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Cremation in Christianity

Updated on June 26, 2020
Kieran Jackson profile image

I am a Scottish based guy with a strong interest in Religion.

You may have found yourself asking if cremation is acceptable in modern-day Christianity? Today, I am here to share the reason why it is no longer an issue

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For far too long cremation has been a taboo subject in Abrahamic Religions, including Christianity. It has also been something that has fascinated me for years, so I believe it is time to put my spin on it. The main reason for this is the belief of the Resurrection of the physical body for believers in the second coming of Christ. Despite this, Cremation is an ever-growing way of disposing of the dead in the Christian world. There are a number of main reasons for this, the main one being the cost. Cremation in almost every part of the world is very cheap and quick compared to the standard way of burial. Burial costs in the western world continue to increase while the cost of cremation has almost remained stagnant.

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I myself have come across numerous people who wish to be cremated but are themselves followers of Christ. Several have stated they think it would be a "sin", others have said they find no issue with it. Personally, I would have to concur with those who find no issue with it. The reason for this is that many Christian leaders across numerous denominations have relaxed their view, including the Catholic church in 1966 when the Pope himself lifted a ban on cremation. Even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has opened their Churches to cremations for their followers. The sole reason for this is that nowhere in the bible is it stated that Cremation is a sin. It is the physicality of the body that has made it an issue of the past. Despite relaxing their views on cremation, the majority of Christian leaders do not recommend the scattering of the ashes. Instead, they believe that the ashes should be put into an urn and buried in a sacred place like a graveyard. Catholics also have the option of keeping the urn in a columbarium. The interesting side of this is that in many Christian Churches, they have modified the term "Body" to "Earthly remains" during the funeral for those who have been cremated. In spite of this, certain elements of certain demonstrations still thoroughly oppose Cremation, and even certain congregants of the Churches who have broadened their horizons still vigorously oppose it on a personal stance. Each to their own, eh?

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Most people who have ever attended a funeral will have heard the phrase "From dust to dust, from ashes to ashes" from the Minister. This in itself could justify cremation as indeed, ashes are what we become. In the KJV Bible it is stated in Genesis 3:19 'In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return'. In Matthew 8:22, Jesus is recorded as saying to one of his followers, who wished to bury his father, 'Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead'. This may come across rather uncaring on Jesus's part, however, that was not his intention as it portrays that Faith is far more important than the way the dead are handled and could be taken as not an important issue to Christ himself. Despite Christ mentioning the word "Bury" this would be because burial was the traditional way of disposing of the dead at the current time.

So, In conclusion, cremation is an ever-growing way of disposing of the dead and indeed it is not a "Sin" like it was told in the previous centuries as it is our Spiritual body that goes to heaven. With almost all Christian denominations opening their minds to it. But also to summarize, the ashes should not be scattered in numerous locations according to Religious leaders as this is seen as disrespectful. Many Christian leaders have also recommended putting something physical in the urn, some believe this is what you will be resurrected through and others it is because some still hold strong opinions on the physicality of it all, on many occasions, this physical object has been something as small as a grain of wheat.

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well I will be amazed. I just assumed it was fine with all Christians. Burning me up after they take all my organs including skin and maybe even some joints just makes sense. And hey I got several places I want to me and several folks I want to scatter me.

      Great treatment of this subject, thank you.

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