You can have a Viking Funeral
This article discusses using Everista Memorials’ Burning Viking ship urn to create a memorial that celebrates the best parts of the Viking funeral.
Viking Funerals were often elaborate events.
Vikings were known for their elaborate funerals. Funerals for nobility and revered warriors included celebrations that could last up to ten days. Sacrifices were made, and full-sized ships were burned with the deceased person’s body inside. Many of the elements of a traditional Viking funeral would be hard to explain to the local authorities if we put them into practice today. But you can honor your loved one with a modern version of a Viking funeral.
Everista Memorials’ biodegradable Viking Ship urn has a sail, shields, and a Dragon masthead. The Viking ship urn is made from natural materials: Paper, clay, and plaster. We include a fire-making kit, so you can have a burning Viking ship as a part of your Viking Funeral. The Viking ship Urn is designed to break down quickly in the environment without leaving toxic elements behind. This means you can send off your loved ones like a Viking warrior and you won’t have to explain it to a judge.
What do I need to know when using a Burning Viking ship Urn for a Funeral?
There are some practical and legal issues you must consider when planning this type of memorial. Since the Viking ship urn made by Everista Memorials is Earth-friendly, one of the big hurdles is already out of the way. But holding a modern-day Viking funeral means you will need to find a location where you can safely and legally place it.
There are a few things you will need to consider.
There are two major considerations. The first: Do you plan on lighting the urn on fire? The Second: Where do you plan on placing your Urn?
Do you want to burn your Viking ship urn?
Of course, you want to light it on fire! That is the Viking way. The Vikings believed that burning their dead allowed them to go directly into the afterlife. When you live in a cold wet environment that is sparsely populated like they did; The possibility of your fire getting out of hand is limited. But lighting a Viking Ship urn on fire and sending it out on a lake or letting it drift down a river today may have some unintended consequences. It may even be forbidden in some locations.
Check local codes and laws.
The first thing to do is find out if having an open fire is permitted in the area where you would like to have your memorial. This may vary based on the time of year. I live in an area where lighting a fire in the winter is fine. But it is strictly forbidden in the hot dry summer months and fall.
Often times it is a matter of using good judgment. However, if the place you have chosen does not allow fires, that does not mean that you cannot have your memorial there. It just means that you cannot light the ship on fire.
The next consideration is how to safely burn your Viking Ship urn. Being on the ocean surrounded by water makes this easy. But if you are on a lake, or on a river bank. You will not only have to consider where you light the ship, but where the wind or current might take it after you let it go. It is best to err on the side of safety. Make sure the boat cannot drift into combustible materials and take a fire extinguisher with you.
Let’s talk about where to you are going to place your urn.
You have probably heard the EPA has set a three-mile limit for urns that will scatter ashes in the ocean. I want to discuss this, but I do not offer this information as legal advice. This is just my opinion. You will need to make your own informed decision about the information.
The best place to start this discussion is with an article written by the Funeral Consumer Alliance at Funerals.org. The article is called Scatter Brained. here is the link to the article if you want to read it in its entirety. https://funerals.org/?consumers=scatter-brained-cremation-whats-left.
The EPA three-mile law.
The writer is relaying information received from the Environmental Protection Agency:
“After years of trying to track down an EPA spokesperson who could give us the skinny on federal rules, we found an expert willing to talk. Our spokesman – let’s call him Deep Urn – has decades of experience with several EPA regional offices. In exchange for anonymity, he agreed to explain what’s really behind section 229.1 of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency law. To paraphrase, the law says anyone in the U.S. can bury remains (including ashes) at sea so long as they:
- take the remains three miles out from shore
- report the burial (or scattering) within a month to the closest EPA office…”
“But what about families that stand on the beach and scatter? Are they really in danger of prosecution? No. Burials or scatterings that take place within three miles of shore fall under the Clean Water Act, rather than the EPA rules, Deep Urn said. States, not the Feds, enforce the CWA. He said he’s never heard of any state that pays attention to scattering cremains on the seashore.
And what about the EPA?
“I don’t care about cremated remains,” he said. “We’re trying to deal with real polluters.”
He said if you interpreted the laws literally, fishermen could be prosecuted for using bait and allowing it to fall off the hook. Obviously, no one is going to do that, he said, and cremated remains are no different.
What about the reporting requirement?
“I’ve never had private people [report scattering],” he said, “only funeral homes” that offer commercial scattering. ” (Funerals.org, Scatter Brained)
What I got from this article.
- the Feds don’t really care about families who are having private memorials on the seashore.
- Scatterings that occur within the three-mile limit art actually covered by the Clean Water Act which is enforced by the states.
- He has never heard of the State prosecuting anyone for burying or scattering ashes on the shore.
- there is a difference between a commercial enterprise proving at-sea memorials and a private individual.
There are laws that make sense and laws that don’t.
You have probably heard of some crazy law that didn’t make sense but is still on the books. For example: In Utah, You can’t fish off the back of a horse. In Texas, You can’t tuck your pants into the tops of your boots unless you own ten cows. In the District of Columbia, it is illegal to throw stones or projectiles. (Except for mud. Mudslinging is fine). I am sure someone, at some time, thought these laws made perfect sense, but today they seem laughable.
The three-mile law was made when few people utilized cremation as a means of burial. It makes sense not to have human remains deposited in the ocean where they could wash back to shore. But in my view, human remains and cremation ashes are not even close to the same thing. In addition, the spreading of ashes is only forbidden in a few places. With few exceptions, you can scatter ashes in almost any waterway, ocean, or national park.
Have you heard the term Scattering urn?
The term scattering urn usually refers to a container used to transport ashes to a desired location where they are then dumped out of the urn. This kind of urn is used to scatter the ashes into the air, water, or onto the ground. If a biodegradable urn filled with ashes breaks down relatively quickly into non-harmful elements is there really a significant difference in terms of scattering? My personal view is it is much more pleasant and dignified to deposit ashes using an urn that allows nature to do the scattering, rather than dumping them out like you would a vacuum cleaner’s bag. It is actually a big part of the reason why I created Everista’s Biodegradable urns.
How long does it take for the Viking Ship Urn to break up and why does it matter?
The Viking boat urn is designed to sink evenly and will gently slip beneath the surface in a few minutes. There are many variables that determine how quickly the boat will break down and allow the ashes to scatter. Our urns typically start to break up in about two weeks. It’s important to know this because you want the urn to remain undisturbed until it dissolves. Try to choose a location where it is unlikely to be disturbed before the ashes are scattered.
Let’s move on to the Memorial
You can prepare the urn for burning and placement before the memorial starts. You will place the fire-starting materials on the deck of the Viking ship around the mast. wait to place the Viking Ship urn in the water until just before you light it. Make sure the ashes which act as ballast are even distributed so the boat will sit level in the water. At this point, you may also want to place some items like flowers or notes on the deck of the ship.
Here is a video of me setting up the Viking ship urn for a fire.
After the urn is set up and in the water, you can light it on fire. Then, give the boat a gentle nudge out into the water. You may choose to watch in silence as the Viking ship burns and sinks. But you may wish to fill the time with a special thought or prayer.
What do you do while the Burning Viking Ship Urn is sinking?
Traditionally the Viking prayer was said before the boat was lit. But you can say it as the boat burns. You can also say some words about your loved one and share memories of them. Some choose to sing a song or recite a poem. This should be the closing to your memorial ceremony with the bulk of the activities occurring before. Remember to be brief. You will only have about five or ten minutes before the boat sinks.
Here are some additional tips for planning a modern-day Viking funeral with a biodegradable urn:
- Choose a location that is meaningful to your loved one. This could be a place where they loved to spend time, such as a beach, a forest, or a park.
- Make sure you can legally place the urn in your intended location.
- Consider the time of year when you plan the funeral. If you want to burn the urn on a lake or in the ocean, you will want to choose a time when the water is calm. And if possible, when the tide is going out.
- Be respectful of the environment and others who will be using the area.
- Make sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case the fire gets out of control.
We hope find this information useful. Even if you don’t choose our urn, please feel free to use our expertise as you plan your memorial. But do consider creating your Viking funeral with a Viking Ship urn from Everista Memorials. It is a beautiful and meaningful way to honor your loved one and celebrate their life. Let us help you, send them on their final journey like a Viking warrior.
Please take a look at Everista’s Viking Ship urn burning and sinking:
Here is the Viking Prayer cited in the video.
Lo, I do see there my father.
Lo, I do see there my mother.
I do see my brothers and sisters.
Lo, I do see the line of my people
back to the beginning.
They call to me
And bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.
They welcome me,
as one found worthy of a place among them.
I go to them. My battles are now fought.
I am ready to take my place amongst them.
For they call me home!