What is an ash scattering ceremony?
An ash scattering ceremony is the act of releasing the ashes of a loved one. Scattering the remains of a loved one is an important moment and part of dealing with grief. We want to help make this day a special memory to share with your family. There are many different types of scattering ceremonies, but Age Co is here to help you understand the process behind an ash scattering ceremony. We want to offer ideas for your own ceremony and provide guidance during this difficult time.
This moment is down to you and your loved ones, it is a unique and special day to say goodbye. The ceremony can be anything you want it to be, but below are some suggestions to make the day special and memorable.
What type of ash scattering ceremony could you have?
What is an ash casting ceremony?
The casting ceremony being most common. This is where the ashes are scattered over a memorable place such as a landmark, park or river. This can be a way to create a place to remember your loved one and somewhere for you to go when you want to feel closer to them.
What is an ash floating ceremony?
This is quite an unusual option, because it requires a certain type of water-soluble urn. The urn will float for a few minutes on the water before sinking below the surface. This is where the urn and ashes will naturally become part of the water. This is a beautiful way to commemorate your loved one and allows them to go on a new journey. We suggest you research into areas local to you that will allow this ash floating ceremony to take place.
What is a raking ceremony?
A raking ceremony is a beautiful way of returning your loved one to the earth. It involves scattering their ashes on the ground and raking them into the soil to help the growth of new seeds. This is a simple ceremony offering rebirth and new growth in plant life. This ceremony can provide a space to be able to remember your loved one. Please be sure to check with the relevant people that you have permission to perform this ceremony in your chosen location.
What is an ash ringing ceremony?
If you are planting a tree in memory of your loved one, a ringing ceremony can be a lovely way to commemorate this spot. The suggestion is that a trench is cut into the soil around the base of the tree, where the ashes can then be scattered. This creates a long-standing place to go back to, to remind you of your loved one.
What is a sky ceremony?
A sky ceremony sees your loved one’s ashes scattered into the sky. This can be a beautiful and everlasting way to remember your loved one. There are several ways to have a sky ceremony, by airplane, drone, balloon. If your ideas are legally viable, then the sky is quite literally your limit. You can send your loved one’s ashes into the atmosphere by attaching them to a drone or balloon. Or you can hire an airplane or helicopter to take a few close family or friends into the sky to personally scatter the ashes. This can be a more expensive option.
Where can I hold an ash scattering ceremony?
- The same spot as a spouse
- Sports ground
- Private land e.g. house or garden
- The sea, river, or lake
- A beach
- National park
Picking a location for scattering your loved one's ashes isn't an easy decision. If you loved one didn't specify a location, there can be pressure to choose a place of immense importance.
The place you choose will be somewhere you can go to, to remember your loved one. It’s always a good idea to pick a location that is accessible to your family and not restricted in access. Public ground such as rivers and parks are nice spots to choose if they meant something to your loved one. Private land can become difficult, if this is a house that you are likely to sell, you could lose your special spot.
Once you decide where to scatter the ashes, it’s advised to check the location is a legal place to scatter ashes. If this is public land this is typically open to the use of anyone, but usually you can check with a local council. Similarly, if you are scattering ashes in a national park or cemeteries, it is best to seek permission from the relevant parties.
How do I plan an ash scattering ceremony?
We've written a short checklist so you can make sure you’ve remembered everything.
- Decide on what type of ceremony you would like and where you would like to have it. You're not obliged to follow any rules when planning the day. The choices you make should be something special to you, your family and your loved one.
- Decide who will host the ceremony and make sure everyone is able to speak who wishes to.
- Plan a schedule for the day so you know when you are arriving and how you are getting there. Make sure the attendees are aware of this.
- Decide who will spread the ashes, this could be one person or a group of people scattering a small amount each.
- Make sure you have the permissions needed to scatter the ashes in your chosen location.
- Check the urn and the remains in advance so there are no issues on the day. Over time remains can become packed together, this would make it difficult to scatter the ashes.
Throughout your planning, it is important to remember this day is going to be a goodbye to your loved one from you and your family. Make it special and personal, what may work for someone else, won’t be suitable for you and your loved ones. You can make this day as unique and memorable as you wish to.
With the Age Co Funeral Plan, you can record your funeral requests. This will be included as part of your plan and can be amended for no charge at any time. Age Co include cremations within the costs of their plan, so you don’t need to worry about any hidden expenses when trying to make this day special.