Memorials with Love

Finding Closure: Meaningful Words and Rituals for Scattering Ashes

Scattering the ashes of a loved one is a poignant and deeply personal experience. It is a final act of farewell that allows us to honor their memory and find closure in their passing.

But deciding what to say during this solemn moment can be difficult. Whether you choose to say nothing, offer a prayer, share a favorite quote, give a eulogy, or allow others to speak, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that your words are simple, dignified, and meaningful.

1. What to Say When Scattering Ashes

Option 1: Say Nothing

Sometimes, silence speaks louder than words.

A moment of silence during the scattering of ashes can create a space for reflection and remembrance. It allows everyone present to connect with their own thoughts and memories of the departed.

It is a powerful and universal way to pay tribute to your loved one. Option 2: Say a Prayer

If you prefer to invoke a higher power or seek spiritual solace, saying a prayer can bring comfort and peace to those present.

You can choose to say an extemporaneous prayer, or invite a pastor or clergy member to lead the prayer. If you need some inspiration, here are a few prayers that may be suitable for this occasion:

– “May the soul of our dearly departed rest in peace.


– “Dear God, we gather here to honor the memory of [name]. May their soul find eternal peace in your loving embrace.”

– “Lord, we scatter these ashes as a symbol of our love and respect for [name].

May their spirit guide us and bring us comfort in our time of sorrow.”

Option 3: Share a Favorite Quote

A carefully chosen quote can capture the essence of your loved one and the impact they had on your life. Consider sharing a memorial quote, poem, Bible verse, or even something you think your loved one would say if they were present.

It can be a beautiful way to celebrate their life and honor their memory. Some examples of quotes that might resonate with you include:

– “Those we love don’t go away; they walk beside us every day.

Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed, and very dear.” – Unknown

– “Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep.” – Mary Elizabeth Frye

– “For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Option 4: Give a Eulogy

If you feel compelled to share more about your loved one and their life, you may consider giving a brief eulogy. This is an opportunity to reminisce, share stories, and speak directly to the impact the departed had on your life and the lives of others.

Keep the eulogy concise and focused on the positive aspects of their life. Highlight their achievements, passions, and the love they brought into the world.

Option 5: Open Mic

Another option is to allow others present to speak if they feel inclined. This can create a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere, giving everyone a chance to share their own memories and reflections.

It is important to prepare in advance and ask those who wish to speak to keep their remarks brief. This allows everyone to have a turn without prolonging the event unnecessarily.

2. Tips on What to Say

Keep it simple: When scattering ashes, it is best to keep your words simple and uncomplicated.

Emotions can run high during this time, so expressing your thoughts concisely will ensure that your message is received and understood. Keep it dignified: The act of scattering ashes deserves respect and reverence.

Choose your words and tone carefully to maintain the dignity of the occasion. Remember, this is a shared moment of remembrance, so consider the feelings of others when selecting your words.

Write out what you want to say: Jot down your thoughts and organize them before the scattering ceremony. This will help you articulate your feelings and ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Having notes on hand also provides a source of stability during a potentially emotional moment. Consider a group recitation: To create a sense of unity and inclusion, you may choose to lead a group recitation of a meaningful quote, prayer, or even a familiar song, such as “Amazing Grace”.

This can bring everyone together in a shared expression of love and farewell. Remember, the most important thing when deciding what to say when scattering ashes is to be authentic and true to yourself.

Trust your instincts and speak from the heart. The act of scattering ashes is a personal and intimate experience, and your words should reflect that.

Whether you choose silence, a prayer, a quote, a eulogy, or an open mic, the most significant thing is that you honor the memory of your loved one and find solace and closure in their final farewell.

3) How to Talk About Ashes

During the process of scattering ashes, it’s important to use proper terminology to show respect and sensitivity. The proper term for the remains of a loved one who has been cremated is “cremated remains” or simply “remains.” This terminology acknowledges the dignity of the deceased and emphasizes their continued significance even after death.

While “ashes” is a commonly used term to refer to the cremated remains, it is also acceptable to use the term “cremains.” This word is a combination of “cremated” and “remains” and has gained recognition in recent years. It is a more casual and colloquial term that is often used in conversations about scattering ashes.

When discussing the process of scattering ashes, using these appropriate terms demonstrates sensitivity and respect for the deceased. It is essential to communicate with kindness and consideration, especially when engaging in discussions about such a personal and emotional topic.

4) A Script for What to Say When Scattering Ashes

When it comes to what to say during the act of scattering ashes, having a script or a guideline can provide structure and help you express your emotions effectively. While a verbatim script might not be necessary, having a general idea of what you want to say can be immensely helpful.

Here is a suggested script that includes an introduction, remembrance, mourning, celebration, honoring, and a goodbye:”Thank you all for being here today as we gather to scatter the cremated remains of our beloved [name]. Their presence in our lives touched us deeply, and today, we come together to honor their memory and find closure in this final act of farewell.”


“As we scatter [name]’s remains, let us take a moment to reflect on the impact they had on our lives.

[Name] brought joy, laughter, and love into our world. They will forever hold a special place in our hearts.”


“While our hearts are heavy with grief, we recognize that scattering these remains is an important step in our healing process.

As we release [name]’s earthly form, we also release our sorrow. We find solace in knowing that their spirit lives on within us.”


“Today, we celebrate the life [name] lived.

They touched us with their kindness, taught us the value of love and compassion, and left us with countless memories to cherish. Let us remember [name] for the laughter they brought, the wisdom they shared, and the unconditional love they freely gave.”


“As we scatter [name]’s remains, let us honor the profound impact they had on our lives.

Their legacy will continue to live on through the love, kindness, and inspiration they left behind. May their memory guide us as we move forward, carrying their spirit within us.”


“[Name], as we release your remains into the wind, we say our final goodbye.

We are grateful for the time we had with you, and we will forever hold you in our hearts. Your presence may have left this world, but your impact continues to shape the lives of those you touched.

May you find eternal peace.”


(*During this phase, there can be a moment of silence or the optional inclusion of a meaningful quote, poem, Scripture, or prayer that resonates with you and the departed.)

Final Closure Statement:

“Today, we say our final goodbye, knowing that [name]’s love will forever surround us. Though the physical form is no longer with us, their spirit lives on, and their memory will always be cherished.

Let us find comfort in knowing that [name] has found peace, and may we carry their love and light within us as we continue our journey.”

Remember, this suggested script is a starting point and can be adapted or personalized to suit your specific situation and the preferences of your family and loved ones. Each person’s relationship with the departed is unique, so feel free to modify the language, add personal anecdotes, or incorporate specific religious or cultural traditions that hold significance.

The most important aspect is to speak from your heart and ensure that your words convey your love, respect, and gratitude for the life that was lived.

5) Memorial Quotes for Scattering Ashes

Finding the right quote to accompany the scattering of ashes can add a touch of poignancy and depth to the ceremony. Here are a few memorial quotes that may resonate with you and are applicable to scattering ashes:

Quote 1: “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust”

This quote comes from the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and is often recited during traditional funeral services.

It serves as a reminder of the cycle of life and the transient nature of human existence. When scattering ashes, this quote can symbolize the return of our loved one to the earth, where they will become one with nature once more.

Quote 2: “Success” by Bessie A. Stanley

This famous quote by Bessie A.

Stanley speaks to the essence of a life well-lived. While not specifically written for scattering ashes, it can beautifully capture the impact and achievements of your loved one.

Reflecting on their success and the positive legacy they left behind can bring comfort and inspiration during this solemn moment. “Success is to laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.”

When choosing a memorial quote for scattering ashes, consider the values, accomplishments, and impact that your loved one had on others. Seek a quote that resonates with their life and the way they lived it.

6) Poems for Scattering Ashes

Poetry has the power to evoke emotions and express complex feelings. Including a poem during the scattering of ashes can create a moment of reflection and provide comfort to those gathered.

Here are a few poems that are often chosen for such occasions:

Poem 1: “An Irish Blessing” (Traditional Irish funeral poem)

This beloved Irish blessing offers solace and invokes a sense of peace. It can provide comfort to those mourning the loss of a loved one as they scatter their ashes.

“May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

The rains fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Poem 2: “Miss Me, But Let Me Go” by Christina Rossetti

This poignant poem by Christina Rossetti reminds us to hold onto cherished memories while granting permission to let go of grief and allow the departed to find peace. “Miss me a little, but not too long,

And not with your head bowed low,

Remember the love that we once shared,

Miss me, but let me go.”

Poem 3: “Wish You Were Here” (Unknown)

This touching poem speaks directly to the departed, expressing the longing and love felt by those left behind.

It conveys the desire to have them present but acknowledges the need for them to find peace in their absence. “I wish you were here to share in the light,

To be by my side on this beautiful night,

Though you’re not here in person, you are in heart,

And knowing you’re with me brings peace from the start.”

Poem 4: “No Winter Without a Spring” (Unknown)

This uplifting poem reminds us that even in times of sorrow and loss, there is always hope for a new beginning.

It can serve as a comforting reminder of the natural cycle of life and the possibility of renewal. “No winter without a spring,

No darkness without light,

No grief without some healing,

No battle without a fight.

Though I may mourn your absence,

And tears may freely flow,

I find solace in knowing,

That love will always grow.”

Poem 5: “Alone I Will Not Be” by Captain Chad Theesfeld

This stirring poem acknowledges the pain of loss but assures us that we are not alone in our grief. It speaks to the eternal connection we share with our loved ones, even after they have passed on.

“I may feel alone and lost,

But through the darkest night,

I sense your spirit by my side,

Guiding me with your light. Though you are gone from sight,

Our souls remain entwined,

For love transcends all boundaries,

Forever, you are mine.”

When selecting a poem, choose one that resonates with the emotions you wish to express and the relationship you had with the departed.

Poetry has a way of capturing the profound and ethereal nature of life, making it a beautiful addition to the ceremony of scattering ashes.

7) Prayers for Scattering Ashes

In moments of grief and remembrance, offering a prayer can bring solace and provide comfort to those gathered to scatter the ashes of a loved one. Here are a few prayers that are often chosen for such occasions:

Prayer 1: The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

The Lord’s Prayer is a universal prayer that can bring a sense of unity and provide a foundation of faith during the scattering of ashes.

Its words resonate with many people and offer a source of guidance and strength. “Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, the power,

And the glory forever and ever.


Prayer 2: Strength Prayer

This prayer acknowledges the pain and heartache experienced during times of loss and asks for strength and comfort to endure the grief. “Dear God, in this moment of scattering these ashes, we come before you with heavy hearts.

We have lost someone dear to us, and the pain we feel is overwhelming. We ask for your strength to carry us through these difficult days.

Grant us the courage to face our grief and the comfort of knowing that our loved one is at peace in your presence. Amen.”

Prayer 3: A Prayer for Scattering Ashes

This prayer specifically addresses the act of scattering ashes, seeking guidance and peace for the departed soul.

“O Lord, as we scatter these ashes, we pray for the soul of our beloved [name]. May their spirit find eternal rest in your loving embrace.

Grant them peace and comfort as they enter into the presence of your glorious light. May the winds carry their essence across the land and let their memory live on forever in our hearts.


Prayer 4: Prayer to Follow in Faith

This prayer emphasizes the importance of continuing to find strength and faith in the face of loss and encourages those present to seek solace in their belief system. “Almighty God, we gather here today to scatter the ashes of our dear [name].

We thank you for their life and the love they brought into our world. Guide us as we mourn their passing and help us find solace in our faith.

Grant us the courage to face the days ahead with hope and to remember that you are with us through every step of this journey. Amen.”

Prayer 5: Committal Prayer

This prayer is a serene and profound acknowledgment of the final farewell and entrustment of the departed into God’s care.

“Loving God, as we scatter the remains of our beloved [name], we entrust their spirit into your loving hands. May their soul find eternal peace and rest in the embrace of your grace.

May our own grieving hearts find solace and hope through the assurance that you go with us in our grief and that nothing can separate us from your love. Amen.”

Remember, these prayers serve as starting points and can be modified or adapted to align with your personal beliefs and the specific needs of your family and loved ones.

The act of praying during the scattering of ashes is an opportunity to seek solace, find peace, and express gratitude for the life of the departed.

8) Bible Verses for Scattering Ashes

For those who find comfort in scripture, incorporating selected Bible verses during the scattering of ashes can offer strength, hope, and solace. Here are a few verses that are often chosen for such occasions:

Verse 1: Psalm 23

The words of Psalm 23 are often recited during times of grief and mourning.

This verse reminds us of God’s presence as a loving shepherd who guides and comforts us through the valleys of life. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Verse 2: Psalm 121

This verse offers reassurance and comfort, reminding us that our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains

where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip

he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.”

Verse 3: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

This passage reminds us of the cycles of life, acknowledging that there is a time for everything, including grieving and finding comfort. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.”

Verse 4: John 6:35-40

This passage speaks to the promise of eternal life and the assurance of Jesus as the source of nourishment and salvation.

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.'”

Verse 5: 1 Corinthians 15:35-57

This passage emphasizes the hope of resurrection and the promise of new life in Christ. “But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised?

With what kind of body will they come?’ How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.

There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

When selecting Bible verses for scattering ashes, choose ones that provide comfort and resonate with the beliefs and faith of those present.

These verses can offer a sense of hope, remind us of God’s presence, and provide reassurance in times of grief and loss. In conclusion, deciding what to say when scattering ashes is a deeply personal and important task.

Whether you choose silence, a prayer, a quote, a eulogy, or allow others to speak, there are guidelines to ensure your words are simple, dignified, and meaningful. Practice simplicity and dignity, write out your thoughts, consider group recitations, and remember to choose proper terminology when discussing ashes.

Additionally, incorporating memorial quotes, poems, prayers, and Bible verses can offer comfort, solace, and a spiritual connection during the scattering ceremony. The key takeaway is to speak from the heart, honoring the memory of your loved one and finding solace and closure in this final act of farewell.

May the words spoken during this solemn moment bring comfort and strength to all those gathered.

Popular Posts