Planning a Formal Scattering Ceremony for Cremated Remains

Posted on: 12 March 2015

The scattering of cremated remains, commonly referred to as ashes, can be whatever you want it to be. It can be a brief, intimate experience or a larger, more formal ceremony. If you feel drawn to the latter as you prepare for the scattering of the ashes of a loved one, or as you plan ahead for your own ceremony, you will need to think about what types of things will take place at the service. Many of the components of a traditional funeral service can be used in a scattering ceremony. Here are three such ideas to consider as you prepare the ceremony that will best honor your loved one and bring peace to the attendees.


Like a traditional service, family members and friends can be asked to give eulogies. Consider having one of the speakers talk about why the ashes are being scattered in the selected location. This would be an appropriate time to share anecdotes about the relationship between your loved one and this area of nature. Remember that you will not have some of the benefits of an indoor funeral. Because of the potential lack of seating, exposure to the elements, and difficulty in hearing the speakers, you may want to suggest that eulogies be kept very brief. 


Readings from books, speeches, and poetry can be a lovely way to set the tone and reflect the personality and interests of your loved one. You may want to choose a piece that was a particular favorite of your loved one, or a selection that reminds you of them. If your loved one did some of their own writing, you can even read some of their pieces. Here again, you may also want to choose a reading that reflects the appeal and beauty of the location in which the ashes are being scattered. 


Even in the middle of the woods, you can realistically have musical numbers as a part of the scattering ceremony. As with the readings, consider choosing music that held a special place in the heart of your loved one, or that is reminiscent of their personality and life experiences. Keep these musical numbers as simple as possible. This could even mean an a cappella vocal number. If you do want to use instruments, choose ones that are easily transported and tuned.   

Whatever you choose as part of the ceremony, the scattering of cremated remains can be a beautiful and personalized way to remember, celebrate, and honor your loved one. As you make plans, follow your instinct. You will know what feels best for all those involved.  For more information, contact the Duchynski-Cherko Funeral Home