Is there an official Catholic postition on cremation? If so, could someone briefly explain?
My mother (a lifelong Presbyterian) chose to have her body cremated when she passed away 18 years ago. My father did the same a couple of years ago when he died at the age of 91. Each of their ashes were interred in urns in the family plot at the local cemetery after a Christian funeral. Both were Christians, good people and great parents. I was lucky to have them and am grateful for their influence in my life.
Their reasons for their choosing cremation were different. They were the first loved ones of mine to ever choose cremation so I was a little confused about the propriety of the practice.
For my mother, she had lost her sister with whom she was very close a few weeks before her own death. She became offended by what she considered to be a lack of respect shown for her sister’s body by some relatives (mostly younger generation), some of whom were laughing and talking loudly in the same room ( a large room) where the casket was located at the funeral home while they were milling around after the viewing. It upset my mother very much, although she internalized it at the time. She told my father and a few others in private that she wanted to have her body cremated when she passed away to avoid becoming a spectacle when her time came. My father honored her wishes a few weeks later when she died, some say, of a broken heart (heart attack) over the loss her sister whom she loved dearly.
For my father, his reasoning for cremation was simple and straight-forward. It was more economical (he wanted to leave a bigger inheritance for his children, he said) and “If it was good enough for your mother, it’s good enough for me”.
I was just curious if cremation is permissible under Catholicism.
Your friend in Christ,