What to Say When Scattering

What to Say When Scattering Your Loved One’s Ashes

There are no rules regarding what to say when scattering someone’s ashes. What matters is that the moment feels meaningful to you and honoring to your loved one who passed. Many people want to say something while scattering their loved one’s ashes. With some preparation and a little research, you’re sure to figure out what to say when scattering ashes. To help you, we’ll discuss tips for choosing the right words for scattering and some examples of prayers, poems, and quotes that could be useful. 

Tips For Finding the Right Words When Scattering Ashes

You have many options for things to say, whether it’s your loved one’s favorite poem, song lyrics, or words by one of their favorite authors. Here are a few tips to help you decide.

1. Think about the person who passed. What were their beliefs? What was their personality like? Let information about this beautiful individual inform your decision. 
2. Consider if there’s someone else who might want to speak. If speaking feels like a burden, find another person or two to share the load or take it from you completely. 
3. Decide what tone you want to strike on the spectrum from serious to light-hearted. You could keep it all serious, throw in a few lighter moments, or go for primarily light-hearted. This, of course, depends on the individual circumstances, but if you’re speaking during the scattering, you will likely have a good sense of the group’s mood.

    Prayers for Scattering Ashes

    Here are a couple of prayers for those wondering what to say when scattering someone’s ashes, including a blessing. 


    1. Here is a blessing prayer, written by John O’Donhue, called “For Grief.”


      When you lose someone, you love
      Your life becomes strange
      The ground beneath you gets fragile
      Your thoughts make your eyes unsure
      And some dead echo drags your voice down
      Where words have no confidence
      Your heart has grown heavy with loss
      And though this loss has wounded others too
      No one knows what has been taken from you
      When the silence of absence deepens
      Flickers of guilt kindle regret
      For all that was left unsaid or undone
      There are days when you wake up happy
      Again inside the fullness of life
      Until the moment breaks
      And you are thrown back
      Onto the black tide of loss
      Days when you have your heart back
      You are able to function well
      Until in the middle of work or encounter
      Suddenly with no warning
      You are ambushed by grief
      It becomes hard to trust yourself
      All you can depend on now is that
      Sorrow will remain faithful to itself
      More than you, it knows its way
      And will find the right time
      To pull and pull the rope of grief
      Until that coiled hill of tears
      Has reduced to its last drop
      Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
      With the invisible form of your departed
      And, when the work of grief is done,
      The wound of loss will heal
      And you will have learned
      To wean your eyes
      From that gap in the air
      And be able to enter the hearth
      In your soul where your loved one
      Has awaited your return
      All the time.


      2. Here is a Catholic prayer for the dead.


        God our Father, Your power brings us to birth, Your providence guides our lives, and by Your command, we return to dust. Lord, those who die still live in your presence; their lives change but do not end. I pray in hope for my family, relatives, and friends and for all the dead known to You alone. In the company of Christ, Who died and now lives, may they rejoice in Your kingdom where all our tears are wiped away. Unite us together again in one family to sing Your Praises forever and ever. 


        Poems for Scattering Ashes


        1. Here is an uplifting poem.
        The Next Adventure Begins
        By Kelly Roper
        Do not feel sad for me.
        I do not feel sad for myself.
        I lived the life I wanted to,
        Had the best of friends,
        Loved the people I wanted to,
        And I still do.
        Now the next adventure awaits
        In uncharted territory,
        And I'm excited for it to begin.


        2. Here is a religious poem


          May the Angels Take You
          By Kelly Roper
          May the angels take you in their charge
          And gently lift you from this earth.
          May they fly you swiftly to Heaven,
          And place you in the loving arms of our Lord.



          Quotes for Scattering Ashes

          1. To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. –Thomas Campbell

          2. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. –Alfred Tennyson

          3. Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die. –Amelia Burr

          4. Loss only feels this painful when someone has left their mark on your heart. (Insert the name of the deceased) will stay in my heart forever.
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