Should you turn your relatives into jewelry?

A friend’s family is considering using a company that takes some of the cremated remains of a person and creates a diamond out of them. This seems just completely wrong to me. They are Catholic, as is the deceased, and I would like to give them a good, Catholic reason why this is wrong. Can you help?

Also, I’m guessing that the question will be brought up as to why placing the remains of the deceased in a wall at a mausoleum would be any better than wearing a piece of jewelry made from that person. I’m sure they’ll say that the jewelry is a visable memory of that person that can be displayed, viewed, and remembered all the time, while if the remains were in a wall, they would be more easily forgotten. Can you assist on this front as well?

While the Church allows for cremation, it insists that the cremains be treated with respect. This means that the cremains should not be scattered but should be disposed of in a dignified manner – whether by committing them to the earth or sea in a suitable container, or by placing them in a mausoleum set aside for the storage of cremains.

Turning cremains into a shiny stone is not a fit disposition for the human body because it is an affront to the dignity of human beings to treat their bodies as raw material for the creation of an object. To do so differs significantly from the Catholic practice of preserving relics because relics are a piece of the body itself kept as a memorial of a loved one, particularly of a saintly individual. This practice, on the other hand, turns the human body into a cultured mineral.

Recommended reading:

Ring of Mom by Michelle Arnold

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