How to Scatter Ashes
If you are thinking about scattering a loved one's cremated remains, the information below will help you understand how to scatter ashes, where to scatter ashes, as well as support you in planning for a scattering ashes ceremony.
Such a ceremony is commonly a private family occasion but it certainly doesn't have to be. Whether large or small, a scattering ceremony can be anything you want it to be. You can bring music into the event, read prayers, or simply take turns sharing memories of your loved one. When choosing to engage in ash scattering, you will want to purchase a scattering urn, designed to disperse the ashes easily. For your convenience, we offer a wide selection of scattering urns.
Types of Scattering Ashes Ceremonies
The common image most of us have of scattering ashes is one of a casting ceremony where the ashes are tossed into the wind or sprinkled on the surface of a lake, river, or sea. Whether one person is responsible for the casting or it's a group effort, casting a loved one's ashes can present challenges. We advise you check the direction of the wind and always cast downwind to avoid having the ashes come back to coat your clothes, skin and hair.
A floating ceremony requires the purchase of a water-soluble urn, which will float for a few minutes before sinking below the surface to bio-degrade naturally.
A trenching ceremony involves digging a shallow trench into the soil, which is filled from the urn, and then raked over at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Many families – especially those who have planted a tree in remembrance of their loved one – choose a ringing ceremony. A trench can be cut into the soil or the ashes can be sprinkled directly on the ground around the tree or shrub.
A raking ceremony involves pouring the ashes on the ground and then raking them into the soil at the conclusion of the ceremony. This can be a very effortless way to scatter the ashes and is appropriate for scattering ceremonies held on privately-owned land.
A sky ceremony involves the use of a private airplane and does not usually involve family members. Check our Community Links page for a list of professional ash scattering services in the area that can assist you.
A Final Note about Ash Scattering
Knowing where to scatter ashes is a very important part of planning a scattering ceremony. Unless you're going to scatter the ashes on your own land, you need to ask permission of the county or city in which you live. Or if you're hoping to hold your ash scattering ceremony on private land, the landowner needs to be consulted.