What happens at an interment of ashes?

Written By

Jason Davies

Jason Davies, Funeral Director and Manager of our Hingham office answers some of the most frequently asked questions posed to him and the rest of our team. If you have a question you would like to ask you can contact us here, send us a tweet @_ivanfisher or call us direct.

Most people have a good idea about what happens at a funeral but a question we often get asked is what actually happens at an interment of ashes.

At its most basic level, an interment of ashes is simply placing someone’s ashes into the ground either in a churchyard or cemetery but for many people, it is a very symbolic act and as such, many families wish to make it a more memorable occasion. Alternately, you might not want to be present when the interment takes place, simply let us know your preference.

If an interment has been arranged to take place in a Church of England churchyard, there will be a very short service which will usually take place at the plot itself. If the interment is taking place in a cemetery, you don’t necessarily need anybody to officiate a formal service but you may wish for family and friends to read poetry or say a few words or share some memories.

Generally, a service takes about 5 minutes and at the end, the ashes will be placed into the ground. After the service, we will then ask that you wait inside church or take a little walk for a short period whilst we make good the plot and either lay a memorial stone that has been organised or mark the plot with a cross and engraved nameplate.

Things to consider when organising an interment of ashes:

  • Where will the interment take place?
  • What type of urn or casket, if any, would you like the ashes to be in?
  • Will you want us to prepare a plot deep enough for further ashes interments in the future?
  • Have you chosen a specific plot for the ashes? (You must always consult the church or the cemetery authority for confirmation of this as most will designate the next available plot based on the existing plots)
  • Do you want to organise a memorial stone in advance of the day so it can be laid at the same time at the interment?


As funeral directors, we are regulary asked lots of questions about our profession. We are very happy to answer any questions you might have and no matter how strange they may seem, it’s very likely that we’ve been asked it before! Fill in the form below with your question and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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