Memorials with Love

Mixing and Honoring Ashes: A Personal Guide to Commingling Remains

Commingling Ashes: An In-Depth Look at Mixing and Separating RemainsWhen it comes to honoring the memory of a loved one who has passed away, there are various ways to handle their ashes. One option that many people consider is commingling ashes.

Commingling, or mixing, the ashes of multiple individuals can be a meaningful way to symbolize unity or shared connections. In this article, we will explore the process of commingling ashes, the options available for doing so, and common practices surrounding this unique tribute.

Commingling Ashes: The Process:

Commingling ashes involves combining the cremated remains of two or more individuals into a single container or urn. The process begins with gathering the ashes and making sure they are prepared for mixing.

Funeral homes often offer commingling services, where the remains are carefully combined in a respectful manner. Alternatively, if you prefer to handle the process yourself, it can be done with proper care and following certain guidelines.

Options for Commingling Ashes:

1. Funeral Home Services: Many funeral homes provide commingling services.

They have the experience and knowledge to perform this task with sensitivity and professionalism. The ashes are carefully mixed within a companion urn, which is specifically designed to hold the remains of multiple individuals.

2. DIY Approach: If you choose to handle the commingling process yourself, it’s important to take precautionary measures to ensure the dignity and respect of the deceased.

First, gather the ashes of the individuals you wish to commingle. Lay a plastic sheet or bag on a clean and flat surface.

Empty each container of ashes onto the plastic, making sure to keep them separated. Once all the ashes are laid out, gently mix them together using gloved hands or utensils.

Be mindful to handle the remains with care, as they are delicate. Once the ashes are thoroughly mingled, carefully funnel them into a single urn or container.

Seal the urn securely and consider placing it within a larger, sealed plastic bag for added protection. Use a twist tie to ensure the bag is securely closed.

Common Practice of Commingling Ashes:

1. Frequency of Commingling Ashes: Commingling ashes is a common practice, often chosen by people who wish to be buried together or have their ashes preserved together.

Many companions or family members opt for a single companion urn, symbolizing their eternal bond. In these cases, the ashes are frequently commingled at a funeral home or by following the DIY method.

2. Separating Ashes Within an Urn: In some situations, it may be necessary or desired to keep the remains separate within the same urn.

This allows for distinct identification and individual recognition. To achieve this, the ashes can be separated by placing them in individualized containers or compartments within the urn.

These compartments can be made of materials such as glass or plastic and provide a clear distinction between each person’s ashes. Conclusion:

In conclusion, commingling ashes is a personal choice that can serve as a symbol of unity or shared connections among loved ones.

Whether you choose to utilize the services of a funeral home or handle the process yourself, it is important to approach commingling with reverence and respect for the deceased. By understanding the process and available options, you can make an informed decision on how to honor the memory of those you hold dear.

Remember, commingling ashes is a unique and personal decision, and it is essential to consider the wishes and beliefs of the deceased and their loved ones. Considerations for Commingling Ashes: Personal, Legal, and Religious Factors

Considerations for Commingling Ashes

Personal Preference and Will Instructions

When deciding whether or not to commingle ashes, personal preference and any instructions left in a couple’s will should be taken into account. Some individuals may express a strong desire to have their ashes mingled with those of their spouse or loved ones, while others may prefer to keep their ashes separate.

It is important to respect and honor the wishes of the deceased and their desires for their final resting place. If the deceased person’s will or final requests specify commingling, it is crucial to follow those instructions to ensure their wishes are met.

Transferring Remains to Permanent Urn

Once the ashes have been mingled, they can be transferred to a permanent urn for display or burial. Many funeral homes provide temporary urns to hold the ashes until the commingling process is complete.

These temporary urns are usually made of lightweight materials such as plastic or cardboard. After the ashes have been mixed, it is important to transfer them to a more durable and long-lasting container.

To transfer the mixed ashes to a permanent urn, carefully remove the ashes from the temporary urn. Place the ashes in a sealed plastic bag to prevent any spills or mishaps during the transfer.

Gently funnel the ashes into the permanent urn, taking care not to spill any of the remains. Once the ashes are securely placed in the final urn, seal it tightly to ensure the preservation of the ashes.

It is essential to handle the remains with reverence and care throughout this process.

Legal and Religious Considerations

Legality of Mixing Ashes

It is important to note that commingling ashes is not illegal in most jurisdictions. However, it is always advisable to familiarize yourself with local regulations regarding cremated remains.

While there may be no legal restrictions, it is essential to understand any specific requirements or guidelines set forth by funeral homes, cemeteries, or local authorities. By doing so, you can ensure that the commingling process is conducted in accordance with the law and adheres to any necessary protocols.

Religious Considerations and Catholic Traditions

When it comes to commingling ashes, religious considerations are instrumental for many individuals and families. In the Roman Catholic tradition, the Church acknowledges the practice of cremation but places an emphasis on the reverence and respectful treatment of the remains.

In Catholic practice, the ashes are typically kept in a sacred place, such as a columbarium or cemetery, rather than being scattered or divided. The Catholic Church has specific requirements regarding the handling of cremated remains.

These guidelines emphasize the importance of treating cremated remains with the same reverence given to a deceased body. Commingling ashes within a single urn is acceptable within the context of Catholic tradition, as long as the remains are kept together and are not separated or scattered.

It is crucial for individuals from the Catholic faith to seek guidance from their local parish or diocese to ensure compliance with any specific requirements related to the commingling of ashes. By doing so, they can ensure that their actions align with their religious beliefs and respect the customs and traditions of their faith community.


Commingling ashes is a deeply personal decision that requires careful consideration of personal preferences, any instructions left in a will, legal requirements, and religious considerations. By understanding these various factors, individuals can make informed decisions regarding how they wish to honor the memory of their loved ones.

It is important to approach the commingling process with reverence, respecting the wishes of the deceased and adhering to any legal or religious guidelines. Ultimately, choosing to commingle ashes can be a beautiful and meaningful way to symbolize unity and eternal connections among loved ones.

In conclusion, considering the commingling of ashes involves various factors, including personal preferences, instructions in a will, legal considerations, and religious beliefs. Whether you choose to mix the ashes yourself or use the services of a funeral home, it is crucial to handle the process with care and respect for the deceased.

Understanding the legality and religious guidelines surrounding commingling ashes, particularly in the Roman Catholic tradition, ensures that the process aligns with individual beliefs and customs. Ultimately, the decision to commingle ashes can be a meaningful way to symbolize unity and eternal connections among loved ones, honoring their memory in a unique and personal way.

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