If you've ever dreamed of gliding gracefully through the sky with the birds or floating across the water with the sea lilies, you may understand your loved one's final wishes to have their cremated ashes scattered. Carrying out this final wish can be a fulfilling spiritual send-off.
Although if your loved has requested a scattering of the ashes at a place other than the crematorium gardens, there are no formal etiquette books on how to hold this event. You may choose to hold a formal funeral ceremony or brief gathering after the cremation arrangements. Following are steps to consider when arranging to scatter the ashes.
1. Sending Out Formal Invitations
The sprinkling of the ashes ceremony may involve a larger or smaller group of people than invited to the crematorium. Send out invitations by mail or electronic mail, depending on time allowance, clearly indicating which ceremony the invitation is for.
2. Deciding on Music
Decide on whether music will be played for the cremation, scattering, or both. Music may be played throughout different stages of the ceremony, including the receiving line, condolences, last respects, sprinkling of the ashes, and departure of guests.
3. Greeting the Family and Guests
A receiving line is typically formed at the crematorium. If you decide to reserve the ceremony for the more spiritual outdoor setting, decide on which family and friends will be in the receiving line.
4. Extending Condolences
Formal remarks may be made at the crematorium, scattering, or both. Decide in advance who, if anyone, will provide formal speeches or remarks at the scattering. You may also open the floor to impromptu remarks.
5. Sprinkling the Ashes
The sprinkling of the ashes is often an emotional experience. This denouement can also be a very beautiful and spiritual moment. You may choose music, poetry, or silence for the send-off. If provided, the final wishes of the deceased will be carried out.
Not all of the ashes need to be scattered. Some loved ones choose to disperse the ashes in many special places over time. Though if scattering the ashes in parks or other public lands, special permits and rules may apply. You may choose to transfer some ashes to a smaller urn for this scattering.
Poetic touches can create a more memorable moment. When scattering the ashes over a cliff or the ocean, for example, attaching a flower will allow loved ones to follow the ashes as they immerse into one with nature.
For more tips on cremation and a scattering of the ashes ceremony, reach out to a local funeral home.