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Five Steps For Planning An Ash Scattering Ceremony

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After the funeral and memorial service, you may be wondering what to do with the cremains of your loved one. An ash-scattering ceremony is one way to honor their memory and return them to a place that they loved in life. The following can help you plan the details.

Choose a location

The location you choose should be one that was important to your loved one or significant in some way. It could be a favorite walking spot, the place where they were married, or anywhere else with a strong tie. You must also consider accessibility. For example, if your loved one enjoyed mountain climbing, it may be difficult for participants to access a favorite mountain top. Instead, you may want to consider a more accessible location or invest in an air scattering by plane.

Research any restrictions

There is no single set of legal requirements that covers ash scattering, instead you will have to check for local laws from the state and county, along with any rules required by agencies with jurisdiction over the the area where you are considering to spread the ashes. For example, you may need a permit to scatter ashes in a national park, or you may need to be three nautical miles from shore for a memorial at sea. Make sure you know the rules and have everything arranged before announcing the memorial.

Put together the guest list

Ash scattering ceremonies often have smaller guest lists than the memorial service. It may just be a few close family members and friends participating. Make sure the guest list for the ceremony can all handle the trip to the scattering location, especially if it is off the beaten track.

Make travel arrangements

Travel arrangements may need to be made, depending on the location. This may include chartering a boat for a burial at sea or renting a plane or helicopter to take you to a back country location. Make sure the transportation option you choose can handle a party of your size.

Plan the program

Now that the details are in place, arrange a simple program. If you want to speak or to have others give speeches, you will need to let everyone know so they can prepare. One idea is to to start off with a song, a poem, or a prayer. Then, have everyone share a few words about the dearly departed before tossing the ashes to the wind. You can then finish with further songs or prayer, as you see fit. Unlike a full memorial service, the scattering ceremony can be short and simple.

If you'd like more information about cremation or other funeral services, contact Taylor Funeral Home.