The Catholic Church considers cremation to be a practice that is acceptable and beneficial for the death of other people. However, Catholics are instructed to “welcome” their friends and family to what they have chosen to put their minds and bodies in the coffin for. Many Catholic funeral directors and funeral directors of other religious and religious traditions have found that cremation helps them in maintaining a higher standard of customer service at their funeral homes.
Catholic teachings on death and burial differ from those of other religions and cultures. Catholic Church Instruction No. 17, the Encyclical Humanae vitae (1981), provides this statement concerning the death: “The Church teaches that death is an end. We ask through the Gospel that our life, our being, must be put at rest, that we may be with God and with our family at the end.”
In that same document, the pope, the bishop, and the pope’s ecumenical and interreligious advisers discuss in much detail the ways in which we die, where we die, and how. The pope wrote, “Our time is limited. The last moments of our life are full of suffering. The good of human beings must be put first.”
Although death is regarded as a “time of death,” the pope and the bishops consider human life to be sacred in nature and a good that is worthy of protection.
Do Catholic funeral directors do cremation all the time?
Not necessarily. The Catholic Church does not ordain funeral directors to do cremation. Some funeral directors want a religious exemption to cremation. Some companies have their own cremation policy, and the Catholic Church has not taken action to require cremation in all cases. As part of its efforts to protect the spiritual well-being of its clergy, the Catholic Church allows for the possibility of a church blessing before cremation “to prepare or prepare the deceased for burial in a way pleasing to God, the body of Christ and the resurrection of our bodies.” This blessing may also include a request for a cremation in order to honor the deceased’s wishes in certain cases, and to minimize additional costs associated with cremation.
Catholic cremation remains an option. Catholic funeral directors are encouraged to offer cremation in special circumstances. Catholic funeral directors should look carefully at the client’s needs and circumstances before offering an alternative to burial. The Catholic Church has been very clear in its teaching that it does not, in any manner, forbid the death of the human being (i.e., a
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