How to Plan a Celebration of Life Ceremony With Cremation
If someone wants to be cremated, you can still celebrate their life. Here’s how to plan a celebration of life ceremony when someone wants cremation.
Cremation and celebration can go hand in hand. By 2035, nearly 80% of Americans will decide on cremation instead of burial for themselves. As cremation becomes more popular, many people are deciding to have celebrations of life rather than formal funerals.
A celebration of life can involve joyous events like playing music as well as cremation. The key to incorporating both is to answer a few questions about planning a celebration of life ceremony and cremation services.
What should happen during a celebration of life, and where should it take place? How can you sprinkle or disperse ashes during the event? When should you schedule cremation services?
Get the facts and you can commemorate your loved one’s life and personality in a beautiful fashion. Here is your comprehensive guide.
Assess Your Loved One’s Desires
Your loved one may have specified events or locations for their celebration of life. Take a look at their will and see if they provided any details. They may also have a conversation with their spouse or a confidant, so ask them if they talked about the ceremony.
A celebration of life is an informal alternative to funeral services. Some celebrations include eulogies, poetry readings, and religious traditions. But you can personalize the events however you want.
If your loved one did not leave any instructions, think about what their personality was like. Try to find opportunities to integrate their favorite music, colors, and flowers into the occasion.
You can create a theme for your celebration of life that reflects on your loved one. If your loved one had a favorite holiday, you can schedule the ceremony for that holiday and hang up decorations for it. If they had a hobby, you and your guests can perform that hobby.
You should also check to see if your loved one prefers cremation, burial, or another means of disposition. Some of your loved ones may be uncomfortable with cremation because their religion or culture advocates against it.
Have a conversation with them if you decide to cremate your loved one. Discuss the history of cremation and explain to them the reasons why you are choosing it for your loved one.
Try to incorporate them into the celebration of life ceremony. Asking them to read a text from their religion or culture can make them feel respected.
Select a Great Location
Celebrations of life can occur inside or outside. If you plan on sprinkling ashes during the ceremony, you may want to conduct the entire event outside. Asking guests to move around can slow the event down and inconvenience people with mobility issues.
You can sprinkle ashes on any piece of private land, as long as you have permission from the property owner to do so. If your loved one had a garden or yard, you can sprinkle the ashes into the soil.
You can bury ashes at sea, though you need to be three nautical miles from shore. You can rent a boat or use your loved one’s boat, but you need a permit from the EPA in order to deposit the remains. The EPA allows people to sprinkle remains into the water or lower urns into it.
If you want to have a ceremony on a lake or river, you should contact your state government. You should also contact the Forest Service if you want to sprinkle ashes in a national park or forest.
Get Tools for the Ashes
To store your ashes until the celebration of life, you should place them in an urn. You can select any cremation urns you want, including ones with your loved one’s name and photo on them.
If you don’t want to touch ashes with your hands, you can use a scattering tube. When you’re ready to spread ashes, lift the lid and push up the tab. You can tilt the tube over, and the ashes will sprinkle out around you.
Some people prefer to use a trowel or ladle. This can help you scatter the cremains in an even line or a circle around you.
To mix the ashes into the soil and keep them from clumping together, you can rake the ground. You can also use your trowel to mix them into the soil and dirt.
Find an Appropriate Way to Spread Ashes
You can spread ashes in several different ways. You can do this at any point during your celebration of life ceremony. Doing it at the end can add closure to the event, or you can do it at the beginning as a way of breaking the ice.
You do not have to spread all of the ashes. You can distribute the ashes and allow different people to store them or spread them as they wish. If people are going to keep some ashes, get them urns so they can store them properly.
On land, you can sprinkle or throw them over the soil. If you plan on having speeches during the event, you can give a small amount of ashes to each speaker. After they are done speaking, they can scatter them.
If you want to do something different, you can try a trenching ceremony. Someone can dig a hole, and you or someone else scatter ashes into the hole. Everyone can then use rakes or shovels to cover the hole.
A ringing ceremony involves digging a trench in a circle around a tree, rock, or another natural landmark. You can sprinkle ashes into the circle, or you can place them in the center.
If you plan on throwing ashes into the air, make sure you consider the wind direction. Turn in the direction the wind is blowing and try to throw or sprinkle them horizontally. Throwing them up into the air or throwing them while the wind is blowing toward you can cause them to fall on you.
Burying an urn can be similar to burying a casket. You can buy a grave and then lower the urn into the grave. You can also bury it on any plot of land, including your loved one’s backyard.
Releasing ashes from the air is a good way to celebrate the life of a pilot, an Air Force member, or an astronomer. You can hire a pilot to release ashes from an airplane. Some pilots are capable of dropping ashes on specific spots.
You can also place ashes inside fireworks and shoot them into the air. When the fireworks go off, they will release the cremains while producing lights and colors like standard fireworks.
Using paper lanterns is a more peaceful way to release cremains into the air. Each person at the celebration of life can make their own lantern and write a message to your loved one. This ceremony works well at night or during sunset, as the lanterns will produce bright lights against the sky.
You can sprinkle ashes into the ocean from a boat or while standing on a beach. If you want an alternative to sprinkling, you can float them inside an urn.
You need to find an urn that is biodegradable and made of a buoyant material like foam. Place the urn into the water and allow the current to take it away. It will eventually sink into the water and disperse the ashes.
A variant of a raking or sprinkling ceremony is to disperse the ashes on the sand close to the water. As the tide comes in, it will wash over the cremains and take them out to sea.
Schedule the Cremation Services
If you plan on dispersing the ashes during the celebration of life ceremony, you need to schedule the cremation in advance. You can do so at any point that is convenient for you and your loved ones.
For most celebration of life ceremonies, you can get a basic cremation package. In addition to receiving the ashes, you can get an urn, publish an online obituary, and ship the cremains to another family member.
You can incorporate the actual cremation into your celebration of life. A small group of family members can watch the cremation and perform poetry readings or speeches while it occurs. You can also drive directly from the cremation center to your event venue to start the ceremony right away.
Start the Right Celebration of Life Ceremony
A celebration of life ceremony is your opportunity to say goodbye however you would like. Contemplate your loved one’s personality and arrange for the guests to participate in their favorite activities and help their favorite causes.
Select a meaningful location where you can gather everyone together and disperse your ashes. Consider ways of sprinkling the remains on land, in the air, and into the water.
When you’re ready to order cremation services, find experienced professionals near you. Lone Star Cremation serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Book an appointment today.
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