Here in the West, cremation is a relatively modern tradition, but one that’s fast becoming the rule rather than the exception. In the wide world, casting is a common tradition for funerals. Known in the States as scattering ashes, casting is a respectful way to return a loved one to the earth after they have been cremated.
Scattering urns can be used to release remains in a beloved nature spot, on a mountain peak, in a faraway homeland, or in water. Today, we’re going to focus on the new traditions associated with the latter, a burial at sea.
Scattering Ashes in Water, a Respectful, Green New Tradition
Burials at sea are not a new tradition, although they have always been uncommon. Sailors, merchants, and navy men have developed complex traditions for burying a friend or crew member at sea. However, in the 21st century, new traditions are emerging.
When mourners use special biodegradable cremation urns for ashes, a burial at sea can be very eco-friendly. These special scattering urns are made from biodegradable materials like paper, and designed to naturally break down in all kinds of water.
When planning a water burial, the first decision you have to make is whether you plan to scatter the ashes or inter them inside an urn. Many families choose to pour the ashes directly into the water or throw them to the wind. Others choose to seal the ashes inside specially designed scattering urns.
These specialty urns are not only biodegradable, but they’re built with small holes in the bottom. This allows them to float, then slowly and gracefully sink to the bottom as they fill with water. In either case, it’s possible to create respectful funeral services, especially for loved ones who spend time on the water.
In many water burials, mourners also throw flower petals or special floating flower arrangements. Surfers have even been known to paddle out for a service, forming a giant ring in the water together.
Finally, before planning a service, decide if you want to keep a portion of the ashes, either to display in your home, place in a columbarium, or have placed in memorial keepsakes like cremation ash jewelry.
Planning a funeral for a loved one is never easy, but it’s always possible to plan a loving goodbye. Helpful sites.