Burial at Sea

burial at sea

Burial at Sea

According to the Cremation Association of North America, by 2018, the US cremation rate is projected to reach 50.6%. And as the green movement continues, more and more families and individuals are looking out to the sea as their final resting place.

Burial at sea is offered by a number of companies across the nation, as well as the military. Burial at sea may include burial in a casket, burial sewn in sailcloth, burial in an urn or scattering of cremated remains.

Depending on the deceased, the bereaved will have to choose a company that will perform the burial or memorial at sea. Also, there are certain military restrictions that will need to be taken into consideration if a veteran or active duty person is to be buried at sea. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency’s ocean and coastal unit, oversees burials in American waters based on geographical regions. And, based on where you conduct the burial, different paperwork is required, so be sure to do the proper research and submit your paperwork.

Some Options Available To You and Your Loved Ones
As you explore this option, here’s a few services that you can expect to find:

Captain’s Service
If the family can’t join for the ash scattering ceremony, you can generally hire a captain with proper licenses to conduct the ash scattering ceremony for you. The remains can be transported to the burial at sea firm, and the firm handles all of the proper documentation as well. The cost starts from $150 depending on the region.

Memorial Services by Family
For families who wish to plan for their personal memorial voyage, these companies provide all necessary things (the vessel, the crew, the ship) to have a proper burial at sea. One has to select the desired time, arrangements, and place and can invite a specified number of guests to attend (depends on the captain, ship and pricing). These companies will also help one to plan for this special ceremony on every detailed aspect. Lunch, dinners and transportation can also be arranged for the invitees.

Has your loved one received a burial at sea? Leave us a comment and share your story.

Find a Final Resting Vessel That ‘Speaks’ To You


By Irina Jordan, Founder and Owner of Artisurn – online marketplace of handcrafted cremation urns, jewelry and keepsakes.

Final resting vessels have personalities, just like people. Cremation urns can be serious, playful, elegant, exuberant and much more. Your choices are not limited to urns. You can have the ashes fused with glass to create unique glass jewelry and keepsakes. You can pour a tiny amount of ashes into an urn pendant or brooch and keep it close. Pick memorial pieces that ‘speak’ to you and you and your family will treasure them forever as family heirlooms.

The urns can be made from a variety of materials: biodegradable paper and clay, bronze, copper, glass, clay (ceramic and Raku) and wood (including segmented urns).

Cremation urns are measured in cubic inches. The general rule of thumb is for every pound of the person’s total weight you will need one cubic inch of space. So if a person weighed 150 pounds, you will need an urn that is 150 cubic inches or larger.

Based on their capacity, urns can be divided into the following categories:

Companion Cremation Urns can accommodate the cremated remains of two people, such as a husband and wife. They range in size from 300 to 500 cubic inches.

Individual Size Cremation Urns hold the ashes of one person. The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) created an industry standard of 200 cubic inches, which equals about 6.8 pints. Individual urns vary from 110 to 300 cubic inches.

Sharing Cremation Urns are smaller, and are intended for sharing ashes among several different family members. Sharing urns come in a variety of sizes: small (up to 30 cubic inches), medium (up to 50 cubic inches), large (up to 70 cubic inches) and extra-large (up to 100 cubic inches). This urn can be used as a child’s urn.

Pet Urns comes in a variety of sizes: small (up to 30 cubic inches), medium (up to 50 cubic inches), large (up to 70 cubic inches), extra-large (up to 100 cubic inches) and special size (over 100 cubic inches).

Keepsake Cremation Urns hold only a small portion of cremation ashes. A keepsake urns’ capacity varies from 3 cubic inches to 50 cubic inches. When an individual sized urn is used to place the ashes in their final location, keepsake urns are often used to keep a portion of the ashes close to home or given out for scattering. This urn can be used as an infant size urn.

Cremation Jewelry Urns are the smallest size of urns. These urns are really just specially designed jewelry that have an inner chamber to hold a tiny portion of cremation ashes. They are a great alternative to traditional cremation urns. Ashes can also be incorporated into cremation jewelry by fusing it with glass.

The urn you pick will tell stories for generations to come about your loved one or beloved pet whose ashes are inside.

Features of Caskets

There are many important factors to consider when choosing the best casket for a loved one who has passed away. Caskets can be used either to bury the body, or the cremated remains, of the deceased’s body. In the U.S., caskets are designed under a wide range of styles. The prices set for caskets as well as the materials used to make them vary widely.

There are six main types of caskets available for use by the public. These types include laminate, solid wood, steel, cloth covered, veneered wood as well as solidified copper or bronze. Materials used in making these types of caskets are plywood, mahogany or oak, steel, pressed plywood and fiberboard as well as copper or bronze respectively.

Some of the main features of the casket includes the presence of either full or half couches. This simply means that the casket lid is designed either as two pieces or one piece. Caskets also typically have inner linings on their lids, some caskets are even made to be waterproof.

High end caskets may be fitted with commemorative panels in addition to specialized hardware. Some may have internal lifts that enable the tilting of the casket during viewings so guests can view the deceased’s body easier.

Many caskets include extra external features as well as interior elements, some help aid in the handling & moving of the casket as well as with ornamental purposes. For good preservation a rubber gasket is included in caskets for the purpose of allowing as little air as possible to penetrate in. This makes the casket last longer while also preserving the body from decomposing.

On average, caskets cost between $2,000-5,000 though it is still possible to acquire them for as little as $700 and as much as $20,000. If you choose to buy these caskets from others, such as a third party, you need to budget for an extra $300-600 for the cost of delivery. Of course, as with most things, prices continue to vary based on market pressures.

Close to 70% of all the caskets found in the U.S. are made by Aurora, Batesville and York. Caskets from China are also sold in the U.S. and currently make up roughly 5% of the market. There are also caskets imported from other countries and sold in the U.S. which at the moment make up around 2% of the total market of caskets in this nation.

When buying caskets from the aforementioned manufacturers, or others not listed here, you should always ask for a complete catalog of all their offers and products. The choice of a casket is a personal decision based on the preferences of the deceased or their family and their finances.

Funeral Songs

This article is about the latest trends in choosing songs for funerals. It focuses on one survey conducted by a leading funeral-song download website and their findings.

A leading funeral-song download website recently made an intriguing discovery when it comes to people choosing the funeral songs for their departed loved ones. For the last couple of years, we were used to hearing reflective and extremely sad songs during funerals that add to the already emotional atmosphere and move people to cry a bit harder. Now, it seems that this is already a history.

A recent survey confirms that more and more people these days are more open to choosing non-traditional funeral songs over extremely sad and reflective songs to help them not mourn but to celebrate the lives of the departed. This may indicate society’s changing values which is exciting for younger generations.

However, it’s important to note that based on the same survey, celebratory or happy songs are usually for older people who have lived their lives to the fullest and not for those who died tragically such as teenagers dying in a car accident.

People behind the survey took the time to interview individuals who were downloading the songs from their sites and revealed the most popular songs were the ones that best represented the lives of their loved ones. For example, the song “On the Bright Side of Life” was chosen for the funeral of a 60-year old dad who always looked at the bright side of everything. Others are choosing songs based on their loved ones favorite albums or performers. For example, a grandfather who idolized Elvis Presley throughout his life got the song “Heartbreak Hotel” for this funeral.

People who created the survey are still trying to gather data to confirm if this is indeed the latest trend in choosing funeral songs as the responses may just represent a small percentage of the whole population. However, it’s still refreshing to know that right now, people are more open-minded and that playing celebratory songs on funerals is no longer something that the society frown upon.

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