At some funeral services, an urn filled with the deceased person's cremated remains will need to be moved from one location to another. Sometimes, the urn may be on a memorial table near the entrance to the room and then transported to the front of the room as the service is set to begin. In other cases, the urn will be transported from the funeral home to a waiting vehicle, where it will travel with the family member to wherever it will be buried. If you're a close family member who has been tasked with carrying the urn, it's an important responsibility that you must not take lightly. Here are some tips for managing this job.
Check Your Shoes
It might seem like a simple idea, but you should always look down and check your shoes before you begin this task. The transportation of the urn is an important and solemn affair, and many people will have their eyes trained on you. You cannot afford to slip over a shoelace and stumble. You may be nervous, to begin with, but checking to see that your shoes are tied tightly will help you feel better.
Tighten The Lid
The lids of some urns are closed so that the receptacle cannot be opened, while others have a lid that can be screwed or lifted off so that you can scatter the cremated remains. Before you pick up the urn, always check that the lid is tight. The last thing you'd ever want to happen is to tilt the urn accidentally and spill some of its contents — this would be an embarrassing and potentially highly traumatic experience for everyone in attendance.
Walk Slowly And Methodically
Just as pallbearers are tasked with walking slowly down the aisle of the funeral homeroom, you should take a similar approach when you're carrying the urn of cremated remains. Hold it tightly with both hands; you may also wish to press it against your torso as you walk, just for extra stability. Keep your pace slow and your eyes focused on where you're walking so that you don't inadvertently trip over a chair leg or someone's outstretched foot.
Set It Down Carefully
Before the service, the funeral director or another official — or perhaps a member of your own family — will specify where you're to place the urn of cremated remains. An important note to remember is to set the urn down gently. The room will likely be very quiet, and a metal urn being placed onto a wooden table, for example, can be louder than you might expect. At a time that people are already in mourning and tense, you don't want to scare them with a loud clatter.