Understanding the Interment of Cremation Ashes: A Complete Guide

Apr 17, 2024 | Advice

When considering the interment of cremation ashes, you are placing or burying the remains in a final resting place, offering closure and remembrance. Ranging from cemeteries, churchyards, to private land (with permission), each location has its own guidelines. The process may involve application forms and compliance with specific rules. From traditional burial to alternatives like cremation jewelry, you have various ways to honour your loved one. During an interment ceremony, you gather to pay respects, reflect, and celebrate memories. Understanding this process can guide you through honouring your loved one’s memory with grace and respect. Subtle details can further enhance this meaningful experience.

Why is it called interment?

Urn in graveyard with candle e1714734835688

When considering the interment of cremation ashes, the term ‘interment’ is used to describe the respectful act of burying or placing the ashes in a permanent location. It’s called interment because it signifies the final disposition of the cremated remains, emphasising the act of giving a final resting place to the ashes.

This term is often used in the context of cremation to describe the process of placing the ashes in a chosen location, ensuring they’re laid to rest respectfully. Interment holds a significant meaning as it provides a permanent resting place for the cremation ashes, allowing for a sense of closure and remembrance.

Should you bury the ashes of a loved one?

Burying the ashes of a loved one offers a tangible and permanent way to honour their memory and provide a dedicated space for remembrance. When considering the interment of ashes, it’s essential to think about how a burial can create a lasting memorialisation that aligns with your religious beliefs, family traditions, and personal preferences.

By choosing to bury the ashes, you establish a permanent location where you and others can visit to pay respects and find solace. Whether opting for a burial plot in a cemetery, a niche in a columbarium, or another designated area, this act allows for a sense of connection and remembrance that endures over time.

The process of burying ashes involves selecting an appropriate urn, deciding on a burial venue, and planning a meaningful ceremony to honour your loved one’s life. Ultimately, burying ashes provides a profound way to create a lasting tribute and a place for reflection and memorialisation.

Where can an internment of ashes occur? And what is the procedure?

Internment of Ashes in Woodland with candles and flowers

You can choose to inter the ashes of a loved one in various locations such as a cemetery, churchyard, natural burial groundprivate land with permission, or a columbarium. The procedure typically involves submitting a burial plot application form, purchasing the exclusive right of burial if necessary, and complying with specific conditions based on the selected location.

Whether it’s a traditional setting like a cemetery or a more unique option like a natural burial ground, there are different avenues available to honour the memory of the deceased.

Cemetery, churchyard or Memorial Garden

Interment of cremation ashes can take place in designated locations such as cemeteries, churchyards, or memorial gardens. The procedure typically involves completing a burial plot application form and potentially purchasing the exclusive right of burial if no existing plot is available.

Conditions may vary depending on the type of grave chosen, such as traditional burial plots, natural burial grounds, or columbarium niches for urn placement. The interment of ashes service is usually conducted after cremation and may be led by a religious figure, humanist celebrant, or a close family member or friend.

During the service, the ashes are placed in an urn or poured into the designated plot in the chosen cemetery, churchyard, or memorial garden.

Natural burial ground

In natural burial groundseco-friendly options for interment of ashes are available, often requiring the use of biodegradable urns due to the absence of traditional gravestones. These sites prioritise environmentally conscious practices, ensuring a more sustainable way to lay your loved one to rest.

The natural beauty of these grounds offers a serene final resting place, blending seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. Costs for interment in natural burial grounds can vary based on location and services provided, but the peace of mind knowing you’re contributing to conservation efforts is priceless.

Keep in mind that interment in a natural burial ground may involve specific regulations for preserving the natural environment, so it’s essential to adhere to these environmental guidelines during the process.

Private land

When considering the interment of cremation ashes on private land, obtaining the landowner’s permission is an essential initial step in the process. To legally scatter ashes in a private setting, you must first secure consent from the landowner.

Once permission is granted, you can proceed with selecting a suitable location for the interment ceremony. It’s important to adhere to any legal requirements in your area to guarantee a smooth and respectful process.

Planning the interment on private land offers a unique opportunity to honour your loved one’s memory in a personal and meaningful way. Remember to research local regulations, seek legal advice if needed, and carefully organise the ceremony to create a special and lasting tribute.


Choosing a columbarium for the interment of ashes offers a dedicated and meaningful space for honouring and remembering a loved one after cremation. Here’s what you need to know about columbarium interments:

  1. Columbarium Structure: A columbarium is a structure designed to hold cremation urns above ground, commonly located in cemeteries or crematoria.
  2. Dedicated Space: It provides a specific area for the interment of ashes, allowing for easy visitation by family and friends.
  3. Variety in Niches: Columbarium niches come in various sizes and designs, accommodating individual urns or companion urns for couples.
  4. Ceremonial Aspect: The interment of ashes in a columbarium often involves a ceremony led by a religious figure, a humanist officiant, or a close family member, adding a personal touch to the process.

Alternatives to the interment of ashes

When considering alternatives to interment for cremation ashes, you have a few meaningful options to choose from.

You can scatter the ashes in a place that held significance for the deceased, divide them among family members to share the memory, or opt for cremation jewellery to keep a piece of your loved one close to your heart.

Each choice offers a unique and personal way to honour the departed in a manner that’s meaningful to you.

1. Scatter the ashes

Scattering ashes provides a meaningful and personal way to honour the memory of a loved one and maintain a lasting connection with them. Here are some ideas to contemplate when opting to scatter the ashes:

  1. Choose a meaningful location that held significance for the deceased.
  2. Make sure you have any necessary permissions to scatter the ashes in the chosen area.
  3. Reflect on involving family and friends in the scattering ceremony for a shared experience.
  4. Reflect on how scattering the ashes aligns with the wishes and values of the departed individual.

Scattering ashes can be a beautiful way to pay tribute to a loved one and find solace in honouring their life in a heartfelt manner.

2. Divide the ashes

Considering different ways to honour a loved one’s memory beyond scattering the ashes, dividing the ashes provides a meaningful and personalised alternative for fulfilling the wishes of the deceased and accommodating the preferences of mourners.

By dividing the ashes, you can share them among family members or loved ones in a significant way. This process may involve separating the ashes into multiple urns or containers for distribution during an interment of ashes service.

Dividing the ashes offers a unique and personalised approach to honouring the memory of your loved one. It allows you to keep a portion of the ashes while sharing the rest, providing a practical solution that respects the wishes of the deceased and accommodates the preferences of those mourning the loss.

3. Cremation jewellery

One unique alternative to the traditional interment of ashes is through the use of cremation jewellery, offering a personalised and tangible connection to your loved one.

Here are some key points to keep in mind about cremation jewellery:

  1. Cremation jewellery incorporates ashes into pieces like necklaces, rings, or bracelets.
  2. These personalised pieces serve as daily reminders of your loved one.
  3. Various styles and designs are available to cater to different preferences.
  4. Families can divide ashes to create multiple pieces of cremation jewellery, allowing each member to have a personal keepsake.

What happens at an internment ceremony?

When preparing for an interment ceremony, it’s essential to remember to invite guests to honour your loved one.

The ceremony process usually involves readings, prayers, music, and eulogies to celebrate the life of the departed.

Knowing what to say and considering poems for the internment ceremony can help you navigate this emotional event with grace and respect.

Inviting Guests to the Interment of Ashes

As you plan the interment ceremony for the cremation ashes, tailor the guest list by taking into account the deceased’s personality and preferences, creating a meaningful gathering to honour their life.

Internment Ceremony process

During an interment ceremony, the final resting place of the deceased is symbolised as their ashes are placed in an urn or poured into a burial plot. The interment service, often led by a religious leader or family member, includes readings of interment of ashes poems, prayers, or eulogies. It typically occurs shortly after cremation, providing closure for loved ones.

Family and friends can participate by placing flowers, photos, or personal items near the urn or burial site as a tribute. This ceremony marks a significant moment of remembrance and honour, allowing attendees to gather, share memories, and pay their respects.

The interment site becomes a place of reflection and remembrance, holding the memories of the departed in a meaningful way.

What to say at an internment ceremony

You may share memories, readings, and prayers at an interment ceremony to honour the deceased while family and friends gather to pay their final respects and say their goodbyes.

During the ceremony, consider the following:

  1. Reflect on Shared Memories: Speak about special moments or qualities of the departed that touched your heart.
  2. Readings and Poems: Share readings or poems that resonate with the occasion and celebrate the life of the individual.
  3. Prayers and Blessings: Offer prayers or blessings for the soul of the departed and for comfort to those present.
  4. Acknowledging the Chosen Location: Acknowledge the significance of the chosen location where the ashes will be placed, expressing respect and gratitude for the final resting place.

Poems for an internment ceremony

When selecting poems for an interment ceremony, consider choosing heartfelt and emotional verses that pay tribute to and honour the memory of the departed individual. Commonly recited poems like ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep’ and ‘Let Me Go’ can offer comfort and reflection during the interment of ashes.

These poems provide a personal touch to the memorial service, helping convey feelings of love and remembrance. Your funeral director can assist in selecting or even reciting these poems, ensuring a meaningful tribute.

As you inter the ashes, the right poem can add a poignant moment to the ceremony, allowing attendees to find solace and closure in the shared experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Rules for the Interment of Ashes?

When it comes to the interment of ashes, rules vary by location and venue. You’ll need permission and must adhere to specific guidelines. Cemeteries, churchyards, private land, and columbariums each have their own regulations to take into account.

What Do You Say at an Interment of Ashes?

When attending an interment of ashes, offer condolences, share memories, and express your feelings. Say a few words, recite a poem, or offer a prayer. Comfort the family, acknowledge the moment’s significance, and express gratitude.

How Do You Intern Ashes in a Grave?

To intern ashes in a grave, place the cremated remains in an urn and bury it in a chosen burial plot. Purchase the exclusive right of burial, and consider a ceremonial service. Options include traditional cemeteries, churchyards, natural grounds, or private land with permission.


To sum up, understanding the interment of cremation ashes is a thoughtful process that offers various options for honouring your loved one. Whether you choose burial in a cemetery, a natural burial ground, or a private land, there are meaningful ways to pay tribute.

Consider alternatives like scattering the ashes or transforming them into cremation jewellery for a unique and personal touch.

Whatever path you choose, know that there are options available to help you navigate this important decision with care and respect.

At Haven Memorials, we have a wide range of smaller memorials suitable for cremation burials and interments, get in touch with us today to find out more.

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