Cremation is quickly becoming the new choice for families around the world. This is especially the case in the United States, where the number of yearly cremations has now surpassed traditional burials.
For many, cremation is a cheaper alternative to a traditional burial and relieves a financial burden on family members. For Catholics, cremation is becoming a popular choice as well, with Catholic cemeteries opening up mausoleums and giving families smaller plots for burying cremated remains.
This is something new in the Catholic Church, as cremation was forbidden until 1963.
Why is that?
When Christianity began to spread across Europe, the Church wanted to distance themselves from pagan funeral practices, which included cremation. It was seen by many as a denial of the resurrection of the dead, a central belief in Christianity. Some people even chose cremation as a way to refute the teaching, taunting Christians as to how their body would rise on the Last Day when it was reduced to ashes.