Do I Need An Urn If I Am Scattering The Ashes?

By: Alterna Cremation
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The death of a loved one is incredibly overwhelming.  In addition to the obvious pain and grief that naturally come with loss, there are also many hidden obligations.  


Planning a funeral or memorial, writing an obituary, and honouring the deceased’s wishes are to be expected.  But navigating many of the practical and legal facets of a loved one’s death can bring us into realms we haven’t previously had reason to think much about.  


If your loved one is cremated, some of the questions that emerge may surround what can be done with their ashes.  Such questions are common, and most people don’t know the answers until they have reason to.  


Let’s take a look at some relevant and essential information about the process of scattering ashes.


What Is Cremation & What Are the Ashes Like?

Cremation is a method of the final disposition of a dead body through burning.  It’s a common practice throughout much of the world and is rooted in the traditions of many beliefs and cultures, including atheism.  After a body has been cremated, the remains are usually ground to create uniform ashes.  The ashes from human remains are light-coloured or grey and have a consistency similar to sand.  They are most often stored in an urn.


What Does It Mean To “Scatter” Ashes?

Scattering ashes refers to the process of removing ashes from their urn and placing them into the natural environment, usually in a location (or locations) meaningful to the deceased person.  There are a few different ways this can be done:

  • Casting - Casting is simply sprinkling the ashes and letting the wind spread them.  Be sure to stand upwind of the remains, and don’t be surprised if some ashes fall to the ground.  They are heavier than other ashes.


  • Raking - Raking is the process of gently raking the remains into the soil.  It can be a meaningful ceremony shared by many people.


  • Trenching - Trenching involves digging a shallow trench to bury the ashes.  It’s sometimes done on the beach, where the waves can ultimately wash the ashes away.


  • Water Scattering  - Water scattering is spreading the ashes over a body of water such as the ocean, a river, lake, pond, or stream.  Just make sure it’s not near any sources of drinking water.


If you’re planning to scatter ashes yourself, be sure to check local laws and regulations.  In general, you do need permission to scatter ashes on public and private land, as well as to transport them by air.  Manitoba’s regulations can be found here.  


What Is an Urn & Do I Need One?

An urn is a vessel for storing your loved one’s remains.  Many people choose to purchase high-quality decorative urns, particularly if they plan to keep the ashes in their home.  If you are looking for urns in Winnipeg, visit Alterna Cremation.  


But do you need an urn if you plan to scatter the remains?


The answer is no.  If you don’t wish to purchase an urn, Alterna will return your loved one’s remains to you in a simple and dignified container at no extra cost.  


Alterna Cremation strives to simplify the aftermath of a loved one’s death by providing straightforward and supportive services at a difficult time.  


Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

How To Make Room For Other People’s Grief

In today’s society, grief is often an avoided topic.  People aren’t sure what to say or how to help when someone they know is grieving the loss of a loved one.  And, to prevent saying the...

Cremation Gardens & Monuments

After a person is cremated, their loved ones must make a decision about what to do with the remains.  Traditionally, human ashes have been placed in an urn.  But as the number of people o...

How Much Does An Obituary Cost?

  When a death occurs, there are a lot of decisions to make.  In addition to grief and other overwhelming emotions, people close to the deceased also have many practical considerations t...

When Does Cremation Happen After Funeral?

When a loved one passes away, we are inundated with powerful emotions.  We are overwhelmed by our shock, our feelings, and also by the practical necessity of making arrangements for the deceas...

Female-Owned Cremation Company Establishing An Ever-Increasing Foothold Within The Industry

WINNIPEG, Canada -  Alterna Cremation, a locally owned and operated alternative funeral home based in Winnipeg, Canada, is pleased to announce that its female-owned business continues to flour...

Timing: What Is The Best Day Of The Week To Hold A Funeral?

As you’re grieving for a lost loved one, a new task falls on your plate: Planning a funeral. Holding a funeral service allows loved ones to gather, support each other, and collectively mourn the lo...

Holding An Environmentally-Friendly Funeral

When a loved one passes away, it is common to want to honour them with a memorial or a funeral service. Many people are now looking at the traditional funeral a bit differently, though. They want t...

Is A Casket Needed For Cremation?

When a loved one passes away, many people feel overwhelmed at all of the arrangements they need to make. Many people choose cremation to honour a friend or family member with the intention of eithe...

What Is The Difference Between A Death Notice & An Obituary?

Two of the most common methods of notifying the public of someone’s passing are a death notice and an obituary. Both are important announcements that can honour your loved ones and let others know ...

Why You Should Preplan Your Funeral

They say that fortune favours the prepared, and it’s easy enough to see why that might be true. When you’re organized, when you have all of your ducks in a row, things fall into place more easily, ...