums and memorial gardens, to a more singular, natural burial site in the natural burial grounds of your choosing.

Before you make this choice, let's dive into exactly what an interment of ashes is, what happens at the ceremony and how it could help you and your family members find peace in this time.

What is an interment of ashes ceremony?

The interment of ashes refers to the burial of ashes. It's the provision of a permanent location to lay the ashes of a deceased person to rest, much like with a traditional burial.

Location options for the interment of ashes

The interment of ashes ceremony can be held in private, public or scenic locations. From natural burial grounds in a peaceful location for scattering ashes and holding a meaningful service, or a more remote location in private land with greater privacy, there are a range of options. The location can be meaningful and personal to you, or more reflective of a traditional burial, can be a burial plot in a cemetery, where other interred ashes are buried.

Below we cover the range of options available for interment of ashes in Australia:

  1. Crematoriums: facilities which specialise in cremation services and, much like a cemetery, often have a garden or lawn area for the interment of ashes where families can scatter or bury their loved one's ashes alongside other people's.

2. Columbariums: a structure designed for the interment of ashes, typically in the form of niches or compartments to provide a permanent location out with the home, where ashes can be held in cremation urns.

3. Memorial Gardens: often located within a cemetery, a memorial garden is specifically for the interment of ashes.

These gardens can provide the same ability to revisit a singular burial plot or family plot, even if your loved one wished to be cremated. They include a variety of memorial options, including plaques, markers, and sculptures, and you can opt for biodegradable urns to inter ashes in here. If your considering your own interment, this can also provide a shared final resting place for family members.

4. Burial in a Cemetery Plot or Churchyard:
similar to a memorial garden, ashes can also be interred in a cemetery plot, either in a designated ashes section or in a traditional burial plot with a headstone and markings. Using a biodegradable urn can be one way to ensure the consecrated ground where the burial takes place is not disturbed- providing a peaceful way to lay your loved one's cremation ashes to rest.

5. Woodland burial sites or natural burial site plots: many of these sites offer burial plots for the interment of ashes. A natural burial ground can provide a peaceful place for this service, as well as location to revisit.

Interring Cremated Ashes on Private Property:
You might also choose to use private land to provide a natural burial ground for your ashes. It's important to note that this option can come with several rules and regulations, depending on where you're based in Australia.

  • Check regulations: before interring ashes on private property check regulations with the local council to determine restrictions or fill in any paperwork, or a burial plot application form.

  • Prepare the chosen site: cemetery management ensures any existing plot is prepared for an ashes burial. If you choose to go with a private land option, ensure the area has been prepared by digging a hole for the ashes, or marking the site with a plaque.

Whilst it can provide a more intimate burial ground for your loved one's ashes, interring ashes on provide property is not covered by the same legal protection and site management as a cemetery or other dedicated interment sites. Considering your own needs and preferences, as well as any legal or regulatory requirements, should be a part of your decision on this option.

Factors to consider when planning an interment of ashes service

Choosing cremation does not need to mean skipping through the typical ceremony and meaningful rituals associated with death. Wherever you choose for your ashes interment to take place, an interment service represents a meaningful way to facilitate a family and friends gathering to remember the deceased.

It can be as simple as saying a few final words, or can involve a funeral director to organise more elaborate details. You can also opt to incorporate religious ceremony with a religious leader to undertake this hosting role. Below, we cover a few guidelines on factors to consider, to make your cremation service a personal and meaningful part of the interment of ashes.

Choosing a Celebrant or Officiant:

Just like with a funeral service, a celebrant or officiant can provide structure and composure to the burial of a loved one's ashes. This can bring funeral attendant's together in a meaningful ritual, which celebrates the deceased's life. In this way, an interment service also provides an opportunity to commemorate the location of where the ashes are buried and a loved one laid to rest.

Writing the Eulogy:

Saying a few words at the interment ceremony can be an important part of the grieving process, as well as an opportunity to celebrate your loved one's life. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, and keep it personal, simple and meaningful.

Optional additions:

Some people like to opt for a direct cremation, which is a basic and simplistic ashes service. In contrast, others like to incorporate meaningful music, readings and flowers into their interment ceremony to add a personal touch.

You can discuss options with funeral directors and the cemetery, however even bringing flowers to the burial plot can be a powerful way to personalise burial plots of cremation ashes.

Cremations can offer a more affordable way to celebrate the life of a loved one, whilst simultaneously providing meaningful burial plots. Especially with a simplistic direct cremation and associated ashes service, you can save on all the additional frills of a traditional service.

The interment of ashes can provide a meaningful goodbye without the need for flowers, or cars or even a funeral director. Whether you choose to scatter the ashes or go for a biodegradable urn, this also removes the costs of reserving multiple plots in a funeral home for family members, as well as the cost of caskets.

What's the difference between a traditional burial and interment of ashes?

These services can be tailored to your needs, and so look different from person to person. Whilst an interment of ashes follows a cremation and offers a place to place the ashes, with a traditional burial, the deceased's body is embalmed and placed into a casket which is then buried.

Relative to a traditional burial in a casket, the range of options with the interment of ashes provides greater flexibility and more opportunities to personalise your loved one's final resting place.

You're not restricted to a cemetery, and you can also opt for multiple urns or places to scatter your loved one's ashes. Similarly, with the interment of ashes many natural burial grounds or crematoriums have options for urn gardens, where cremated ashes are held rather than buried. This can also provide more flexibility if you wish to change the location of where cremation urns are held.

If having a physical site to revisit is important to you but your loved one wishes to be cremated, the interment of ashes can provide the perfect middle ground. Meeting their wishes, whilst also providing an opportunity for a memorial service and physical site to revisit after the burial or scattering of ashes.

The differing costs of interment of ashes and traditional burials is another distinguishing factor. Below, we dive into more detail on the associated cost of this ashes service.

Cost of interment of ashes

The cost of interment of ashes can vary depending on what type of interment you opt for, as well as the location, funeral director or a religious leader, or any additional services you choose.

Burying ashes in a columbarium or a dedicated ashes section of a cemetery can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, while scattering ashes in a park or other public area is more DIY- typically free or low cost.

There may also be additional costs from a marker or plaque. Obtaining quotes from multiple providers can help you find the best value option, or alternatively you could consider a bundled package offered by some funeral homes and crematoriums. This involves a one off price for everything needed for interment and related services- offering savings and an easier way to budget.

To Wrap Up

The interment of ashes can provide a personalised way to use cremated ashes in celebration of life ceremony. Whether it's reserving multiple plots in a cemetery offering to hold cremation ashes, choosing a biodegradable urn so the decomposition process returns your body back to the earth or opting for scattering- there are options to suit everyone.

Safewill can Help

Safewill can help with cremation plans for now, or for in advance. We have a team of experts on hand to support you at every step of the way, available for support at any time on1800 103 310 , or via live chat now.

Last updated 08th February 2023
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Hannah Comiskey
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