What Can You Do With Ashes? 1

scattering ashes

With a rise in the number of people opting for cremation over burial and the fact that more and more people are interested in doing something a little different with their ashes, we decided to take a look at what can be done with cremated remains once the funeral service is over. Although some may not appreciate using burial remains for such purposes, others love the idea of being able to remember lost family members in a unique way that speaks to the deceased’s interests and passions.


Below we take a look at seven different things that you can do with ashes. If any of them are particularly appealing to you, be sure to specify what you would like done with your ashes within your funeral plan.



Arguably the most conventional thing that can be done with your loved one’s ashes, scattering remains a popular choice. Typically, people will scatter ashes at a place that holds some special significance to the deceased. Nature spots where you used to go for walks, favourite viewpoints and places where the deceased spent a lot of time could all be good places to scatter cremated remains.


Becoming a diamond

Thanks to the miracles of 21st century science, it’s possible to turn the ashes of your loved one into a diamond. Natural diamonds take between 1 to 3.3 billion years to be created, but in a specially built laboratory that simulates the heat and pressure that creates a diamond, this can be cut to around twenty-four weeks.

ash diamonds

Becoming a coral reef

There are a number of businesses out there that will use cremated remains along with concrete to build coral reefs underwater, creating new habitats for fish and other sea life. Perfect for those that want to return to nature and give something back after death, the process has proved incredibly popular with over 1,800 such reefs already built on the east coast of the United States.



If you were thinking of getting a tattoo to remember a relative, why not go one step further and have a special memorial tattoo done. For this service, a qualified tattoo artist will mix the ink with some of the deceased’s cremated remains in order to complete a design of your choosing.


Pressing into vinyl

For those with a passion for music, perhaps there’s nothing better than becoming one with the sounds of your favourite band or musician upon death. If that’s the case, its now possible to have your ashes pressed into a vinyl record. Your loved one’s ashes will then become up to twenty-four minutes of a sound of your choice. Popular choices are recorded farewells, the voice of the deceased, their favourite music or perhaps music that they made but never released. The simple and satisfying pop and crackle of the needle on a record, and the warmth of a vinyl pressing can make you forget that your loved one has passed, if only temporarily.

 ashes vinyl

Travelling to outer space

There are now a number of commercial space flight operators offering a service by which cremated remains are flown into space and left to drift amongst the stars. If your loved one’s one wish in life was to go to the moon, maybe having their remains strapped to a rocket and shot into space is the next best thing.

 ashes fireworks

Going out with a bang

Finally, if you or a recently deceased family member always wanted to go out with a bang, it’s now possible to do so. A few companies provide a service in which your remains are packaged into fireworks that can then be let off at the end of a memorial service or family gathering, ensuring that you’re remembered in style.

Read our tips on how to create a personal funeral service for more like this.

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Catholic Funeral Customs 0

catholic funeral customs

The Catholic Church is one of oldest religious institutions in the world and boasts a worldwide following of around 1.29 billion people. It has had a major impact on western thought, society, culture and politics, and has shaped the way many individuals think about death. Here, we take a look at the religion’s beliefs concerning death and explore the Catholic funeral customs.

Many of our funeral directors cater for Catholic funeral services. Find and contact a funeral director near you today.

Catholic beliefs

Catholics believe that each person’s soul is immortal and that, at the moment of death, the body and soul separate. While the body, devoid of the spirit that animated it, begins to decompose, the soul is taken to be judged by God. It is then either granted eternal life in Heaven or damned to an eternity in Hell.

However, not all of those granted access to Heaven are quite ready to pass through the pearly gates. Those who have lived a just enough life to reach Heaven but that are still due punishment for some as yet accounted for sin, spend time in Purgatory. Purgatory is a temporary state that purges the soul of sin and fully prepares an individual for Heaven.

catholic funeral customs

Catholic funeral customs

Catholicism maintains its own distinct traditions that differentiate it from other Christian traditions. When death is imminent, a priest is usually called to administer the dying person’s last rites. Traditionally, there are three stages to a Catholic funeral. The vigil – where friends and family gather to watch over the deceased’s body or cremated ashes and pray that their soul reaches heaven. The funeral mass – which takes place at the church and involves the casket or urn being carried to the front of the church and a memorial service led by the local priest. Finally, there is the burial – where the remains of the deceased are taken to their burial place and a priest commits them to the Earth.

Etiquette and other customs

catholic funeral customs

Catholicism is a large and widespread religion that can differ from region to region and that is also open to doctrinal differences. This means that what’s acceptable in a Catholic funeral on one occasion, may not be on another. For instance, in some Catholic communities, cremation is not acceptable. However, in recent years, Catholic religious authorities have shifted their position and many churches won’t have a problem with cremation.

The Catholic Church holds no objection to organ donation, as mainstream religious doctrine supports the idea that once brain function ceases, the soul has departed the body. Likewise, embalming the deceased’s body is common practice if a vigil is to be held and the Church is in no way opposed to embalming.

As a non-Catholic attending a Catholic funeral, you can take part in the entire ceremony but won’t be expected to take Holy Communion, as it’s a practice reserved for those of Catholic faith. After the funeral service, it is common practice for a less formal memorial event to take place at a relative’s home, a pub or another local venue. However, such an event is not a formal part of the service and not all Catholic funerals will end with one.

5 More Things to Do When You Retire 0

write your memoirs

While some reach retirement and wish to put their feet up and enjoy a well-earned break, others like to seek new enthralling experiences. Regardless of which camp you fall into, the chances are that they’ll be a number of things you’ve always wanted to try, or to return to. So if you’re retired, or are on the verge of retirement, and are seeking some inspiration on how you could fill your days, here are 5 more things to do when you retire – following on from on first list which you can find here.


Of course you should always give consideration to your own practical needs too, which is why you may want to consider a funeral plan to ensure your family isn’t faced with a financial burden. As the previous selection had an international flavour and involved a lot of travelling and sightseeing, we’ve decided to orientate this one around activities that are a little closer to home.


  1. Get active

Though lots of people want to slow down and take things easy when they get to retirement, there are quite a few who take it as opportunity to do a little more physical activity. While work commitments may have prevented you from jogging, swimming, cycling or working out when they were employed, retirement allows you to get active and perhaps tackle some of the physical challenges you didn’t have time for before. Whether it’s training for a half marathon, trying to beat your personal best in the pool or taking up a new sport, there are numerous ways you can work on maintaining your fitness into old age.
get active when you retire


  1. Give something back to the community


It’s often the case that individuals reach a certain age and feel that they’d like to give something back to the local community. In many cases, they’ve lived and worked in a community that has seen them through the good times and the bad, and, with time on their hands, they’re now in the position to help out. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including helping out with the local junior football team, becoming a Brown Owl in a Brownies group or by volunteering at a social centre.


  1. Write your memoirs

One of the activities that appears most frequently on bucket lists is writing a book. While you may or may not have it in you to write an entire work of fiction, you’ll definitely have something to say about your own life. The great thing about writing a memoir is that, even if no one else reads it, you produce a written record of the highs and lows of your life to pass on down to your children and grandchildren.

  1. write your memoirsLearn a foreign language

It’s never too late to learn something new and picking up a language can be one of the most satisfying and enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Whether you just want to get by while on holiday or are aiming for complete fluency, learning another language is life changing in a number of ways. Not only does it radically alter the way you communicate with others, it will also change the way you view your own language.


  1. Grow your own food

Finally, many of those yet to reach retirement dream of the day they’ll be able to spend their mornings pottering around their allotment, tending to their plants and vegetables. Growing your own food is an absolute pleasure and is incredibly rewarding. Being able to watch a plant grow all the way from seed to edible vegetable is a fascinating and tasty experience that will keep you beautifully busy for years on end.

grow your own vegetables when you retire