For people that have a Christian faith or follow Christian traditions, reciting a prayer or passage from the Bible during an ash scattering of a loved one can bring comfort in grief and reaffirm a person's faith. Below are some time-tested options you can use during an ash scattering ceremony.
Prayers and Blessings
Here are some Christian prayers and blessings you can use:
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust – Book of Common Prayer (1662)
This is a classic prayer used at an ash scattering ceremony. It asks for God to take care of the souls of the departed and resurrect them to eternal life. Although this would commonly be used at a burial, it would also be well-suited for ash scattering on land.
Forasmuch as it hath pleased almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we, therefore, commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.
Hope Prayer - Natalie Regoli
This prayer expresses thanks to God for the time spent and shared with the deceased. It also asks for God to provide strength during a difficult time.
Dear God, we are hurting and struggling to accept the loss of our loved one. But even in pain, we know that all things work together for your good. As we scatter these ashes, we release our dear one into your loving hands where she (he) truly belongs. Thank you for filling us with the hope of seeing her (him) again when we come home to be with you. Let your love fill the void in our hearts, and help us to find joy in the times we shared with her (him). In Jesus' name, we believe and pray, Amen.
Acceptance Prayer – Natalie Regoli
This prayer also asks for strength from God so that those grieving can work towards fully accepting the death of their loved one.
Lord, we scatter these ashes not just so that we can fulfill the wishes of our loved one, but also as a symbol of acceptance of your will over his life. We wanted him (her) to continue living, but God, you called him (her) back home according to your will. We praise you, O Lord, because no plans of yours can be thwarted. Let your grace be sufficient for us that we may be able to fully accept that our loved one is no longer with us. May your name be glorified forever. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.
A Prayer for Scattering Ashes – Daniel Szczesniak
This prayer asks God to accept the ashes and the spirit of the deceased in his hands. It also expresses gratitude that the deceased and their loved ones will be reunited one day in heaven.
Father, even as your Son committed his spirit into your hands at the hour of his death, even so we commit these remains to your care. Your word promises that if we are, by faith, united to Christ in his death, we are also united to him in his resurrection. So we say goodbye to [Name], and scatter her (his) ashes into your keeping. One day, at the last trumpet, we shall see her (him) again; sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in weakness, raised in power; no longer bearing the perishable image of the man of dust, but changed, and bearing the imperishable image of the man of heaven. Amen.
Mercy Prayer – Natalie Regoli
This prayer asks for God's forgiveness and mercy on the deceased's soul. It expresses hope that all sins can be forgiven and that he/she will find eternal rest.
Lord, we commend the soul of our dearly beloved into your hands. May he find mercy in your eyes so that he can share your glory with the other devoted saints who have gone before us. Forgive him (her) where he (she) went wrong while he (she) was here on this earth. As we scatter his (her) ashes, we commit his(her) body to you and pray that he finds eternal rest for the glory of your holy name. Lord, forgive us where we have strayed during this grieving season. Fill us with thanksgiving for his well-lived and full life. In Jesus' name, we believe and pray, Amen.
The Precious Gift - Author unknown
This short prayer thanks God for the time loved ones were able to spend with the deceased. It also reminds listeners that their spirit is with God but will live on through memories.
One gift, above all others, God gives to us to treasure. One that knows no time, no place and one gold cannot measure. The precious, poignant, tender gift of memory–that will keep our dear ones ever in our hearts although God gives them sleep. It brings back long remembered things a song, a word, a smile and our world's a better place — because we had them for awhile!
Blue Skies - Author unknown
This short poem reminds that God does not promise that there will be no hard times. However, he does promise strength and guidance to help you get through it.
God hath not promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways all our lives through; God hath not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God hath promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way. Grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy undying love.
Thanksgiving Prayer – Natalie Regoli
This poem also thanks God for the time shared with the deceased and the blessings their presence brought. It also shares comfort that their spirit is now with God.
Almighty God, there is none like you in heaven or on earth. You are mighty and worthy of all our praise. Thank you for seeing it fit for our beloved departed soul to be part of our family. We have shared a lot with her, and she has been a blessing in our lives. Thank you for the years that she has been here on earth and the difference she made in our lives all those years. She would not have done all that without you, and that is why all glory goes back to you. We scatter her ashes with thanksgiving in our hearts, for we know that her spirit has is with you. In Jesus' compassionate name, we pray, Amen.
Bible VersesHere are some Bible verses that may be uplifting additions to an ash scattering ceremony.
This short verse reminds that God is there to help through difficult times, which will help provide strength to those who are grieving.
"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart."
This passage reminds that all those who believe in God will have eternal life and that we can find comfort in death knowing our loved ones are with God.
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."
This passage reminds that Christians can find strength in God and that he is there through all parts of life to protect us and our souls until they return to him.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time
forth, and even for evermore.
This passage reminds that there is a time and purpose for all parts of life and that the good and the bad that happens are all part of God's plan.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
More Bible verses that can be used for ash scattering ceremonies can be found here: Best Bible Verses for Funerals and Ash-Scattering Ceremonies.
More Cremation Urn Info:
- Ask a question at email@example.com
- Visit our company website
- Need to make funeral arrangements? Click here
- Read our Urns for Ashes Resource Guide
- See more urn-related blog posts