How to Plan a Meaningful Scattering Ashes Ceremony
The scattering ashes ceremony is a special moment where family and friends can plan a uniquely meaningful experience for themselves and the departed.
In 2020, cremation was a part of more than half of the funerals in the United States and, by 2030, it’s estimated that almost 80% of funerals will request cremation. So, to say that the funeral industry is in a state of change is an understatement.
This shift can be attributed to many things, one of them being the cost. In Fort Worth, the average cost of a basic direct cremation is around $755, while the price of a basic funeral sans cremation can be anywhere upwards of $5,000.
With so many people out of work or underemployed because of the pandemic, it’s not hard to see why a direct cremation is an attractive option.
One of the misconceptions about cremation is that you can’t have a ceremony before or after. And, while direct cremation (cremation within days of death without a funeral) is the most economic option, many people feel as though their loved ones were not properly honored.
A scattering ash ceremony takes place when family members and friends come together to dispose of their loved one’s cremains.
Keep reading for tips on how to plan a meaningful scattering ashes ceremony.
Pick A Location and Invitees
One of the most attractive reasons that people choose to have a scattering ashes ceremony is because of the freedom it gives people to honor their loved ones in a non-traditional way.
Was your loved one a fan of the beach and the ocean? Maybe you want to charter a boat and dispose of the ashes at sea. Did they love the outdoors? You might consider hiking into the mountains for the ceremony. Did they have a green thumb? You could scatter their ashes in a garden and plant on top of it.
The possibilities are truly endless, but they all come with their own special considerations.
For example, if your cremation ceremony idea is to take a boat out to sea for the spreading of the ashes, you’ll be limited to how many people you can bring aboard, and you’re also looking at a significant cost.
If your scattering ashes ceremony will be outdoors in a national park, the cost is next-to-nothing, but this might also limit the ability to have certain friends and family (think children, senior citizens, and those with limited mobility) take part.
Ask Permission And Get Permits
In Texas, there are very few restrictions as to where you can scatter ashes. Legally, you are allowed to scatter them over any uninhabited land.
However, your best bet is to call local government offices to find out if there are any ordinances for that area.
National parks allow for the disposal of ashes in certain areas with prior permission, so make a call to the park ranger beforehand. If you plan on disposing of ashes at sea, you must notify the Environmental Protection Agency within 30 days of the scattering.
Wherever you choose to have an ash ceremony, it’s important to obtain the proper permission to spread the ashes.
Pre-Plan The Scattering Ashes Ceremony
Again, an ash-scattering ceremony is one of the most non-traditional ways of saying goodbye, so the possibilities are endless.
Will you have a member of the clergy present to say a prayer or two? Will you have a family member deliver a eulogy? Will you choose speakers beforehand, or leave it open for whoever would like to speak?
Tell people where to meet, what to wear, and what to expect as far as a time commitment. Have a schedule prepared ahead of time.
If the ceremony is outside and requires walking, or on a boat or a plane, let your guests know ahead of time so that they can plan accordingly.
Also, if you’re considering a scattering ashes ceremony outside, consider the elements such as wind and the possibility of other hikers or tourists being present.
Whether it’s a short, private event or a large ash scattering ceremony, having a plan for is very important.
Make Plans For The Ashes
Talk to your family and friends about the plan for the ashes themselves. Will they be scattered all at once, or will you scatter them in different places at different times? Do loved ones want their own portion of the ashes to keep close to them?
We offer the opportunity to split the ashes between loved ones; for obvious reasons, this is something that needs to be done beforehand, so discuss it amongst your family.
Another popular option is to split ashes in keepsakes such as jewelry. Again, this needs to be decided on before the scattering ashes ceremony.
Practice Opening the Urn
As with any ceremony, whether it be a wedding, a baptism, a funeral, or an ash-scattering, you want the event to go off without a hitch.
The last thing you want to be struggling with while the eyes of family and friends gaze upon you is the spreading of the ashes themselves.
Practice opening the urn before the ash ceremony. They can be tough to open on the first try and you don’t want any unnecessary surprises.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll know whether the ashes are loose inside the urn or contained in plastic. It’s also important to know if they are compacted or not, as pouring them out could be a challenge.
Ask For Help
The death of a loved one is an emotionally-taxing life event, whether you have a burial or a cremation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional or a family member. Funeral directors are well-versed in all kinds of ceremonies, so don’t feel as though you have to go through this alone.
It’s also important to take care of your mental health during this time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, lost or hopeless, talk to a professional
A scattering ashes ceremony can be just as important as a funeral. Whatever you want for your loved one, Lonestar Cremation can help. Contact us for a quote or call us at (817) 546-0108.