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October 27, 2020

Don’t scatter the remains

By Lara Pickford-Gordon
Twitter: @gordon_lp

The ashes of a mother of three who died in April is contained in an urn on the living room table of a home. When she was alive, she had expressed the wish that her ashes be scattered at sea.
The keeping of ashes in the home and the scattering of remains at sea or in a park, are practices contrary to norms set out by the Catholic Church.

Four years ago, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo [To Rise with Christ] regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation.
The Instruction was intended to emphasise the Church’s doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference for burial of remains and set out the norms relating to the conservation of ashes in cases of cremation.

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