Catholic Church is the largest Christian church in the world; hence has lots of believers. Cremation is the disposal of a body through burning. Catholics have many beliefs concerning the handle of a deceased, such as respecting them by giving them a proper burial mass. So, do Catholics allow cremation?”
In 1968, the Vatican allowed cremation saying it was only good if it did not deny faith in the resurrection of the body. In October 2016, the Vatican published new guidelines about the cremation of the body, saying that the ashes should not be scattered or kept at home. They instructed that the ashes should be kept in a sacred catholic cemetery.
How do Catholics view cremation? Is cremation a sin in the Catholic Church? What are the rules for cremation among Catholics? Do Catholics prefer cremation or burial? How long has the Catholic Church allowed cremation? Keep reading to find the answers to these questions and more.
How do Catholics view cremation?
Catholics believe in life after death; hence don’t favor the cremation of the body. They have faith in the second coming of Jesus during the judgment days. The trust that the body will be resurrected and if it is cremated, it cannot resurrect. However, they have permitted cremation of the body and said it is okay if it is not to deny the resurrection of the body.
OCF 413 and 415 state, “the body can’t be5, “Sometimes, however, the body can’t be present for the Funeral Mass. When extraordinary circumstances make the cremation of a body the only feasible choice, pastoral sensitivity must be exercised by priests, deacons, and others who minister to the deceased’s family.
The Catholic view about the presence of the body during burial still stands when it comes to cremation. The church says the body should be present during the funeral mass for its prayers b the priest. During the funeral mass, the priest is supposed to bless the deceased and pray for the forgiveness of their sins so they can inherit the kingdom of God.
Therefore, even if the body is to be cremated, the same mass should occur for the soul to rest in peace. In case the body can’t be made present during the funeral mass, then the priest should pray for the family before they go and cremate the body.
Is cremation a sin in the Catholic Church?
Cremation is not a sin in the Catholic Church since it has been allowed. Though Catholicism prefers burial to cremation, they passed a law that it is okay to cremate the body as long as all the guidelines put for the cremation are followed.
However, it is a sin if cremation is done as a reason to deny the resurrection. Catholics believe that the burial of the body should take place so that the body can be well-kept, just like Jesus’ body was conserved for the resurrection.
Also, it is a sin if the ashes of the cremated body are scattered, divided among the family members, or kept at the deceased home. In case cremation of the body is done, the ashes should be reserved at a sacred place so they can also resurrect with other bodies. It is also a sin if the body does not go through the course of the Catholic funeral service before it is cremated. The funeral mass presents the deceased to God for their sins to be forgiven.
What are the rules for cremation among Catholics?
There are several rules that the Vatican has put in place in case the cremation of the body is done. These rules were put out on October 2016. The Catholic Church emphasizes that it is best to have a traditional burial for the body like the one that Jesus had because of the resurrection of the body. However, if cremation of the body is the best option during disposal, then the following rules should be followed.
The liturgical rites should be celebrated.
The liturgical rites are also called Catholic funeral rites. Catholic Church believes in the sacredness of human life. They trust that a body should be presented to God so that God can be merciful towards the person that has died and forgive their sins. There are three steps to the catholic funeral rites. They include the Vigil Service, the Funeral Liturgy, and the Rite of Committal.
The Vigil Service: This is a mass done for the deceased’s family members. The service happens between the day the person passed on and the day of the burial. It takes place at the late’s home or the church in the presence of their family members. The priest and the community pray for the family so that God can be merciful to them and give them strength as they mourn the loss of the loved one.
The Funeral Liturgy: this is the overall funeral mass of the deceased. It takes place at the parish church of the late. The Funeral Mass includes the reception of the body into the parish, the reading of the Word, the commission of the Eucharist, and the final commendation. The commendation is the concluding prayer prayed to commend God for His mercies towards the deceased and forgive their sins.
Rite of committal: is the final disposal of the body. This final rite is done for the church and community to show their final respect for human life. During the rite of the committal, the closing prayers are prayed for both the family members and the late.
The ashes should be put in safekeeping in a sacred place.
Another rule that the Catholic Church put about the cremation of the body is that the ashes of the body should be kept in a sacred place like the church cemetery. The Vatican published in October 2016 that the ashes that remain after the cremation of the body shouldn’t be scattered in the oceans, divided among family members, or kept at home. They stated that the deceased should be properly allowed to rest in peace.
Do Catholics prefer cremation or burial?
Although the Catholic Church allows cremation of the body, they prefer burial. The Catholic Church believes in the same disposal of the body as the one Jesus had. This is because they believe in life after death. They believe that the body will resurrect in the second coming of Jesus; hence the deceased should be well buried as they wait for that day.
Jesus was concealed in a tomb, and he was resurrected after three days. Forty days after his resurrection, he went with his followers to mount Olives, where he ascended. According to Acts 1:11, the Bible implies that Jesus told his apostles that he would come again as manner falls from heaven. This means that he would descend on earth as he ascended to heaven. Catholics believe in the second coming of Jesus, where his people will be resurrected to welcome his return. This is the main reason they prefer burial to cremation.
How long has the Catholic Church allowed cremation?
Catholic Church has been allowing cremation of the body for decades. It first allowed the cremation of the body in 1968. However, they said that cremation is only allowed if the people practicing it don’t have the purpose of denying the resurrection of the body.
Although the Catholic Church allowed the cremation of the body, it seemed as if they still were not okay with it since, in 2016, they published guidelines for the cremation of the body. The Vatican stated that it is not right when the ashes are scattered all over, divided among family members, or even kept at the deceased home. They said that the ashes should be kept at a sacred place so that the deceased can rest in peace.
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