Does The Catholic Church Forbid Cremation at The Time of Death?

By: Myles O'Riordan
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Today, cremation is becoming a more popular option in funeral service. However, a cremation service is comparatively new to the Catholic funeral service, because it was banned by the church until 1983. While a cremation service is not banned by the church today, a traditional burial funeral service is still seen as the correct method of burial by the Catholic Church.

 

The History of the Cremation Service in the Catholic Church

The early Catholic Church shared the traditional burial funeral service with the Jewish, instead of following the common Roman practices of a cremation service. The reason was to return the body to the ground that God created man from. It was also to respect the person and in hopes of the resurrection.

 

A major reason for Catholic Church’s strong stance against the cremation service is that many early martyrs were burned at the stake. As a sign of contempt to the Christian belief, their ashes were scattered afterwards.

 

During the Fourth century, the practice of the cremation service almost completely ceased. At the same time, Christian culture spread across Europe and the traditional burial funeral service become the norm in most areas. Soon the practice of a cremation service was outlawed in most areas due to the people’s religious beliefs.

 

While the use of a cremation service would be unbanned in many areas during the 19th century, the Catholic Church still condemned cremation. The Code of Canon Law was put into place in 1917. This law was to prohibit the use of a cremation service and required the body to be faithfully buried unless it was a time of mass death or there was a disease threat. People who had their bodies cremated could be denied a funeral service by the church.

 

A new version of the Code of Canon Law was put into place during 1983. This new version allowed the practice of cremation service if the person has the right intentions. The cremation ash in a Catholic funeral service should be interred in a columbarium or in a grave. The Catholic Church and the Vatican have stated that a traditional burial funeral service is the correct burial method. Scattering the ashes of a loved one is still seen as wrong in the Catholic Church, due to the history of scattering ashes by Romans of their martyrs. The Catholic Church also believes that ashes should also not be kept in the home, or used to create jewellery.

 

Today, both a traditional funeral service and cremation service are permitted by the Catholic Church. If you have any more questions on this topic, you can contact our staff here at Wagg funeral home. We would be happy to help you find the answers you may be seeking.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Personalizing a Funeral Service

Today, many people are choosing to veer away from traditional forms of conducting funeral services. The focus is now on celebrating the life of the person that has passed, in a unique and memorable...

Dealing With Unresolved Grief

Most people that experience the death of a loved one, find it extremely difficult to deal with the loss. Most of us prefer joy over sadness, life over death and winning over losing. This is exactly...

What’s The Point Of A Funeral?

Funeral services are carried out as a norm when a family member passes away. It is a way for people to say goodbye and acknowledge that the person they have loved has passed on. It also the time wh...

Questions To Ask When Choosing A Cremation Provider

After the death of a loved one, you need to choose a cremation provider, if that was their wish. Before deciding to hand over this responsibility to a particular provider, it’s important to get all...

How to Write a Condolence Letter

People often find it difficult to say a few words of condolence when they meet the bereaved family after a death. It is easier to express your feelings and sympathy by writing a condolence letter. ...

5 Interesting Facts About Cremation

Cremation is becoming more popular than burials for various reasons. Though this is an increasing trend, many people are still ignorant about the benefits of cremation. Here are 5 facts that m...

Choosing a Casket

When a loved one passes away, you want all the funeral service arrangements to be perfect. If you have opted for a burial, this includes choosing a casket. This might seem like a very simple detail...

Coping With Memories Of Loss And Grief At Christmas

When it’s Christmas time, the world around seems to be extra cheerful. But if you have lost a loved one recently, the memories of loss and grief blind you to all the festivities and cause a lot of ...

What is Actually Involved in Pre-planning Your Funeral?

It isn’t that everyone wants to pre-plan their own funeral but there is a growing trend to ensure that you get the kind of funeral you want. While doing so, you are taking off the financial and log...

What if I Want an Unconventional Funeral Service?

Breaking traditions and searching for unusual options now extends from daily life to the death arena. Ideas about how you should be treated after death are taking new forms and technology are enabl...