Types of Ash Scattering Ceremonies
Cremation services are available to help your family memorialize your loved one. Many families choose to inter the cremated remains in a memorial park. If this option doesn’t feel appropriate for your family or if your loved one specifically requested a scattering ceremony, there are many thoughtful ways to arrange this. Casting, trenching, and raking are all respectful ways to return cremated remains to nature.
Casting is the type of ceremony that typically comes to mind when one thinks of scattering ceremonies. It involves casting the ashes into the wind, over the ground, or over a body of water. Casting may be done from atop a mountain, on level ground, at the shore’s edge, on a boat, or even from an airplane. If your loved one had an adventurous spirit, you might even consider arranging to have the cremated remains launched into space, although you would not be present at the moment this would occur. Casting has roots in many ancient civilizations. It was ritually performed by the ancient Romans and Greeks. Casting is still performed as part of the Hindu rites, in which a loved one’s cremated remains are cast over the sacred Ganges River. Like other cremation ceremonies, casting can be personalized to reflect the life of your loved one. Choose a location that was near and dear to your loved one’s heart. You might choose to scatter the remains in multiple locations. Check local ordinances first; scattering is restricted in some areas.
A trenching ceremony involves interring the cremated remains in a long, narrow, shallow trench and covering the remains with soil. Trenching may be done in a location that was meaningful to your loved one, provided local ordinances allow it. Like casting, trenching has roots in the ancient Roman and Grecian civilizations.
Raking is similar to trenching, although it does not involve burying the remains. Instead, the cremated remains are gently incorporated into the topmost layer of soil. Raking may be a good choice for deceased loved ones who enjoyed gardening or being in nature. The cremated remains will support the plants that grow there. You may wish to plant a tree or scatter wildflower seeds in the ground.
Mountain View Funeral Home provides thoughtful funeral planning services in Lakewood, Washington. Our cremation services include interment in our memorial park. Please call (253) 584-0252 to speak with a funeral director.
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