One Minute Answers to Questions About the
Many Catholics today choose to have their remains
cremated rather than full body burial. What does the
Church say about this?
Cremation for Catholics is a relatively new practice.
It wasn’t until May of 1963 that the Holy See lifted
the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose
cremation. In paragraph 2301, the Catechism states,
“The Church permits cremation, provided that it does
not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection
of the body.”
Burial of the body is still preferred. The Catechism
of the Catholic Church in paragraph 2300 says, “The
bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and
charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The
burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy.”
What about what to do with the ashes of the deceased?
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in the
Order of Christian Funerals Appendix on Cremation
says this: “The cremated remains should be buried in
a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium.
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 the