Resting place for a body after death


#1

I was wondering what the Church’s teaching is on what a dead person’s relatives are supposed to do with the dead after a cremation.
Our priest was telling the congregation that the ashes in an urn should not be kept at home nor split up into several urns for several relatives to keep at home.
He said the ashes are the whole body of the dead (and should be treated with reverance and respect) and should not be separated (for example he said you would not cut a dead body into parts and have them buried in different cemetaries). He also said that urns with ashes should not be kept at home but should be put in a fitting respectful place (whatever the cremated equivalent to a cemetary is - I can’t remember the word).
Seems to make sense to me but I was just wondering if that is our priest’s own opinion or is this something taught by the Church.


#2

[quote=thistle]I was wondering what the Church’s teaching is on what a dead person’s relatives are supposed to do with the dead after a cremation.
Our priest was telling the congregation that the ashes in an urn should not be kept at home nor split up into several urns for several relatives to keep at home.
He said the ashes are the whole body of the dead (and should be treated with reverance and respect) and should not be separated (for example he said you would not cut a dead body into parts and have them buried in different cemetaries). He also said that urns with ashes should not be kept at home but should be put in a fitting respectful place (whatever the cremated equivalent to a cemetary is - I can’t remember the word).
Seems to make sense to me but I was just wondering if that is our priest’s own opinion or is this something taught by the Church.
[/quote]

Our priest was telling the congregation that the ashes in an urn should not be kept at home nor split up into several urns for several relatives to keep at home.

That is correct with the exception that the urn could be kept in a special place of honor awaiting to be buried or placed in a tomb.

(for example he said you would not cut a dead body into parts and have them buried in different cemetaries)

That is generally correct however the Church for reasons of honoring a person does distribute a persons body in the form of Relics after canonization. also if you remember that with JPII there was some thought of removing his heart and burying it in Poland. The Church decided not to however.


#3

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]Our priest was telling the congregation that the ashes in an urn should not be kept at home nor split up into several urns for several relatives to keep at home.

That is correct with the exception that the urn could be kept in a special place of honor awaiting to be buried or placed in a tomb.

(for example he said you would not cut a dead body into parts and have them buried in different cemetaries)

That is generally correct however the Church for reasons of honoring a person does distribute a persons body in the form of Relics after canonization. also if you remember that with JPII there was some thought of removing his heart and burying it in Poland. The Church decided not to however.
[/quote]

Thanks.


#4

As a followup, I am curious if the Catholic church has a position on bodies used in research. Is it OK for a med school to have a skeleton or preserved organs, distributed to different schools etc, not as a cadaver.

Just wondering.

cheddar


#5

[quote=cheddarsox]As a followup, I am curious if the Catholic church has a position on bodies used in research. Is it OK for a med school to have a skeleton or preserved organs, distributed to different schools etc, not as a cadaver.

Just wondering.

cheddar
[/quote]

It’s really not a black and white issue. You have to take into consideration several things. 1. Respect for the Body which was a temple of the Holy Spirit. Even in the medical school enviroment it would be improper to display the actual bones of a Baptized Christian in a halloween prank. However to use them to help other humans by advancing medicine and training new doctors would be ok. After a medical school is finished with them they should be buried or cremated and then buried. You have to ask the question “For what purpose are we doing this and will the body or it’s parts always be respected?”


#6

I have a human skull and some other bones that I use for science and art classes. I do treat them respectfully and teach my students to do so as well, as they are the remains of a person.

At All Souls/Saints days my family includes these people in our memories and thank them for serving the current generations in this way. I have told my family that when I pass on I want the bones to be interred with me.

cheddar


#7

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