Flexible Farewells: Embracing the Freedom of Ash Scattering Ceremonies
Updated: Nov 9
With family budgets increasingly stretched, the added fees of a funeral can be a cost too far for many. Increasingly loved ones are looking at the option of Direct Cremations followed by an Ash Ceremony.
Direct cremation is a simple and cost-effective way of looking after a loved one after they have passed away. However, many families have told me that they were left lacking a sense of closure and, frankly, not knowing what to do with the ashes.
This is where an Interment Ceremony or Ash Scattering Ceremony comes into its own.
Ash Ceremonies deliver everything that’s good about a funeral service: flexibility, personalisation, and at a time & venue of the family’s choice, but at a fraction of the cost of having a ceremony at the same time as the cremation.
I’ve done many Ash Ceremonies, both after officiating the cremation and at a chosen time after the direct cremation – as well as a great many services at crematoria and burial grounds – and handwrite every service to suit the family, the location of the service and most critically, the person whose life we’re celebrating.
Here’s a few examples:
Official Cemetery Ash Interment, in an Ashes Box or Urn
Garden of Remembrance Ash Scattering at an official cemetery
Similar to an ash interment, but the ashes are scattered on the grass and the family can opt for a small plaque to be mounted nearby in the grounds
Favourite Outdoor Place Ash Scattering
This can be done on a beach, by a lake, on an allotment, in the woods, even a favourite sporting venue (subject to permission) and the spot can be commemorated with a bench, vase, tree planting or seed scattering
Memorial River Cruise Ash Scattering
Increasingly, specialist companies offer Memorial Cruises allowing family & friends to have a ceremony onboard, scatter the ashes on the water and raise a toast to their loved one on the way back
After Party following a Cremation or Direct Cremation
A gathering of family and friends, with or without the ashes, to tell stories, share memories and raise a glass. Often less formal, typically the Celebrant plays more of a curating and MC role at these events.
The idea of having an Ash Ceremony is new to many people but it’s a great way of celebrating a loved one’s life at a more affordable budget and is more flexible to suit the needs of those left behind.
Give me a call and let’s book some time to chat through ideas and discuss the perfect send-off for your loved one – a ceremony they would thoroughly have approved of.
It’s your ceremony, your way.
More details on Direct Cremations
It involves the cremation of the body without a traditional funeral service or viewing. Here's a summary of a typical direct cremation:
o No Embalming or Viewing: With direct cremation, there is no embalming of the body, and there are no public viewings or visitations.
o Minimal Services: Direct cremation does not involve a formal funeral service, wake, or memorial ceremony. It's a no-frills, no-fuss option.
o Lower Cost: Direct cremation is often chosen for its cost-effectiveness. It is typically less expensive than traditional funerals because it skips many of the services and preparations associated with a traditional burial or funeral.
o Paperwork and Documentation: Some paperwork and documentation are necessary for a direct cremation.
o Cremation Process: After the required paperwork is completed, the body is transported to a crematorium, where it undergoes cremation. The cremated remains (ashes) are then returned to the family.
o Flexible Memorialisation: After the cremation, the family has the flexibility to plan a memorial service or celebration of life at a later time and location of their choosing. This allows for more personalisation and flexibility in how the individual is remembered.
o Environmental Considerations: Direct cremation is generally considered more environmentally friendly compared to traditional burials because it doesn't require embalming chemicals or burial plots.
It's important to note that the specific details and services included in a direct cremation may vary depending on the funeral director or cremation provider. Some may offer additional options or allow for customisation, so it's advisable to discuss the specific arrangements directly with them.