Funerals, urns, and memorials through the ages have provided opportunities to create a lasting tribute to the loved ones who have impacted our lives. When funerals come to mind, many may think of traditional funerals and cremation services with caskets and urns.
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As more people pre-plan their funerals and memorial services, funeral homes and crematoriums are developing different ways to help people display their interests, passions, hobbies, and unique personalities once they die.
One growing trend when it comes to memorials, funerals, and burials is to take a page from history and have a burial the Viking way. You might imagine purchasing a boat and setting someone afloat on a lit bier.
Though Vikings may have said their goodbyes that way, it is not that simple these days. But it is possible to incorporate a loved one’s passion for all things Nordic and Viking into their funeral and burial ceremonies — even when they’re cremated.
What’s a Viking Urn for Ashes?
Urns come in loads of shapes and styles. Viking-style urns for ashes typically mimic actual Viking urns.
They might have symbols or representations of Viking and Nordic mythology on the urn, or are crafted to represent elements of Viking life, such as the famous Viking longboat. No matter which type of Viking urn you decide on to represent your loved one, there is something available for everyone.
Different Types of Viking Urns for Ashes
Just like memorial services, funerals, and caskets, urns for ashes can be as unique, personalized, customized, and individualized as you want to make them.
Urns are ideal for keeping a loved one close to you and remembering them in a special way. If you have a loved one who embodied Viking characteristics or culture, or identified with the heroism and valor of Norse mythology, consider getting a Viking urn for their final resting place.
Many of the urns listed below can be made from wood, metals, or other material. If you fall in love with a design but the initial price is out of your budget, see if it can be made from another material or sized smaller. Switching from metal to wood or from a large to a smaller size will make a considerable difference when it comes to how much an urn costs.
Tip: If you're looking for something very unique (think a favorite hobby, their beloved car, or instrument of choice), you can custom order an urn from a store like Foreverence. You submit a design idea or sketch, then the company designs and 3D prints your urn, so you get a 100% unique container.
1. Personalized wooden Viking urn
Wooden urns for ashes can be personalized, inscribed, and even crafted with wood burning techniques. When creating a unique wooden urn with Viking symbols meaningful to both the deceased and their families, they may include some of these common designs:
- Celtic Knot: The knot often symbolizes eternality and spirituality.
- Sleipnir the 8-Legged Horse: Traditionally, this horse carries souls of the dead into the afterlife.
- Tree of Life: A symbol of the cosmos, universe, and our place in it.
- Viking Ship: The lifeblood of Viking adventures, travels, and life itself.
2. Tree of Life urn
According to legend, the Viking Tree of Life Yggdrasil is what connects all humanity together. This particular funeral urn is shaped to look like the traditional Viking Tree of Life.
The base of the tree sits on a hill with the roots showing. It is directly under the tree that the cremains can be placed for a permanent memorial to a loved one who has passed away.
3. Helm of Awe urn
The Helm of Awe was thought to be a symbol of protection and a magical orb of defense against one’s enemies.
This simple urn is crafted from a wooden box with a wood-burned Helm of Awe on top. It can be personalized with your loved one’s name and a favorite quote or saying on the side.
4. Valknut urn
The Valknut was a symbol that represented the bravery, courage, and destiny of a fallen warrior. Also known as the “knot of the slain,” this symbol can hold special meaning for those whose loved one died in service to their country in the military or as a first responder.
Keep this urn simple by burning the combined triangle symbol of the Valknut onto the top of a wooden chest or box urn to stand as a continual reminder of the heroism and bravery of your loved one.
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5. Metal Viking ship urn
In Viking times, nobles, high-born, and the wealthy were often buried at sea. The funeral entailed placing the deceased on a ship and, as the ship sailed away, it was lit with burning arrows. It was a send-off for those of the highest rank and nobility.
This urn is an exact replica of a Viking ship. There is a place in the middle of the ship for cremains to be placed. This ship urn would not hold the entire remains of a loved one but is a perfect tribute for a portion of shared ashes. Metal Viking ship urns are not intended for burial in a lake or the sea.
6. Box urn with Viking ship
This urn is made of a wooden box to hold cremains and has an intricately detailed Viking ship placed atop. This beautiful, impactful urn represents everything that a traditional Viking burial offered the deceased: honor, respect, and a lasting memorial.
If you want an urn to house all of the cremains of your loved one, or a double urn option to hold the cremains of two people, the box can be customized to size.
7. Biodegradable wooden Viking longboat urn
If you want to give your loved one as close to a traditional Viking funeral as possible but need a vessel appropriate for cremation, opt for a biodegradable Viking longboat urn.
This urn holds the cremains of your loved one and allows for several minutes of sailing, whether you decide to hold a burial at sea or a lake. After several minutes, the vessel will disappear below the waves.
8. Combustible Viking longboat urn
This urn is for families wanting to carry out the complete Viking funeral and wish to burn the ship that holds the cremains of their loved one.
This longboat urn is created to hold the cremains of your loved one, will float for several minutes, and can safely catch on fire and burn. It is made of wood or wicker and has a place to carry flammable materials in the bottom of the boat. Once the vessel has been placed on the water, it can be lit and sailed out into a lake or to sea.
9. Ceramic Viking cinerary urn
Urns used during the days of the Vikings were often made of simple, unglazed, pottery vessels that were adorned with symbols of importance.
If you want a traditional Viking cinerary urn for your loved one, consider having a local potter make one for you.
10. Cement or metal Viking longboat urn
If you are looking for a viking-styled urn for an outside garden memorial, a cement or metal Viking longboat urn could be a beautiful tribute to your loved one.
Their cremains can be placed securely inside the hold where they are sealed and protected from weather and the elements. This type of urn is weather and rust-resistant and can be placed anywhere from a quiet corner to the center of a garden design that draws your eye and attention to the turn.
11. Viking stained glass urn
For families desiring an urn that can be displayed inside the home with a more modern yet old-world flair, consider a stained glass urn that uses Viking symbology to represent your loved one. Stained glass can be customized to use the colors and symbols you choose to present a truly unique urn.
12. Viking stained glass lamp urn
If you desire a practical, beautiful urn with some old-world elements, consider having a stained glass lamp urn crafted using the colors and Viking symbols of your choice.
Lamp urns have an area on the base of the lamp where ashes can be contained and safely stored. These urns are also meant to be used as a working lamp and hold a portion of a person’s cremains. Lamp urns may be ideal for family members sharing cremains.
13. Viking rune cremation urn necklace
This piece of cremation jewelry enables you to carry a portion of the cremains of your loved one in a way that represents their love for Viking culture.
This type of necklace comes with a small vial to place a portion of the cremains inside where they will stay safe and dry. Attached to the necklace is a Viking rune, a round disk with Viking lettering adorning the edge of the disk. The middle contains an artistic rendering of the Celtic knot to represent eternal spiritual life.
14. Thor’s hammer cremation urn necklace
Thor’s hammer is an important part of Viking mythology. It represents bravery, heroism, strength, and blessing.
If your loved one embodied these virtues, Thor’s hammer is a perfect reminder of their presence with you. Urn necklaces are perfect for sharing ashes and keeping your loved one present with you no matter where you go.
Memorializing a Loved One with Viking Traditions
Urns should be as individual and unique as the one being memorialized. Rather than choosing a generic urn that doesn’t speak to the individual personality, character, or interests of your loved one, pick an urn that best symbolizes their life on Earth.
Another beautiful option for keeping a loved one's memory alive is a memorial diamond or cremation stone created from ashes. Some companies, like Eterneva, create lab-grown diamonds and allow you to pick from several cuts and colors for your gemstone. Parting Stone solidifies your loved ones ashes to create a set of between 40 and 60 beautifully unique stones.