[quote=didymus]When you say the ashes have to be interred, does that mean they have to be buried in the urn?
I ask because a co-worker told me that her grandmother had been cremated in accordance with her wishes and the ashes buried around the roots of a tree they planted in her memory. I really like the idea – is it kosher (so to speak)?
I don’t have the Canon law citation, but this isn’t allowed for Catholics because it shows disrespect for the body. Burying around tree roots could be misinterpreted as nature woship. In addition, it will be difficult to pray at the lady’s grave especially once the property is sold and “tree access” is no longer available.
The ashes must be interred in an urn. Cemetaries have strict regulations about this. They also sell urns. For some of these a vault must be installed in the ground as well, for a few of them no vault is required.
It was very troubling when John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife were buied at sea. There must have been a pastoral reason for it, but it gave the wrong impression of what the Church teaches about burial.