Christian Funerals and Cremation Process

By: Jacklyn Hutchens
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Christianity has over 2.4 billion followers around the globe, making it the most prominent religion. It has three major Churches, namely Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and Protestants. Although each subgroup has its own set of customs, all are centered on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the importance of each individual's relationship with God.

Christian Views on Cremation and Death

In Christianity, the gospel teaches that the body is a vessel for the eternal soul that came from God. The person's actions in life determine where their soul ends up. Those who follow the path dictated by the word of the Lord shall reside in Heaven. In comparison, those who do not repent and live a sinful life are damned in Hell for all eternity.

For years, Christians have favored burial over cremation because of the belief that God will come back on earth one day and resurrect the bodies of the righteous. Nowadays, the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Churches allow cremation because of government policies, public health concerns, and burial plot scarcity.

However, Catholic and Orthodox Churches still require that the ashes should be placed in a columbarium or buried and not scattered. On the other hand, Protestants allow the scattering of the cremains as long as it is done on consecrated land.

Christian Funeral Rites

The final ceremonies of a funeral aim to memorialize the person and prepare their soul for the last sacrament. Family and friends arrange the following rites:

  • Prayers. It is common for families to do a vigil or rosary service before the funeral or during the wake at the deceased's residence or funeral home. 
  • Eucharistic liturgical service. On a funeral day, the coffin is carried by pall-bearers into the church or cremation site. A mass and holy communion is held by the priest or minister, ending it by blessing the body with sprinkles of holy water.
  • Eulogy. Family and friends of the departed can share a speech of endearment or a hymn from the bible.
  • The Rite of Committal. The priest facilitates the final liturgy. A scripture from the bible is read while the remains are buried or placed in a niche.  

A Dignified Service

Modern Christian views on cremation allow billions of people to choose an alternative to burials. At Direct Cremation Services of Virginia, we provide simple and solemn services that can fit your religious rites. Visit our services page for more information.

 

 

 

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