CREMATION RULES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
In the last several months, I have had inquiries from you concerning funeral plans, burial rites, and cremation plans.
We live in a changing world and because of that some of our church teachings have changed surrounding death and burial. Many of you may already know these changes, but some may not. This pastor letter can be enlightening for us, especially when making funeral plans.
The most common question I receive is about “cremation;” Is it allowed? The Vatican in 1963 gave an instruction to preserve the practice of reverently burying the faithful departed adding that cremation is not opposed to our religion and that no longer should the sacraments and funeral rites be denied to those who have asked to be cremated.
In other words, CREMATION is allowed. They reaffirmed this instruction again in 2016 allowing cremation and adding that the church recommends that the bodies of the deceased (cremation as well) be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places.
Burial is above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body. By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body and intends to show the great dignity of the human body.
PLEASE NOTE: It was also stated, that the preserving of the deceased ashes in a domestic residence is not permitted. Nonetheless, the ashes may not be divided among various family members. Likewise, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects.
I pray you find this instruction valuable and acceptable.