A Rhode Island ash burial at sea begins as our boat slowly cruises to the burial site between 3 and 4 miles from port. Captain Donilon offers gentle guidance throughout every step of the ash burial service. Participation is always encouraged by family members and individual expressions of closure and final tributes are welcome. Past ceremonies involved music, poems, prayers, readings, humorous stories, written messages, toasts, clergy, and bagpipers – creating an even more memorable experience.
A prayer list and the “Nautical Commitment to the Sea” are available for reading by the Captain or family members before the scattering of ashes takes place. The time of committal and letting go is the most sensitive part of the ceremony. Once the ashes have been dispersed, we release any biodegradable flowers or wreathes that were brought aboard. The ship’s bell is rung eight times to signify the end of your loved one’s watch.
We then circle the burial site twice. The first circle symbolizes that life is eternal. The second circle is for silent prayer and final reflection. The completion of the final circle marks the end of the ceremony. The cruise back to port provides opportunity to reflect and appreciate the unique gathering of family and friends.
As a precursor to a New England ash burial at sea, some elect to cruise into Narragansett Bay and Newport Harbor to enjoy the sights while reminiscing over old times and enjoying each other’s company.