What does your faith teach about the acceptability of cremation?
The Catholic Church believes that while cremation is not the preference it is acceptable for some conditions and with one caveat. All cremains must be interred in sacred ground and not dispersed in a special place, divided up among relatives, kept in the closet, placed on the mantel… The cremains have to remain together and placed in a columbarium, cemetery plot, another plot that has been blessed by a priest.
I plan to be cremated with cremains interred at a nearby monastery that offers a columbarium for laity. Only priests and brothers may be buried in the cemetery proper.
I would personally prefer burial, but my (non-Catholic) husband doesn’t really want to be buried. So, we’ve purchased a family cremains plot in the Victorian graveyard of the parish where I was received into the Catholic faith. I know where it is, I chose it and I’m happy to know that people I know and like very much at that church will be interred around us.
We were lucky to get it, they only have a small graveyard and there haven’t been any new burials there for many years. However, the parish was given permission to develop the far side of the graveyard for a small Garden of Rest for cremains.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.
It makes no difference how the body returns to dust (or other inanimate matter) after death. Our belief in the resurrection of the body does not depend on preserving the dead body.
My faith recommends it over any other procedure. I will be cremated and my ashes dumped somewhere.
Your question is a timely one. This Saturday marks the one year anniversary of the approbation by Pope Francis of Ad resurgendum cum Christo