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  #1  
Old Mar 11, '13, 6:21 am
123Strontium 123Strontium is offline
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Default Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

I thought they weren't allowed to be cremated because of the resurrection of the dead, so how was this change allowed/ reasoned?

Last edited by 123Strontium; Mar 11, '13 at 6:23 am. Reason: re-wording
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  #2  
Old Mar 11, '13, 6:41 am
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Sirach2 Sirach2 is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

Yes, this is now allowed. The main stipulation is that the cremains be buried and not held on one's mantle, for instance, in a receptacle. After cremation, there can be a memorial funeral mass for the decedent.

The costs incurred for cremation far outweigh that of burial in a casket. Opening the grave to admit a large casket costs at least seven time as much. The cost to dig a hole for a box approx. 1 ft. x 1 ft. is minimal in comparison. You may still place a stone of your choosing on the gravesite. Funerals today, with viewing and all the accessories, are increasingly beyond the price many can afford.
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  #3  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:18 am
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

From Canon Law:
Can. 1176 ß3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.
The reason cremation was initially prohibited was because people chose it as a means of denying the resurrection of the body (basically telling God to "try to resurrect this").

I would wager that almost no one who chooses cremation nowadays does so for that reason.

People die in all sorts of ways that render the body less than whole. In time, we all wind up as dust. None of this makes it impossible for God to resurrect our bodies at the end of time.
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, itís more than that. Itís a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

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  #4  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:20 am
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aidanbradypop aidanbradypop is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

Yeppers. They cannot be scattered, mixed with others, divided up among family members...etc. The remains must remain as if they were a body in a casket for burial. You cannot put grandma above the fireplace or Uncle Earl in his favorite fishing pond. They must be buried or put in a vault.
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  #5  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:27 am
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Jeanne S Jeanne S is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

This thread brought up some questions and concerns I have re my brother in law's remains.
He was a devout Catholic,as was my sister,or so I thought.At his death,she capitulated to the desires of her adult children on that my bil was not given a proper Catholic service/burial.Add to that he was creamated(perhis wishes) yet his ashes were scattered at various locations.So this is my concern,does this jeopardize his eternal soul,or is the onus on my sister and family?
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  #6  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:29 am
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aidanbradypop aidanbradypop is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanne S View Post
This thread brought up some questions and concerns I have re my brother in law's remains.
He was a devout Catholic,as was my sister,or so I thought.At his death,she capitulated to the desires of her adult children on that my bil was. Or given a proper Catholic service/burial.Add to that he was creamated(perhis wishes) yet his ashes were scattered at various locations.So this is my concern,does this jeopardize his eternal soul,or is the onus on my sister and family?
He cannot be held accountable for what is down with his ashes once he has died. Does your sister and family know of the correct Church teaching on this?
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No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father. John 10:18
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  #7  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:30 am
LaSainte LaSainte is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

I have my dad's ashes in our house. My mom gave them to me and to be honest I have no idea what to do with them. We can't afford to have them buried right now, and even if we could, I am moving away and nobody else lives in my town, so they would just sit there alone. On top of that, my brother wants them to keep if I don't. Not sure what to do or how serious this is.

I've heard I can bury them in the yard and take them with me when I go, but it seems a lot more disrespectful to bury them where I buried my cat than to keep them safe in our home.

Can I put them in an armoire with some holy items like a blessed rosary and some holy water, a blessed picture of the Sacred Heart, etc? That doesn't seem much different from a columbarium to me.
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  #8  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:32 am
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aidanbradypop aidanbradypop is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

I am sure your father would like the respect of a proper burial. I understand how you feel about moving away. Consult your parish priest for some answers.
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No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father. John 10:18
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  #9  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:35 am
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DexUK DexUK is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

While scattering is not acceptable to the Catholic Church (because of the dignity we should give to the body that once was the temple of the soul) the fact that it is done 'against the rules' won't affect the resurrection of the body at the end of time.

If it did, then how would we consider the remains of those people who die in house fires or on 9/11...?

God is not limited by the condition of the physical remains (many of which have completely returned to the earth anyway). We should just respect the physical remnant of the person as a sign of thanks for what God imbued it with. The best respect is to find an appropriate final resting place in either a cemetery or appropriately consecrated garden of rest, or a Catholic columbarium.
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  #10  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:35 am
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Jeanne S Jeanne S is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aidanbradypop View Post
He cannot be held accountable for what is down with his ashes once he has died. Does your sister and family know of the correct Church teaching on this?
I would think my sister would.It is troubling because they didn't have any kind of funeral service for him.Nothing!
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  #11  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:37 am
AllyC1991 AllyC1991 is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

I heard that we must still have the ashes at the funerals. We can't go and sprinkle them on the person's favorite places. (my aunt wants to be sprinkled on the shopping malls oye) But the ashes must also be buried. Personally I think its just gross.
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  #12  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:42 am
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanne S View Post
This thread brought up some questions and concerns I have re my brother in law's remains.
He was a devout Catholic,as was my sister,or so I thought.At his death,she capitulated to the desires of her adult children on that my bil was not given a proper Catholic service/burial.Add to that he was creamated(perhis wishes) yet his ashes were scattered at various locations.So this is my concern,does this jeopardize his eternal soul,or is the onus on my sister and family?
I think this is one of those issues where even a good number of relatively knowledgable Catholics are under-catechized.

The "romantic" notion of having one's ashes scattering at personally meaningful locations is so pervasive in our culture that it is difficult for many to see the problem this poses in light of our Catholic faith.
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The Catechesis of the Popes
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, itís more than that. Itís a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

- Fr. Gregory Jensen
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  #13  
Old Mar 11, '13, 7:46 am
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VivienneJ VivienneJ is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyC1991 View Post
I heard that we must still have the ashes at the funerals. We can't go and sprinkle them on the person's favorite places. (my aunt wants to be sprinkled on the shopping malls oye) But the ashes must also be buried. Personally I think its just gross.
I don't know about where you are, but where I come from there are public health regulations that prohibit sprinkling or scattering of ashes just anywhere and you can be prosecuted for scattering ashes in a public place like a shopping mall, public park, beach, etc.
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  #14  
Old Mar 11, '13, 8:11 am
Bezant Bezant is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 123Strontium View Post
I thought they weren't allowed to be cremated because of the resurrection of the dead, so how was this change allowed/ reasoned?
I don't know why the Church permits it today, although I strongly suspect high funerary costs have something to do with it. In my great-grandparents generation, the community gathered within a day or two to bury the dead in a plain box. Today, most families delay the funeral so that scattered friends and relatives can attend, and that often requires embalming the body in addition to other costs (transportation, flowers, headstone, grave, donations to the parish, meal after the service, etc). Cremation isn't cheap either, but it's not as expensive as a burial.

Nevertheless, I would describe the Church's attitude toward cremation as "Mehhh." Burial is the peferred option.
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  #15  
Old Mar 11, '13, 8:15 am
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Sirach2 Sirach2 is offline
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Default Re: Are catholics allowed to be cremated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyC1991 View Post
I heard that we must still have the ashes at the funerals. We can't go and sprinkle them on the person's favorite places. (my aunt wants to be sprinkled on the shopping malls oye) But the ashes must also be buried. Personally I think its just gross.
That is not true. I had a memorial mass for a deceased family member and it was not reqjuired that the cremains be present at the funeral liturgy. This is the customary way of handling it.

OTOH, you may have a funeral mass with the casket present, and then have the decedent cremated after the liturgy, but this truly increases the cost. It is an option, however.
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