Cremation and Religion: An Overview of the Major Religions and their Views on Cremation
While most Christians do not like cremation, it is not a prohibited practice. Some more conservative religions claim that some passages in the Bible forbid cremation, whereas other Biblical texts appear to merely encourage burial over cremation.
For example, Deuteronomy 34:6 in the Old Testament says that God picked Moses’ burial after he died. Other texts talk about how God will revive the bodies of people who have died. “How can God bring up a body if the corpse does not exist due to cremation?” many Christians wonder. ”
While the Bible does not expressly condemn cremation, many Christian Christians see the decision to be cremated as a matter of conscience and personal choice. More Christians are adopting the practice of cremation, based on its rising popularity.
Throughout much of its history, the Catholic Church has been a staunch opponent to cremation, excommunicating those who engaged in or allowed the cremation of a member of the religion. When the church dropped its ban on cremation in 1963, this changed. Cremation is now permitted for Catholics; nonetheless, entombment or burial remains the preferred method of ultimate disposal.
The Catholic religion believes that the body and soul have an everlasting future because of the Church’s belief in Jesus Christ’s resurrection. If a person is cremated, Catholics believe that the cremated remains should be treated the same as those of the deceased in a coffin. If the deceased is cremated, specific rituals must be fulfilled in order for the funeral Mass to be held. The church highly recommends that the deceased’s whole corpse be present throughout the funeral services and that the body is burned only after the rites have been finished.
Generally speaking, while certain conservative denominations may express a preference for burial, Protestant churches as a whole are neutral on cremation, and neither condemn nor recommend it for members of the Protestant faith.
Cremated remains can be maintained by the family, entombed in a columbarium or urn garden, or dispersed at sea.
Many denominations make up the Christian Protestant tradition. Many of these groups arose as a consequence of divergent viewpoints on how to interpret particular features and sections of the Bible. It’s only logical to assume that, in the future, the same will be true for the issue of cremation.
Cremation is vehemently opposed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Cremation, according to the Church, is an intentional corruption and annihilation of the body’s function for which God created and appointed it.
The church requires that the body be buried in order for the natural, physical process of decomposition to occur. Those who have elected to be cremated are not allowed to have funerals in the sanctuary, in the funeral home, or elsewhere.
Greece defied Orthodox custom in 2006, authorizing cremation with the decedent’s family’s written consent.
Traditional Jewish tradition prohibits cremation and requires burial instead. According to the Jewish religion, a person’s body and soul will be reunited after death, hence a corpse is precious and must be buried.
The regulation does not apply to everyone. If someone was not reared in the Jewish religion or was cremated against their choice, Jewish law enables the cremated remains to be given an appropriate Jewish funeral and burial.
The remains of the deceased must be buried in the dirt, according to Jewish law. This should happen as quickly as possible after death, ideally on the same day as the death, but no later than 24 hours. The intention is for the corpse to be returned to the dust from where it came, as it was created, thus no embalming is done. Following burial preparation, the corpse is buried in a basic wooden coffin, generally pine, with no metal to aid natural decomposition.
Cremation is forbidden in Islamic law, which deems it a desecration of the human body’s dignity. For Muslims, funeral customs are dictated by divine law, and they must bury their deceased as soon as possible, preferably within a day of death, unless there is a compelling cause to postpone, such as criminal conduct. In both life and death, the body should be treated with the same respect.
Embalming is likewise prohibited unless it is mandated by law.
The taboo on cremation is only lifted during epidemics when there is a risk of illness spreading and Muslim authorities have granted permission.
Cremation is permitted in Buddhism, which is one of the few religions that does so. Cremation is not seen by Buddhists as incompatible with the religion’s teachings.
Most Buddhists believe that life and death are both parts of a reincarnation cycle, with the ultimate objective of freeing the departed person of all cravings and self-concepts and achieving enlightenment.
If the body is to be cremated, the final rites will be performed by Buddhist monks or the family on the day of the cremation. Chanting the Three Jewels, the Precepts, and certain meditative lines are part of these ceremonies. Prior to cremation, this ritual might be done at the crematory. The bones of the cremated person may be maintained by the family, entombed in a columbarium, or strewn at sea.
Cremation, also known as antim sanskar or final rite, is required by Hinduism for the disposition of a believer’s earthly remains.
Hindus believe that when a body is cremated, it is delivered to Agni, the Hindu deity of fire, along with a prayer to purify the departed and guide them to a better life. Cremation also helps to separate the subtle body, which consists of the mind and vital forces, from the gross body, which is corporeal and mortal, allowing the subtle body to pass on rather than lingering about living loved ones.
The ashes of Hindus are usually scattered in the Ganges River in India following a traditional Hindu cremation. If the cremation takes place outside of India for other Hindus, the family may arrange for shipping of the cremated ashes to India, where they will be immersed in the Ganges River. Hindus also utilize other rivers as acceptable alternatives to the Ganges River.
While cremation is the customary option for Hindus, saints, holy men, and children are not required to be burned. Saints and holy persons are said to have attained a state of sanctity and separation from the physical body. They’ve been buried in the lotus pose instead. Children are also seen to be pure because they have fewer attachments to their bodies.