Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What About Cremation?

 I had someone ask me about the Catholic Churches standing on cremation and do the ashes have to be buried or can they keep them in their homes? I know that cremation is ok now but I wasn't sure about the last part of the question so I thought I would ask you. Thank you for all that you do and especially for saying " yes" to your calling.- Theresa B.

The Catholic Church's stand on proper burial of the dead stems from our belief in the sanctity of the person, whether alive or dead.  We believe that in baptism, each of us became the temple of the Holy Trinity, and therefore sacred.  We give due respect for the body even in death because we also believe in the final Resurrection.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this of cremation: "The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body."  (Part 3, Life In Christ, Section II, 2301).  The Church prefers that the body be present at the funeral liturgy.  It prefers the liturgical acts of blessing, incensing, and being present in the Church, be celebrated.  The cremation is preferably done just before the burial.  The ashes should be placed in a worthy vessel and should be buried in a cemetery, crypt or mausoleum, and not scattered.  If the family prefers that the body be cremated before the funeral service, there are guidelines to be followed.  I checked this link for you so you can read it for yourself. 

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