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My aunt wants to keep her husband’s cremated remains on a shelf in her living room. Is this in keeping with Church teaching?

Full Question

My aunt wants to keep her husband’s cremated remains on a shelf in her living room. Is this in keeping with Church teaching?

Answer

No. The (U.S.) Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship says the following:

Any catechesis on the subject of cremation should emphasize that the cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the corporeal remains of a human body. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition.

While cremated remains may be buried in a grave, entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium or even buried at sea, the practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires. The cremated remains of the body may be properly buried at sea in the urn, coffin, or other container in which they have been carried to the place of committal. (“Cremation and Burial at Sea”)

 

See www.usccb.org/liturgy/cremation.shtml.

 










5 comments

  1. mb503 Reply

    I want to be cremated but I don’t want to take up space… Why can’t my ashes be scattered?

    1. Fr. Aris Sison Reply

      Is there a rule prohibiting the cremation of priests?

  2. Lynn Gibson Reply

    I want To be cremated if I die first and then my ashes put into the coffin of my husband for internment. Is it wrong to keep my ashes say in a closet until the time of his death?

  3. Lenore Reply

    Wouldn’t that be desicration (sp) of the body? That’s what I was always led to believe, anyway.

  4. PMBoulay Reply

    My brother want to take our mother’s urn overseas and bury it in Ireland. He is planning on having the urn in his house for two to five years until he can take the trip. Is that too long a wait for the urn to be “sitting around”?

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