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Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice #411294
04/27/15 11:31 AM
04/27/15 11:31 AM
Joined: Mar 1999
Posts: 74
Lublin, Poland
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Deacon Peter Offline OP
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Deacon Peter  Offline OP
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Lublin, Poland
CHRIST IS RISEN!

I am not sure whether this is a proper forum section for my question, but I will try to ask anyway...

The liturgical commission of the Archeparchy of Peremyshl and Warsaw (I am one of her three members) is planning to create guidelines for funerals with cremation of the body. I think that many of you may be familiar with the prescriptions which are part of the eparchial law of UGCC's eparchy od Melbourne:



4.8.14 Parish priests from time to time should
instruct the faithful on the teachings of the
Church in regard to the burial of the dead. Through ecclesiastical funeral rites the
Church asks spiritual assistance for the departed, honours their bodies, and at the
same time brings the solace of hope
to the living. The Church earnestly
recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed.
It does not forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons that are contrary
to Christian teaching.

4.8.15 According to CCEO canon 876.3 those who choose cremation for their bodies,
unless such a choice was made for reasons
contrary to the conduct of Christian
life, are to be granted an ecclesiastical
funeral, provided that it does not obscure
the preference of the Church
for the burial or entombment of bodies and that
scandal is avoided. The policy or proce
dure of the Eparchy is the following:
!
When someone makes a request for cremation, the parish
priest/administrator should prudently
ascertain that this was done without
contempt for Catholic doctrine, in which case cremation is permitted.
!
The following practice must be put in
place for an ecclesiastical funeral:

The parastas service (at the funeral home or other house) is to be
celebrated in the presence of the body prior to cremation. Parastas
panachyda may not be celebrated over ashes, for the liturgical sign
loses its effectiveness.

If the cremation is to take place after all funeral rites (including the
reception of the body into the Church), there is no restriction.
However, should someone insist on cremation so that it takes place for
any reason prior to the completion of
the funeral rites, the ashes are
not to be brought into the church under any circumstances. The
services may and should be celebra
ted without the ashes in church.

It is the preference of the Church
that the ashes not be scattered but
should be interred in consecrated ground, entombed or reserved
appropriately.


SOURCE: http://catholicukes.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Statutes_eng1.pdf

My question to all Byzantines from various jurisdictions is: have your eparchies created any guidelines on this subject? And how does the practice look like?
I would love to learn as much as possible, so many thanks in advance for detailed replies. Links to any written material (guidelines and so on) would be very appreciated. smile

Last edited by Deacon Peter; 04/27/15 11:31 AM.
Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: Deacon Peter] #411300
04/27/15 03:02 PM
04/27/15 03:02 PM
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Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Offline
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Deacon Peter:

Christ is Risen!!

First of all, cremated remains are not "ashes," but bone fragments and bone dust. They are heavy, usually about 30 pounds in weight--don't know the conversion to metric.

We in the Latin Church in the United States have an additional guideline that asks that the cremains should be housed in an "honorable vessel" of some sort and should be interred in that vessel.

We also allow cremains to be in church for a funeral. They are usually placed on a small table in an honorable place but not in the center where a casket or coffin would be.

Actually cremains are similar to the relics we place in antimensia or reliquaries in shape and size.

Bob

Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: Deacon Peter] #411301
04/27/15 03:49 PM
04/27/15 03:49 PM
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Thomas the Seeker Offline
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Thomas the Seeker  Offline
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I hope that "reserved appropriately" does not include dividing the cremains into many small vessels so that each of many surviving children can have "some" of Mom; nor the baking of cremains into pottery garden path stones and similar merchandise being hawked by some in the Funeral industry.

Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: Thomas the Seeker] #411404
05/07/15 05:39 AM
05/07/15 05:39 AM
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Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Offline
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Christ is Risen!!

Quote
nor the baking of cremains into pottery garden path stones and similar merchandise being hawked by some in the Funeral industry


IMHO, this is something left to the family. With the liability issues involved, my practice is to return the cremains to the family and ask that they not tell me what their intentions are in the area of dividing up "Mom" or doing any of the other things being advocated by some in the industry.

Bob

Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: Deacon Peter] #411414
05/07/15 09:29 PM
05/07/15 09:29 PM
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bergschlawiner Offline
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Dividing remains nothing new, saw tombs in Germany where the hearts of the kings were placed with the bodies someplace else,like the Bavatrian king's hearts sent to the church at Altoettung pilgrimage site. And of course we all know about body parts divided up as relics.

Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: theophan] #411421
05/08/15 08:57 PM
05/08/15 08:57 PM
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likethethief Offline
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Originally Posted by theophan


We in the Latin Church in the United States have an additional guideline that asks that the cremains should be housed in an "honorable vessel" of some sort and should be interred in that vessel.



Covered in the The Order for Funerals (OCF) I believe.
Quote

OCF 417 The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition. 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 that the Church requires. Whenever possible, appropriate means for recording with dignity the memory of the deceased should be adopted, such as a plaque or stone which records the name of the deceased.

413 Although cremation is now permitted by the Church, it does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body. The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites.


Originally Posted by Thomas the Seeker
I hope that "reserved appropriately" does not include dividing the cremains into many small vessels so that each of many surviving children can have "some" of Mom; nor the baking of cremains into pottery garden path stones and similar merchandise being hawked by some in the Funeral industry.
Correct. Even burial at sea of cremated remains requires that they be within a vessel, not scattered into the water or the air.

Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: Deacon Peter] #411468
05/12/15 11:49 AM
05/12/15 11:49 AM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Finally found the pastoral handbook for the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. It confirms CCEO canons 875 and 876 but also states pastors should presume cremation is chosen for allowable reason and not deprive the deceased of burial.

The directive further states:

The body is not to be cremated until after the Parastas, or even after the Funeral Divine Liturgy.

No liturgical services may be celebrated at the place of cremation.

The ashes of cremation may be present at a memorial Divine Liturgy for the deceased.

The Parastas or other service may take place in conjunction with the burial service.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #411472
05/12/15 02:51 PM
05/12/15 02:51 PM
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likethethief Offline
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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Finally found the pastoral handbook for the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh...

The directive further states:

The ashes of cremation may be present at a memorial Divine Liturgy for the deceased.



I'm shocked to hear that ashes are allowed to be brought into the temple. I don't know of any Orthodox that permit that.


Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: likethethief] #411475
05/12/15 04:21 PM
05/12/15 04:21 PM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Originally Posted by likethethief
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Finally found the pastoral handbook for the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh...

The directive further states:

The ashes of cremation may be present at a memorial Divine Liturgy for the deceased.



I'm shocked to hear that ashes are allowed to be brought into the temple. I don't know of any Orthodox that permit that.


Why? Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Re: Funerals with Cremation - Rules & Practice [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #411482
05/13/15 03:53 AM
05/13/15 03:53 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
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Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Offline
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Why do people insist on calling the remains after cremation "ashes"? In reality they are bone fragments and bone dust that weigh an average of 30 pounds. When I hand a vessel with a cremated remains to a person, I find that invariably they almost drop it because they think they have a vessel full of remains similar to cigarette ashes when, in fact, they have a heavy vessel that they are not expecting.

Bob


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