Once a liturgy is completed the body can be prepared for cremation with cremation burial. The issue of scattering, where ashes are spread in a chosen area, is against church teaching out of reverence for the body. Many people feel that scattering can leave loved ones feeling empty as there is no memorialization to remember them.
Here are four steps to ensure dignified memorial of loved ones:
- Have a plan. The best way to ensure that you or a loved one is memorialized in keeping with the teachings of your faith is to have a burial plan. These are not decisions to be made during grieving. Most cemeteries offer many options. For cremated remains for example, burial can in the ground, in a niche wall or in a columbarium.
- Understand the consequences. Scattering is not some obscure ‘Catholic’ issue. It is an issue of importance for most religions. It is also an issue for the public in terms of having public grounds becoming graveyards? Do we really want that to occur?
- Consider the memory. What is it that represents the body after the ashes have been strewn? We urge a careful consideration for memorialization to remember your loved one:
“The bottom line for the Church is that cremains, though in ash form, are still what remains of the body. And we should no more scatter them than we would scatter body parts about.” Instead, they should be interred on sacred grounds with an appropriate memorial.
- Pick the right service provider. Not every provider is versed in the teachings of every faith—make sure they know yours. This is a long-term commitment, so look for a business that is invested in the community – one that you know will still be around when your great-grandchildren want to come and offer a prayer.