Ash Scattering Services
As the popularity of cremation continues to rise, more and more families are interested in finding personalized ways to honor and celebrate the life of a loved one. One such way that families accomplish this is by planning an ash scattering ceremony. The great thing about an ash scattering ceremony is that it can be held almost anywhere and personalized to reflect the individuality of the deceased.
If you would like to plan an ash scattering ceremony, there are many decisions to be made and certain steps that should be followed. First and foremost, before you can begin planning the ceremony, you need to decide upon a location. This a very important step because depending on the location, there may be certain regulations to follow or permits to obtain.
Types of Ash Scattering Services
There are several different ways to spread a loved one’s ashes. The three most common types of ash scattering services are a casting ceremony, a water ceremony and a raking ceremony. Each type of ceremony allows family and friends to honor their loved one each in distinctly unique ways.
If your loved one enjoys spending time on the water, what better way to pay tribute to them. A water ceremony is when ashes are placed in a water-soluble urn which is released into the water. This specialty urn will float for a few minutes before gently dissolving and spreading ashes across the water. Once the urn starts to dissolve, many families will toss flower petals onto the water to watch the ashes spread.
A casting ceremony is the most popular type of ash scattering ceremony and what most people think of when they envision scattering a loved one’s ashes. Casting is when the cremated remains are thrown into the wind and dispersed across an area of land or water. Many find this ceremony has a very symbolic feeling of release and rebirth.
A raking ceremony is a popular choice that families wish to spread their loved one’s ashes at home. During a raking ceremony, the ashes are spread across a section of soil and then gently raked into the ground. Guests can take turns spreading the ashes and sharing a memory of the deceased while they do so. If you don’t want to scatter remains at home, many cemeteries allow families to scatter ashes in community scattering gardens.
Ash Scattering Ideas
If you’re looking to plan a meaningful and special ash scattering ceremony, there are many ways to do this. Take a look below for ash scattering ideas and information.
Please note that the following are just ideas for unique ways to spread ashes. If any of these ceremonies require you to purchase a specialty urn or need additional assistance planning, please understand that these are simply ideas and suggestions. Our funeral home may or may not have the urn or ability to assist you with your ash scattering ceremony.
Lantern releases are a popular way to say goodbye to a loved one in many cultures around the world. Paper lanterns or “Chinese lanterns” holding some of the deceased’s ashes are released into the sky and slowly rise up. Many people believe releasing paper lanterns symbolizes light leading the deceased up into heaven. To take the tribute one step further, families will write personal messages or prayers on the lantern.
The Final Shot
If your loved one was an avid hunter, police officer, or member of the military, consider having their ashes placed in ammunition. Holy Smoke LLC. is based out of Alabama and offers ammunition for pistols, rifles, and shotguns that contain cremated remains. The company only requires a pinch of the cremated remains so your family still has ashes that can be spread or stored in a special place.
Continue the circle of life and use your loved one’s ashes to help nurture new growth. There are several companies now selling biodegradable urns that can help nurture trees and other plants. The remains are placed in a biodegradable urn and are planted with a tree or plant. As new plant grows, it will use the cremated remains for nutrients. This is a great choice for nature lovers or families that want to keep a part of their loved one close to them.
Ash Scattering Guidelines
Before heading out and scattering a loved one’s ashes, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Obtain Written Permission
Before you scatter remains on any public or private property, make sure to receive written permission first. If you plan to use privately owned land, you should get the landowner to sign and date a piece of documentation granting permission. If the area is owned by a municipality or state, you may need to obtain a permit beforehand.
Scattering Ashes in Waterways
Many families choose to spread their loved one’s ashes over a body of water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are protocols and procedures in place. First, the remains must be spread at least three nautical miles from shore. You also need to notify the EPA within thirty days.
If you wish to scatter ashes over an inland body of water, there are no federal regulations in place. However, it’s strongly recommended that you speak to local agencies beforehand for further clarification.
Be Considerate of Your Community
Although you might be granted permission to do so, it’s important to be considerate of others. Before scattering cremated remains, make sure that the area you’ve chosen is free of regular foot traffic and does not disturb the area. You should also make sure to clean up after yourself and leave the area as a place your loved one can rest in peace.