Cremation Question


#1

Hello! God willing, this is a situation I won't have to deal with for many years, but it has been something I have been pondering as of late. My mother (a non-Catholic Christian) has stated that she wants to be cremated and have her ashes spread when she passes. As the eldest child, this duty will likely fall onto me.

I know cremation is authorized for Catholics, so long as the ashes are interred, buried, etc. However, I'm not sure how those rules apply in a situation where a Catholic is asked to 'spread the ashes' of a non-Christian, especially in the case where the cremated person is one's mother (i.e. 'Honor thy father and mother'). What do you guys think?

God bless,
Dean


#2

Umm... would you be having a Catholic funeral?

I'd have to go back to the instructions in the funeral rite, but it seems to me that the notion of requiring ashes to be buried applies to Catholic funerals...


#3

[quote="dean24us, post:1, topic:304000"]
Hello! God willing, this is a situation I won't have to deal with for many years, but it has been something I have been pondering as of late. My mother (a non-Catholic Christian) has stated that she wants to be cremated and have her ashes spread when she passes. As the eldest child, this duty will likely fall onto me.

I know cremation is authorized for Catholics, so long as the ashes are interred, buried, etc. However, I'm not sure how those rules apply in a situation where a Catholic is asked to 'spread the ashes' of a non-Christian, especially in the case where the cremated person is one's mother (i.e. 'Honor thy father and mother'). What do you guys think?

God bless,
Dean

[/quote]

If I was in this position, I would have her body cremated, but would not have the ashes spread. Why? Because it is not proper. I would be honoring my mother by not acceding to that request, because she does not understand the reason why we do not disperse ashes.


#4

You should ask a priest about this.


#5

It is important that you take the time with your mother to ask her what her wishes are for her "burial". If she tells you now that she wants her ashes spread, then it would be a good time to explain to her why you would rather bury her remains or place them in a columbarium.

She may even change her mind after having a peaceful conversation with you about the reverence you wish to give her remains after her death. It may be several years, but she may have a change of heart.

Is she a non-Catholic Christian or a non-Christian? The difference being how you explain your belief so she understands.

You do not have the duty to do something against your belief. You do not have the obligation to even attend the spreading of someone's ashes. We honor our father and mother when we first honor God. As Catholics we do not willfully spread ashes of those who have died.

This may require much prayer so you and your mother discuss this with love.


#6

My husband was cremated per his request and buried. I am able to visit his grave and it has certainly helped. Ask your Mom to consider how it may help her family through the grieving process. On holidays I can place flowers, pray the rosary, etc., at the gravesite, which has proven to be a blessing.


#7

I would never honor such a request, because it is wrong to scatter someone's ashes like they were nothing important. I wouldn't make a big deal about it, but I just wouldn't do it. I'd have them buried or put into a columbarium.


closed #8

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