Is it correct to keep the cremains of a deceased relative in your home?


My cousin’s father passed away last month and was cremated. She is keeping his ashes in an urn in her bedroom. I am a new Catholic, but logically this just does not seem “complete.” Doesn’t he need to be laid to rest in consecrated ground?


No, it is not appropriate to keep cremains in one’s home. There may be, at times, just cause to delay the final disposition of cremains, such as financial necessity; but they should not be kept in one’s home because one wants to keep the cremains in one’s own possession, either temporarily or permanently. The Order of Christian Funerals (OCF) states:

[T]he practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, *or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased *are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires (OCF 416, emphasis added).

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