Your ashes scattered anywhere in the world... and beyond.
Ash Scattering Services
Cremation provides families with more time to arrange where and how to scatter the ashes. While there is no policing agency overseeing scattering, there are some basics you should know:
- If you plan on scattering ashes on private property, it’s smart to receive written permission from the owner.
- Public parks require that you obtain a scattering permit.
- There are no regulations regarding ash scattering on uncontrolled public lands; you need to use your own judgment.
- You should not scatter ashes within 100 yards of public roads or trails.
- The cremation container must be disposed of separately and in an environmentally-safe manner.
- Scattering ashes in inland waters is governed by the Clean Water Act so it’s important to obtain a permit from the agency that oversees waterways.
- Ash scattering at sea must be done at a minimum of three nautical miles from the coastline.
- Any flowers or wreaths used in the ash scattering ceremony held at sea must decompose. No plastic flowers or other non-decomposable items should be left behind.
- For ash scattering done at sea, the Environmental Protection Agency requires that you notify the regional office in writing within 30 days after the event.
- Sports venues and amusement parks are not public places. If you plan to spread ashes in these places, you need to ask permission, but often these requests are rejected.
- Another method known as aerial scattering is becoming another popular choice. Pilots that specialize in aerial scattering have a device attached to their plane that can efficiently spread the ashes over specific locations of the family’s choice.
- Remembering a loved one that was filled with life and energy with fireworks is an excellent choice. Imagine scattering their ashes into the clouds and lighting up the sky in brilliant colours.
- Paint a portrait of your loved one using their ashes. This is done by mixing the ashes with paint that will be used to paint their portrait.
- Using someone’s ashes to get a tattoo may be the closes way to keep your loved one with you forever. A small amount of ashes are mixed with ink to illustrate your loved one’s name or portrait.
- Ashes can now be made into music. The ashes of the deceased are compressed into vinyl, which will play a recording of your choosing.
- Wake up every morning with the sun shining through a stained window, made by mixing your loved one’s ashes with glass as it is being made.
Types of Ash Scattering Ceremonies
When people first think about scattering ashes, often what comes to mind is the tossing and dispersing of cremation ashes into the air. This type of ash scattering is called a casting ceremony. People find that the casting ceremony helps symbolize the freeing or letting go of their loved one’s spirit.
We have organized many different versions of a casting ceremony. Some families choose to keep it simple and have one family member scatter the ashes whereas others have each family member release some of the ashes. You can personalize it any manner that you want. For example, families have been known to have a symbolic toast where the ashes are divided up and put into cups for each guest. Then a toast can be said, and everyone can release the ashes in unison.
Also remember to first determine the direction of the wind. It is important to release the ashes downwind so attendees are not in the path of the ashes.
A trenching ceremony is another popular ash scattering ceremony. A trench or hole is dug into the ground and the ashes are scattered inside. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the family covers the trench or hole.
Trenching ceremonies are ideal for those who loved to garden or loved nature. We have had many trenching ceremonies where the trench is dug under a tree or in a flower bed.
Like a casting ceremony, you can get more creative. For example, we have seen trenches dug in the shape of a heart and trenches where the initials of a loved one are spelled out.
A slight variation on the trenching ceremony is a ringing ceremony. A trench is dug in a circle around a tree, flower, or something else of significance. Some families choose to create a memorial at the center of the ring with candles, a picture of the deceased, or some type of memento like a favorite jersey.
A raking ceremony often takes place in large gardens or in flower beds. The ashes are dispersed evenly across a section of soil. Often, we setup the ceremony so that each family takes turns raking the ashes into the soil and as they do so they share a memory of the deceased with the other guests.
Scattering gardens are becoming very popular across North America. Many cemeteries have built beautiful scattering gardens where families can spread their loved one’s ashes alongside other members of the community. These garden areas grow beautiful trees and flowers, have a solemn and tranquil setting, have seating areas for quiet reflection, and are surrounded by plaques and markers.
Scattering at Sea Ceremony
The possibilities are endless when scattering ashes at sea. One method that most of us have heard of is pouring ashes into the water from a boat. However, this is just one of many ways to have a sea scattering. Another method becoming popular among families is the purchase of biodegradable urns that contain the ashes and prevents them from blowing all over the mourners. These containers float, gradually dissolving, and eventually releasing the ashes. There are many possibilities such as flowers, turtles, shells, and even Viking ships.