Cremation is an increasingly popular choice, and many people don't know that cemeteries offer a range of cremation memorialization options. A cremation bench is among those options.
Crafted from granite, a cremation bench serves to memorialize a loved one in much the same way a headstone does. Only instead of sitting at the head of a burial site, it holds the ashes of the loved one (or multiple loved ones). It might also mark the place where ashes have been buried or scattered.
Cremation benches are typically installed in cremation gardens or other spots in a cemetery, though some families have them on their own properties or place them in memorial parks.
Cremation bench designs
There are a few kinds of cremation benches. All are customizable. They typically hold the ashes of two to four family members and are personalized. Some granite benches have bronze elements.
It's also important to note that each style of bench requires a specific type and size of urn. Benches have a limited capacity and don't usually hold the large, decorative urns displayed at home or in cremation niches.
As the name implies, the legs on this style are straight up and down. A polished granite slab serves as a seat. The seat comes off and a loved one's ashes are placed in one of the legs, which have been hollowed out to hold urns. A straight-leg cremation bench is typically designed for one or two loved ones. The legs and seat can be personalized. This simple style can cost less than other options.
More decorative than a straight-leg bench, this style has a single granite support that's been hollowed out to hold the ashes of two to four loved ones. The seat comes off so ashes can be placed inside the support. The edges or top of the seat can be personalized, as can the front and back sides of the support. This bench style is a common feature in family estates.
A classic option for cremation families, a granite panel bench has a base with a removable panel. Instead of the top coming off for the placement of ashes, the side is removable. Depending on the size of the bench, the urns of up to four loved ones can be housed inside. This type of cremation bench has more surface space for personalization than other choices. A version of the panel bench includes a seated angel at one end or in the middle.
This hybrid design is part bench, part cremation pedestal. With bench seating supported by a single granite leg on one end and a cremation pedestal on the other, a pedestal bench can hold up to four urns in the pedestal itself. It's lovely when it's left simple, but some families choose a cremation pedestal topper for a truly personalized memorial. Toppers are granite sculptures that help tell the story of a special life. Popular choices include an angel, eagle, butterfly, wedding rings and a birdbath.
Some families who opt to keep a loved one's ashes at home or scatter them in a personally meaningful place also choose to create a permanent place of remembrance in a cemetery. One way to do that is a memorial bench. There are several styles, but they're essentially park benches inscribed with a loved one's name, birth and death dates, and the kind of message one might place on a headstone or other grave marker. They can be made of granite or another material and they do not hold ashes, but they do serve as a reminder of a life lived.
Personalizing cremation benches
No matter what type of memorialization you choose, personalization makes it more meaningful. Engraving on a cremation bench is limited only by your imagination and the amount of space on the bench. You won't have as much room as you might on a headstone, but you can often still include names, birth and death dates, a verse or line of poetry, even a likeness of the person or people being remembered.
How much do cremation benches cost?
The cost of a cremation bench can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars and depends on several factors: type and size of the bench, type of granite, and amount of engraving.
Larger benches require more granite. Imported granite is less expensive than domestic granite, but a bench made of imported granite can take up to six months to be ready for placement.
Other factors include cemetery property cost, the cost to install the bench and endowment care. Opening and closing fees also apply to cremation benches.
One way to possibly save on the cost of a cremation bench is by planning ahead. When you pre-plan your funeral or purchase cemetery property ahead of need, you can also purchase a cremation bench at today's price and avoid future price increases.
How to choose a cremation bench
Permanent memorialization is very personal, and the cremation bench you choose for yourself or a loved one will be determined by many factors. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide:
- What types of benches does my cemetery of choice allow?
- Where will this bench be placed?
- How large is my cemetery property?
- How many urns should the bench hold?
- How much do I want to spend?
- How long do I want to wait?
- How much personalization do I want?
A Dignity Memorial associate can walk you through all your options for cremation benches and help you choose what's right for you.
Create a lasting legacy
Many people don't realize the significance of choosing a final resting place. It is an important step in creating a family legacy, establishing a place of remembrance for future generations and paying tribute to a special life. Your Dignity Memorial professionals are here to help.
Get your free Buyer's Guide to Cemetery Property today.