Catholic Funerals: Cremations

Catholic Funeral Directors Sydney, Catholic Cremations Sydney, Catholics and Cremation, Catholic Cremation Practices

For much of history the Catholic Church banned cremation as a choice for Catholic funeral services, but in 1963 the Vatican lifted the ban. Cremation is now an acceptable practice for Catholic funerals, but only if done for the right reasons. Sydney now in fact has a Catholic crematorium located in the grounds of the Rookwood Catholic cemetery. This crematorium is open to members of the Catholic faith wishing cremation.

Why was cremation not allowed?

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church the short paragraph on cremation falls under respect for the dead which is part of the larger topic of respect for the human body.

Scripture teaches we are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27) and from that teaching Catholics believe there is a great deal of respect to given to the human body in life and in death.

Originally, the practice was banned to counter ancient Roman pagan beliefs. The Romans cremated their dead because they did not believe in an afterlife, which is contradictory to Christian belief.

A Change in Policy

However, in 1963 the Vatican lifted the ban on cremation, but the cremated remains or "cremains" could not be present at the funeral mass. Cremation could only be chosen if not for the reason that a person denies the teaching on the resurrection of the body. Burial was (and still is) the preferred method.

In 1997, the Vatican approved new liturgical norms allowing for the cremated remains to be present at a funeral mass and the remains are to be treated with the same reverence as a whole body in a casket. This means that spreading the cremated ashes is still forbidden.

Cremated remains must be buried, just like a body, in a cemetery, crypt, or other appropriate burial place not put on display.

Corinthians 15:51-58 "Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall rise again incorruptible. And we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption: and this mortal must put on immortality. And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Now the sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable: always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

 

If you are planning a Catholic funeral service where the final disposition will be a Catholic cremation please contact our office where one of our experienced Catholic funeral staff can assit you with the correct information in relation to a cremation for a member of the Catholic faith.

 

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Please visit our related company websites:

www.lifecelebrationfunerals.com.au

www.perramandtimmins.com.au

www.kevinperram.com.au

 

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