An ash scattering memorial ceremony can be an appropriate way to remember and honor your loved one. The following guide can help you plan the memorial so it will be the most fitting tribute possible.
Determine your ceremony needs
It's common practice to host two ceremonies for an ash scattering. Generally, the first memorial is held at home or at a funeral home. This is the open ceremony, where everyone is welcome to attend to pay their final respects. The second memorial is the actual ash scattering, which may be open only to immediate family members or a group of hand selected guests. This is most common when a destination is involved for the final scattering, such as a hike to a favorite mountain top or a cruise on the ocean. If a destination isn't part of the plan, such as if the scattering location is an easy-to-access nearby area, you can combine both ceremonies into one.
Create a plan
It's important to have a plan for the actual scattering. Things to consider include:
How many people will be scattering ashes? Will there be only one person or will there be several?
Will each person be sharing a few words before they scatter, or will there be a single speech or eulogy given before hand?
Are you planning additional memorials, such as a balloon release or a tree planting ceremony?
Once you have your basic plan, write it down and create a simple program. You can hand the program out at the ceremony or simply commit it to memory, depending on how formal you are planning on making it.
Handle the logistics
Your final steps will be the actual logistics of the ceremony. You will need to secure the ashes and the urn or urns, making sure they are appropriate to the ceremony. If there will be multiple people spreading the ashes, then ask the crematorium to divide the remains into the appropriate number of urns. If you plan to bury the ashes or scatter them over water, it may be necessary to get a biodegradable or water soluble urn.
Next, contact anyone that you wish to participate in the ceremony. This includes any religious leaders, special speakers, or musicians. Also, send out invitations to everyone else you wish to attend if it isn't meant to be an open memorial.
Finally, secure all the tools you will need. For example, will you need a trowel to bury ashes or plant a memorial tree? Should there be a final toast, necessitating both beverage and glasses for everyone involved? Be thorough in making this list, especially if the ceremony is occurring in a remote place where you can't make last minute trips to get necessary items.
Talk to a funeral home or memorial planner at a facility like Richard H Keenan Funeral Home for more help.