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Does the Catholic Church Allow Cremation?

Funeral Home Tacoma

When it comes to planning funeral services, many individuals have questions about what practices are appropriate for their faith. If you are considering cremation services for yourself or a family member that is Catholic, then read on to learn about the Catholic Church’s stance on cremation.

The Catholic Church once prohibited cremation.
Because Catholics believe in the resurrection of the body after death, they customarily bury the deceased in a traditional burial in the ground or a tomb, as Jesus Christ was buried. For this reason, the Catholic Church does not favor the use of cremation, and Catholic authorities banned the practice of cremation hundreds of years ago. Cremation was common in ancient cultures, but its use in the Roman Empire faded due to Christian influence.

The Catholic Church permits cremation.
The Vatican lifted the ban on cremation in 1963, and Catholic priests have been allowed to officiate cremation ceremonies since 1966. Later, in 1997, Catholic funeral rites were modified to allow Catholic funerals to take place after the cremation of the body. These changes mean that the Catholic Church does allow cremation. However, cremation is not considered to be the ideal choice for burial.

The Catholic Church has rules regarding cremation.
When it comes to burial, the Catholic Church’s preferred method is a full-body burial. However, cremation is permitted with the exception that it is only performed when it does not demonstrate a denial of the Catholic faith. Cremation for a Catholic burial may be considered if the deceased specified this preference before death. Also, cremation can be requested for individuals who die far from home or for economic, pathological, or hygienic reasons. For cremation to be acceptable for a Catholic burial, the cremated remains must be buried in a cemetery, crypt, or other suitable location. Keeping the cremated remains at one’s home or scattering them is not permitted by the Catholic Church.

Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park, and Crematory offers several options, including cremation services in Lakewood, Washington. To learn more, please give us a call today at (253) 584-0252.

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