5 Reasons to Choose Ash Scattering
There are many reasons why a family may choose to do ash scattering. A few of the most common reasons are:
- Ash Scattering Ceremony is environmentally friendly since the process of cremation and ash spread does not release chemicals and pollutants in the soil like a burial would.
- Different from traditional burial, an ash scattering ceremony can take place in the future in case the family needs time to organize something special or process their grief.
- Ash spreading is both suitable for different religions and for people who don’t identify with a specific religion.
- This kind of ceremony is a more personalized sendoff, where the family can use their creativity by including meaningful objects or choosing special locations to perform the ceremony.
- Ash Scattering is also an affordable way of saying goodbye to your loved one compared to more traditional funeral services.
Ash Scattering Ceremony
Ash scattering ceremonies can be personalized so the family finds a better way to honor the memories of their loved one. Depending on the ash scattering method, some ceremony types may be better suited than others. For example, with casting, you may choose to have a formal ceremony with the release of wildflower seeds, biodegradable paper lanterns, or another environmentally friendly option in addition to your loved one’s ashes. Or, if you do a water ash scattering, you can still hold a releasing ceremony with one of the objects mentioned above where everyone can be present. The ceremony agenda can include readings, songs, eulogies, or other personalized elements.
Ash Scattering Ideas
The most common ash scattering methods are casting, trenching, water, and raking. See below some ideas that most fit your loved one’s personality and wishes.
This is the most typical ash scattering method where the ashes are released into the wind and dispersed across an area of land or water. It’s a symbolic way to say goodbye to your loved ones while honoring their memory. It also allows them to explore the special place you chose for the ash scattering, whether it is a park, by the ocean, or in a stadium. You can organize a more intimate ceremony, where one family member releases the ashes, or make it a group ceremony. When doing this, make sure you know the wind direction and release the ashes downwind.
For trenching, you dig a trench or hole in the ground and scatter the ashes inside. Then, your family can cover the hole together. Oftentimes, families dig a significant shape, such as a heart or their loved one’s initials. As for the location, it can be under a tree, in a flower bed, or another purposeful location. Another popular form of trenching is a ringing ceremony where a trench is dug in a circle around a tree or something else of significance. This method is similar to a traditional burial, and it can be ideal for families that would like a burial but don’t want to commit to a full traditional ceremony.
A water ash scattering is exactly what it sounds like; it’s when you scatter the ashes across a body of water, such as the ocean, a lake, or a river. Typically, you place the ashes inside a water-soluble urn that’s placed in the water. Then, the urn begins to dissolve after a few minutes and slowly releases the ashes.
This is when you gently rake the ashes into the soil of an ash-scattering garden, near trees and flowers. In this ceremony, the ashes mix with the earth, becoming one. Afterward, everyone can share special memories with their loved ones.
Other Unique Sendoffs
If you’re looking for a more unique sendoff to show off your loved one’s personality, then one of these options may be right for you. You can incorporate your loved one's ashes into fireworks, balloons, eternal reefs, and other unique tributes.
Rules of Ash Scattering
People often choose to scatter their loved one’s ashes somewhere special that reminds you of them or that they liked to visit. However, there are several rules regarding where you can and cannot scatter ashes. For the most part, you can scatter ashes in places that aren’t private property and on your own property. But you may need a permit, and there are certain rules for different areas, so we’ll go over a few general guidelines:
- If someone else owns the land, you need to write permission to scatter the ashes there.
- Check with your local government before scattering ashes in public parks or other public locations.
- Most U.S. National Parks allow you to scatter ashes, but you need a permit first.
- You can ask permission to scatter ashes in places such as sports arenas and amusement parks, but they often decline these requests.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows ash scatterings in oceans from a plane or boat. However, you must be at least three nautical miles from the shore and need to contact the EPA within 30 days.
Overall, use your best judgment, ask permission when necessary, and be respectful when scattering ashes. If you’re unsure, our staff is happy to help you find a legal and meaningful ash scattering location.
Ash Scattering Services We Offer
Our knowledgeable and experienced staff can assist your family in planning a beautiful ash scattering ceremony that honors your loved one’s life. We can help you choose a legal ash scattering location, select an ash scattering method, and plan the ceremony details. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.