Feelings About Cremation


#1

There is a beautiful memorial garden outside of our Church. The ashes are put directly into the soil, no urn. I like it because I know I’ll visit after Sunday Mass and because flying Mom up north where she’d be buried alone is very sad.

Mom didn’t want to be cremated. Twenty-five years ago, she purchased a space in one of those high rise structures. No other family member is in that cemetery and I know we’ll never get up there to visit.

Part of me is okay with the decision I’ve made but another part feels it isn’t what she wanted. And the biggest thing, when I think about it and I do try not to, is the distruction of the body.

Some lovely people are in the garden, and the priest, who gave her the last rights, said he plans to be buried there too.

What are your thoughts?


#2

I don’t think we have enough information.

If your convenience is the only thing keeping you from following your mother’s wishes then I think you are better off doing what she wanted, even if it is somewhat inconvenient.

But if there are other factors --perhaps financial expenses that your mother’s estate doesn’t cover which would make following your mother’s directives difficult for you and your family-- then I think you are free to have her cremated and buried in your parish memorial garden.


#3

The fact is it will cost us more because the burial plot is paid for and I haven’t even discussed the sale of that piece of property with that cemetary. I’ve been told I can expect to be told I must sell it back to them at the price she paid 25 years ago.

It isn’t so much the convenience as the simplicity of the burial here. It is less stressful. We don’t have to worry about driving 2,000 miles, flying the body up, and then handling her house, its contents and its sale. We’re seniors. Husband has some health issues which can be triggered by stress. Mom was almost 94 when she died. She’s been living with us for four years. She suffered from Alzheimer’s. Considering the nature of the disease, she was pretty much an easy patient to attend to but she could not be left alone.

Anyway, both priests were accepting of our decision. Before I read your post, I googled it and came across some details stating the Church still prefers ground burial and, if cremeted, the remains should be in an urn. Well, at the Church, the ashes will be poured right into the ground. So whom am I to believe???


#4

My understanding is that the cremaines have to be buried in the ground, as long as they are buried.

The fact that your mom lived with you and died with you is good enough reason to bury her near you.

I suggest you ask in the Ask an Apologist site here about how cremaines should be treated.

Brenda V.


#5

Okay, don’t Ask an Apologist, they already answered the question so instead here is a start to your search for an answer to your question:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=372690&highlight=cremation

This link will take you to several others that can take you to other links but if you are really worried it will be worth the search for you.

Brenda V.


#6

First of all let me say you should consider reading up on the Churches teachings on Catholic Cremations. The body should be respected when cremated just as so when it is buried normally. The Catholic Church does not want cremated bodies put into the soil without being in a proper urn.

seaservices.com/catholic.htm

The internet address from the diocese of Toledo, below, seems to answer your question; the “dividing of cremated remains” is not considered to the the “reverent disposition” required in terms of Catholic burial of cremated remains. I give the internet address where you can find all the relevant paragraphs, and then I give below the particular paragraph which is the answer to your question:

cathcemtoledo.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27&Itemid=41

"Church teaching insists that cremated remains must be given the same respect as the body, including the manner in which they are carried and the attention given to their appropriate transport and placement. The cremated remains of a body are to be buried or entombed, preferably in a Catholic cemetery, and using the rites provided by the Order of Christian Funerals. The following are not considered to be reverent dispositions that the Church requires: scattering cremated remains, dividing cremated remains and keeping cremated remains in the home. The remains of a cremated body should be treated with the same respect given to the corporeal remains of a human body. This includes a worthy container to hold the cremated remains.

The address below is the site for the Catholic Bishops document on cremation:

usccb.org/liturgy/q&a/general/crem.shtml

I got these addresses, and there are more, by typing into Google: Catholic Teaching on Cremation and burial of remains.


#7

You mention that your mother suffered from Alzheimer’s. . .so she wouldn’t have been able to communicate her wishes about the disposal of her remains during the years she was living with you and being cared for by you. Therefore, I assume whatever she communicated about her wishes was quite some time before she died. I wonder if her wishes about where she would be buried might have changed during that time. What do you think she would want, considering all of the factors you know?

I think the extent to which she communicated her wishes should also be taken into account. Did she simply buy the burial plot 25 years ago and everyone knew/assumed that was where she wanted to be buried? Or did she express several times over the years that this was where she wanted to be buried, despite any changes in circumstances? Similarly, did she actively express “I do not want to be cremated”? Or did she simply make tentative arrangements 25 years ago that would not have included cremation?


#8

Thank you. From what I’m reading, it appears okay.


#9

I see where one poster has read what I read, the remains must be in an urn. Well, there are two Catholic Churches here that have memorial gardens and the remains are put in the soil and buried. Both of these are, of course, on Church property.

I asked why the ashes go directly into the ground without an urn and I was told because they are not running a cemetary. It is a memorial garden. I’m begining to think that the Church must have run up against a variance problem and received permission from the bishop to do it this way.


#10

Do what is is easiest for your family as long as you follow Catholic practices (and it sounds as if you are).

Prayers for the repose of her soul.


#11

The first link posted by katiebelle above seems to require that when cremated remains are buried at sea they must be buried in an urn. I suppose this is because without an urn to contain the cremated remains it is impossible to distinguish between “burial at sea” (which is permitted) and scattering the cremated remains (which is prohibited).

The other link simply states that the cremated remains should be treated with respect, including being held in a worthy container. It does not explicitly require that they be buried in a container. It could be read as applying simply to the container that the cremated remains are held in from the time of cremation until burial.

I think you can reasonably assume that the parishes in your area are familiar with and follow church teaching on the subject and will make sure that the burial of your mother’s cremated remains would be done in the respectful manner required by church teaching.


#12

Oh, I’m trying. :thumbsup: Thank you for your prayers!


#13

[quote="aicirt, post:1, topic:172590"]
There is a beautiful memorial garden outside of our Church. The ashes are put directly into the soil, no urn. I like it because I know I'll visit after Sunday Mass and because flying Mom up north where she'd be buried alone is very sad.

Mom didn't want to be cremated. Twenty-five years ago, she purchased a space in one of those high rise structures. No other family member is in that cemetery and I know we'll never get up there to visit.

Part of me is okay with the decision I've made but another part feels it isn't what she wanted. And the biggest thing, when I think about it and I do try not to, is the distruction of the body.

Some lovely people are in the garden, and the priest, who gave her the last rights, said he plans to be buried there too.

What are your thoughts?

[/quote]

thanks for posting this. I'm currently working on my will and trying to decide on my remains. There's a part in my will where I can choose specifically where I want to be buried/cremated, or leave it up to my (it's late, whatever you call the guy in charge when I'm gone). That is probably the wise choice as circumstances change, like with your mother.

blessings,

sp


#14

I wonder if it is ok to turn the dead person into a diamond.


#15

I can understand it but I don’t think the Church approves. I have heard that there were some families who did that with 9/11 victims. What would worry me is the problem of loss. If the diamond, apparently made to be worn as a piece of jewlery, was lost there never would be a proper burial. Having remains end up in a dump or land fill would be very destresting.

A century ago, some took the hair of the deceased and wove it into braclets, necklaces, or frames for the deceased picture. Kind of creepy.


#16

[quote="SecretPlace, post:13, topic:172590"]
thanks for posting this. I'm currently working on my will and trying to decide on my remains. There's a part in my will where I can choose specifically where I want to be buried/cremated, or leave it up to my (it's late, whatever you call the guy in charge when I'm gone). That is probably the wise choice as circumstances change, like with your mother.

blessings,

sp

[/quote]

Mom was embalmed and returned to the Church for the Mass a week after her death. Her body was then taken and cremated. I changed my ideas for myself after receiving the bill. I will be immediately creamated. Then my remains will be returned for the Memorial Mass followed by the burial. Cremation was $90. The coffin rental, embalming, etc. was thousands.

I am from the era when Catholics were buried so all of this is a big change for me. I've always been against cremation. I was with Mom when she died. Once the soul left, it was if her body was just a shell. The person was no longer there. I just feel differently and have become more accepting of cremation.


#17

[quote="aicirt, post:15, topic:172590"]
I can understand it but I don't think the Church approves. I have heard that there were some families who did that with 9/11 victims. What would worry me is the problem of loss. If the diamond, apparently made to be worn as a piece of jewlery, was lost there never would be a proper burial. Having remains end up in a dump or land fill would be very destresting.

A century ago, some took the hair of the deceased and wove it into braclets, necklaces, or frames for the deceased picture. Kind of creepy.

[/quote]

Wearing hair: creepy
Wearing a diamond: not creepy... or maybe its because I'm a girl? j/k I think it would be cool to be turned into a diamond n be buried but then what if I get stolen?


#18

[quote="mayrag86, post:17, topic:172590"]
Wearing hair: creepy
Wearing a diamond: not creepy... or maybe its because I'm a girl? j/k I think it would be cool to be turned into a diamond n be buried but then what if I get stolen?

[/quote]

You would be devestated. Bad enough when us girls lose a diamond but a loved one made into a diamond and it gets lost.....not good. And I don't think the Church would go for this at all.


#19

[quote="aicirt, post:16, topic:172590"]

I am from the era when Catholics were buried so all of this is a big change for me. I've always been against cremation. I was with Mom when she died. Once the soul left, it was if her body was just a shell. The person was no longer there. I just feel differently and have become more accepting of cremation.

[/quote]

yes, and to me, that's just it, in anywhere from 1 - 50 years, the body is just a skeleton anyway (unless you are one of those rare saints, etc.). And the price difference! That makes the choice a lot easier too... the thing is, our Lord will raise us up on the last day whether buried in the ground, at sea, cremated, or whatever!

Thanks,

sp


#20

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