Your Guide to Planning an Ash Scattering Ceremony for a Loved One

Posted on April 12, 2021 by W. E. Pegues Funeral Directors under Cremation Services
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This blog post will walk you through the steps of planning an ash scattering ceremony so your loved ones can be honored as they should be.

Have you and your family made the decision to scatter a loved one’s remains at the conclusion of their cremation services in Saltillo, MS? If you have, you might want to plan an ash scattering ceremony as part of it.

Ash Scattering for your Love One

When planning an ash scattering ceremony, this is the first word that pops up in your mind, right? You would probably think it was strange if someone suggested taking grandma’s ashes and throwing them into the water.

things need to know to ash scattering

As cremation becomes more accepted and even the standard for those who want to make their own decisions regarding death care planning. People are recognizing the value of planning an ash scattering ceremony instead of having a traditional funeral service.

What is an ash scattering ceremony and why might you choose to do one?

An ash scattering ceremony is a public display of affection for your departed loved one. It’s the way to celebrate their life, honor them and give closure to those left behind after they pass on. It can also be an opportunity for family members who didn’t know the deceased person well or were estranged from them while living to say goodbye.

planning an ash scattering

Primarily, planning this type of gathering is about remembering the person in a way that feels right to you. The idea that their ashes will come back around as part of nature feels comforting and can bring lightheartedness even during grief.

Regardless of where exactly you’re going to scatter the remains. You’ll want to put some plans into place for a ceremony prior to holding it to pay tribute to your loved one.

Here is a guide that’ll help you put together your plans accordingly.

1. Gather your loved one’s ashes in a container to store them.

Your loved one’s ashes will come in an urn of some kind. A sufficiently sized container is needed to hold the ashes until it is time to spread them. You may want to get a decorative box or jar that can be moved easily from place to place as you transport the ashes around town planning your event.

2. Find a location for your cremation ceremony.

One option for planning an ash scattering ceremony might be the sea. Those who are planning this type of service should have access to a boat if possible when planning their event. In addition, many people choose rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and other bodies of water as locations for planning an ash scattering.

3. Decide on who will speak during the event.

When planning an ash scattering ceremony, you should include a plan on having some type of speech to honor the person whose ashes will be scattered. This could come from a religious leader or it could come from someone close to the deceased.

4. Consider planning for a reception afterward.

Planning an ash scattering ceremony can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. Keep in mind when planning your event and make sure you have enough food and drink available at your reception after the ashes were scattered. You may even want to have small appetizers for guests to munch on as they talk about how much they enjoyed planning an ash scattering as compared to other types of funerals.

5. Select readings to include in the ceremony.

You want to make sure that planning an ash scattering ceremony is a celebration of the life and personality of your loved one. You can incorporate this by planning readings from religious texts or even reading letters written by friends and family which relate stories about how they knew the deceased.

6. Consider having multiple containers for family and friends to scatter ashes into.

Sometimes planning an ash scattering is difficult to decide where in nature you want your loved one’s ashes scattered. If you get stuck planning an ash scattering at a particular location, simply have more than one container available so that different people can each scatter some ashes (or all of them) into their favorite spot as long as there are still enough remains left for everyone else to do the same.

7. Plan any additional activities that you would like to do before or after the scattering.

Planning an ash scattering is hard enough work planning a ceremony, but it may also be important to plan any additional activities that you want to do such as visiting with family and friends or eating dinner together.

Knowing that everyone will still have plenty of time to spend time with their loved one’s ashes before the scattering ceremony, planning an ash scattering doesn’t need to be rushed.  By planning how long it will take for everyone to say their final goodbyes, families can also make more reservations for restaurants or other activities after the ceremony if they wish.

8. If you are scattering your loved one’s ashes near water, make sure it is not illegal.

Don’t forget about safety precautions if there are young children present!

Some families may choose to scatter their loved one’s ashes near water, either in a lake or the ocean. Be sure that if you do choose to spread your loved one’s ashes near water that those doing so remain safe from drowning.

Planning an ash scattering should include planning for the clean-up of any spills or messes created during planning an ash scattering ceremony.

Lastly planning an ash scattering should include planning on where everyone will stay after the ash scattering ceremony – especially if planning a large one.  If you do not have the space at your home or place of residence for everyone planning an ash scattering to stay, you might want to provide transportation arrangements with a car service or limousine company instead of planning an ash scattering near water.

9. Start by making sure you want to scatter your loved one’s remains.

Once you scatter a person’s remains following their cremation, there is obviously not going to be any getting them back. The last thing you want to do is set everything up only to realize that you’re not actually as in love with the idea of scattering your loved one’s remains as you thought you were.

10. Look for the right location for your loved one’s ash scattering ceremony.

After you and your family have concluded that scattering a loved one’s remains is the right option for you, you should look around for the right location for the ash scattering ceremony that you’re going to be planning. You can hold an ash scattering ceremony out at sea, in a national park, or high up on a mountain. You should pick a nice, quiet place where you and your family won’t be disturbed during the ash scattering ceremony.

11. Hire an officiant to help carry out your loved one’s ash scattering ceremony.

You don’t necessarily have to hire an officiant to take part in your loved one’s ash scattering ceremony if you don’t want to. But it’s a good idea to do it if you don’t have anyone in your family who wants to lead the ceremony. The officiant can give you and your family a chance to continue to mourn your loved one’s loss while they worry about keeping the ash scattering ceremony moving along from start to finish.

12. Pick out special readings, songs, etc., and use them during the ash scattering ceremony.

While you and your family might not head up the ash scattering ceremony, that doesn’t mean you can’t play an active role in choosing the readings, songs, etc. that will be used during it. You should try to pick out different elements that were either special to your loved one or that remind you of your loved one when you hear them. They’ll help to make your loved one’s ash scattering more unique than it would be otherwise.

Even if you and your family plan on holding an ash scattering for a loved one following their cremation. You’re still going to need a reputable Saltillo, MS funeral home by your side to help you carry out their cremation. Contact us today!

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