Many people choose cremation for when they pass on. They like the idea of being scattered into the ocean, divided among family members, or finding peace in their family home.
But the Vatican just published guidelines for Catholics who say they want to be cremated: your remains cannot be scattered, divided or kept at home. They have to be stored in a sacred, church-approved place.
Well okay then...that seems fairly limiting.
Cremation is still a fairly touchy subject in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Up until 1963, the Vatican only permitted burial arguing it expressed the Christian hope in resurrection. When they allowed cremation, it had to be explicitly clear that you did not deny your faith about resurrection. If you choose to be cremated for reasons contrary to the Christian faith, you will be denied a Christian funeral.
The new document from the Vatican says remains cannot be kept at home or scattered because it would deprive the Christian community as a whole of remembering the dead. The ashes must be stored at a cemetery or a church area. Only in extreme cases (which guidelines were not given) will a bishop allow ashes to be kept at home. But under no circumstances will they be allowed to be divided, scattered, or put into mementos.
"The dead body isn't the private property of relatives, but rather a son of God who is part of the people of God," Cardinal Gerhard Mueller said. "We have to get over this individualistic thinking."
Do you agree with these new guidelines set out by the Vatican? Let us know in the comments!