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Scattering Services

Scattering Services

A common way to honor your loved one after they’ve been cremated is to plan an scattering ceremony. To help your family create a meaningful scattering ceremony, we've provided some scattering ideas and rules to follow.

Why Do Families Choose Ash Scattering?

There are many reasons why a family may choose to do a scattering of cremated remains. A few of the most common reasons are wanting to be environmentally friendly, not identifying with a specific religion, wanting a more personalized sendoff, and being connected to a specific location.

 

Rules of Scattering Services

You should scatter your loved one’s cremated remains somewhere that reminds you of them or that they liked to visit. However, there are several rules regarding where you can and cannot scatter cremated remains. For the most part, you can scatter cremated remains in places that aren’t private property and on your own property. But you may need a permit, and there are certain rules for different areas, so we’ll go over a few general guidelines: 

  • If someone else owns the land, you need written permission to scatter the ashes there.
  • Check with your local government before scattering cremated remains in public parks or other public locations.
  • Most U.S. National Parks allow you to scatter cremated remains, but you need a permit first.
  • You can ask permission to scatter cremated remains in places such as sports arenas and amusement parks, but they often decline these requests.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows scatterings in oceans from a plane or boat. However, you must be at least three nautical miles from the shore and need to contact the EPA within 30 days.

Overall, use your best judgment, ask permission when necessary, and be respectful when scattering cremated remains. If you’re unsure, our staff is happy to help you find a legal and meaningful scattering location.

 

Scattering Ideas

The most common ash scattering methods are casting, trenching, water, and raking. We’ll discuss each of these scattering ideas in more detail below.

 

Casting

This is the most typical scattering method where the cremated remains are released into the wind and dispersed across an area of land or water. It’s a symbolic way to say goodbye to your loved one while honoring their memory. It also allows them to explore the special place you chose for the scattering. When doing this, make sure you know the wind direction and release the cremated remains downwind.

 

Trenching

For trenching, you dig a trench or hole in the ground and scatter the cremated remains inside. Then, your family can cover the hole together. Oftentimes, families dig a significant shape, such as a heart or their loved one’s initials. As for the location, it can be under a tree, in a flower bed, or another meaningful location. Another popular form of trenching is a ringing ceremony where a trench is dug in a circle around a tree or something else of significance. Or, you can put a meaningful object in the center of the circle, such as a candle, photo, or memento.

 

Water

A water scattering is exactly what it sounds like; it’s when you scatter the cremated remains across a body of water. Typically, you place the cremated remains inside a water-soluble urn that’s placed in the water. Then, the urn begins to dissolve after a few minutes and slowly release the ashes.

 

Other Unique Sendoffs

If you’re looking for a more unique sendoff to show off your loved one’s personality, then one of these options may be right for you. You can incorporate your loved one's cremated remains into fireworks, eternal reefs, and other unique tributes. Although our funeral home may or may not have the resources available to assist with these types of scatterings, there are many companies throughout the U.S. that specialize in these types of unique sendoffs.

 

Scattering Ceremony

Depending on the scattering method, some ceremony types may be better suited than others. For example, with a casting, you may choose to have a formal ceremony with the releasing of wildflower seeds, biodegradable paper lanterns, or another environmentally friendly option in addition to your loved one’s cremated remains. Or, if you do a water scattering, you can still hold a releasing ceremony with one of the objects mentioned above where everyone can be present. The ceremony agenda can include readings, songs, eulogies, or other personalized elements.

 

Scattering Services We Offer

Our knowledgeable and experienced staff can assist your family in planning a beautiful scattering ceremony that honors your loved one’s life. We can help you choose a legal  scattering location, select an scattering method, and plan the ceremony details. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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