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royal navy commital

Royal Navy’s Order of Service for Interring Ashes at Sea

Scattering Ashes at Sea: Honouring a Naval Career

Scattering the ashes of a loved one at sea is a poignant and fitting tribute, especially if they had a naval career. Whether they served in the Royal Navy or the Merchant Navy, acknowledging their service in the ceremony can add a meaningful touch. However, you may find that using the Navy’s chaplaincy service is not the best option for your circumstances.

There are various reasons why you might prefer an alternative approach. Perhaps you wish to have the ceremony closer to home, making it easier for family and friends to attend. Or, you may want to scatter the ashes of both a husband and wife together, even if only one of them was naval personnel. Additionally, you might feel a personal connection to conducting the service yourself, ensuring it reflects the unique memories and wishes of your loved one.

Understanding these needs, the Navy Chaplaincy has generously shared their order of service with us, providing a respectful and structured way to honour your loved one. This order of service includes two versions: one for scattering ashes at sea and another for a service at a local church, should the sea conditions be too rough for a committal.

The Order of Service

The provided order of service is designed to be adaptable, allowing you to personalise it to better reflect your loved one’s life and service. Here’s a general outline of what the service might include:

  1. Opening Words and Welcome: Begin with a warm welcome and a few words about the significance of the ceremony.
  2. Reading or Poem: Select a meaningful reading or poem that resonates with your loved one’s life and naval service.
  3. Reflection: A moment for silent reflection or shared memories, allowing attendees to contemplate and honour the deceased.
  4. Scriptural Reading: If appropriate, include a scriptural reading that holds special significance.
  5. Committal Prayer: A prayer to commit the ashes to the sea, acknowledging the eternal connection between the loved one and the waters they served on.
  6. Scattering of Ashes: The act of scattering the ashes, either from a vessel at sea or from the shoreline.
  7. Closing Words: Conclude with a few final words, offering comfort and closure to those present.

Conducting the Service Yourself

If you choose to conduct the service yourself, feel free to personalise the order to better reflect your loved one’s personality and the memories you cherish. You can include anecdotes, favourite songs, or even recordings of the loved one’s voice.

By conducting the service yourself, you ensure that the ceremony is intimate and personal, celebrating the life of your loved one in a way that feels most fitting.

For more guidance and support in planning a sea committal, feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help you honour your loved one with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Here is the link: Royal Navy Order of Service   This was correct 2015 – they may have updated it since then, although if they did I suspect it would be only a tweak….

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