Some cemeteries require an urn to be encased in an urn vault prior to burial in the ground. This provides support for the earth around the burial site. Without that support it could begin to sink. Some burial urns provide adequate support, but you may opt to use a vault anyway because it provides a space for tucking away mementoes that you want to bury with your loved one.
Once the urn is placed in the vault, it is tightly sealed. This prevents moisture and erosion from affecting the integrity of the urn, keeping it intact. It makes it possible to use more decorative urns for burial.
If you are not certain if you need an urn vault, think about what you want to do with the cremains. Many people choose to scatter the ashes in a special place on land or at sea. It is a symbolic gesture of freeing their loved one’s soul from the mortal body. Other people choose to keep the ashes in a keepsake or traditional urn, always nearby, often on display in their home. Still others bury the urn and that is when you have to decide if you need an urn vault.
Before you decide whether to use an urn vault, you should check with the cemetery to see if they require it for in-ground burial of cremains.
You may also decide to use an urn vault if you want to protect the urn from water, erosion, and the elements. Certain materials will weaken over time and the urn can collapse, buckling under the weight of the ground over it. Wood, glass, and ceramic urns tend to be quite delicate when buried and do not hold up well. If this bothers you, then you may want to choose a more durable material for your urn or use an urn vault.