Vatican bans Catholics from keeping ashes of loved ones at home
Cremation guidelines state remains cannot be scattered or kept at home but rather stored in a sacred, church-approved place
A man chooses an urn at a funeral parlour in Rome. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP
Catholics are forbidden from keeping the ashes of cremated loved ones at home, scattering them, dividing them between family members or turning them into mementoes, the Vatican has ruled.
Ashes must be stored in a sacred place, such as a cemetery, according to instructions disclosed at a press conference in Rome on Tuesday.
Acknowledging that an increasing number of Catholics were opting for cremation rather than burial, the church’s doctrinal and disciplinary body warned against “new ideas contrary to the church’s faith”.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reiterated that burial of the dead was preferable to cremation.
“We come from the earth and we shall return to the earth,” he said. “The church continues to incessantly recommend that the bodies of the dead be buried either in cemeteries or in other sacred ground.”
Cardinal Gerhard Müller outlines Catholic cremation guidelines at a press conference in Rome. Photograph: Giuseppe Lami/EPA
However, the increase in cremation since it was permitted in 1963 required new guidelines, he added, noting an increasing trend for “domestic” conservation.
Ashes must be kept “in a holy place, that is a cemetery or a church or in a place that has been specifically dedicated to this purpose. The conservation of ashes in the home is not allowed,” he said.
“Furthermore, in order to avoid any form of pantheistic or naturalistic or nihilistic misunderstanding, the dispersion of ashes in the air, on the ground, on water or in some other way as well as the conversion of cremated ashes into commemorative objects is not allowed.”
A bishop may allow ashes to be kept at home only in extraordinary cases, the instructions state.
Some people keep the ashes of loved ones in urns or special containers on display, while others prefer to scatter them in gardens of remembrance or favourite spots. Possibilities include mixing them with clay, concrete or paint to create works of art or to incorporate them into building projects, having ashes pressed into vinyl to make a musical memento, or turning them into fireworks or jewellery.
The Vatican document, Ad Resurgendum cum Christo, is dated 15 August and says Pope Francis approved it in March. The instructions were released before All Souls’ Day on 2 November, when the faithful remember and pray for the dead.
Music from beyond the grave: The UK firm making vinyl records from cremation ASHES
A vinyl pressing service is mixing the ashes of dead people into records to create a somewhat macabre memento.
A UK company called (somewhat appropriately) And Vinyly put the cremated body parts into raw vinyl that is used to make the discs and turns them into a macabre memento of a person’s life.
Basic packages cost £2,000 for up to 30 discs - far less than the cremation or traditional burial.
The hard part is supposedly choosing a record, with some opting for 12 minutes of laughter or songs with puns in the title.
For those who prefer a ‘minimal’ approach, And Vinyly can press the ashes into the vinyl with no song.
The process involves sprinkling the ash onto a piece of vinyl, known as a puck or biscuit.
The vinyl is then pressed by plates to create grooves and press the ash into the record.
And Vinyly was founded by British music producer Jason Leach in 2009 but has seen a surge in interest recently.
And Vinyly was founded by British music producer Jason Leach in 2009 but has seen a surge in interest recently. One of his clients was a DJ whose family wanted him 'to be played at his favourite clubs a few more times' after he died
Leach co-founded the techno group and record label Subhead in the 1990s and has since founded a number of other labels, including House of Fix, Daftwerk and Death to Vinyl.
One of his clients was a DJ whose family wanted him ‘to be played at his favourite clubs a few more times’ after he died.
Ashes from dead pets can also be used, and are the same fee.
On the And Vinyly website is says that for £10,000 you can have your entire funeral planned around the death song.
Leach was inspired by an American who put his ashes into fireworks, though others have had them put into gun powder and fired out of shotguns
If you can’t choose a song predetermined backing tracks are available for £250 each, or if you want some bespoke music it costs from £500.
Other options include having your record sent to shops around the world to be sold just like any other album.
If you are still not sure how it all works, the website features a death-like character holding a scythe with a needle head on it, a pair of headphones on his head and a record bag on his shoulder.
The website states: ‘Please note, despite the light hearted tone, all services are carried out with the utmost respect and care’.
Surprisingly, putting your ashes into vinyl is far from the most bizarre thing you can do with them.
Leach said he was inspired by an American who put his ashes into fireworks, though others have had them put into gun powder and fired out of shotguns.
Space burial company Celestis will send your ashes into orbit for around £1,500 or into deep space for £8,000.
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards once claimed to have snorted a line of his father’s ashes because he ‘couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow’.
And U.S. designer Edward ‘Steady Ed’ Headrick, who revolutionised the Frisbee, told his children that he wanted his ashes mixed into a batch of the plastic objects.
When he died in 2002, his son Daniel did as he asked and said: ‘He said he wanted to end up in a Frisbee that accidentally lands on someone's roof.’
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards once claimed to have snorted a line of his father's ashes because he 'couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow'
MEMORIAL BODY INK USING THE CREMATED REMAINS OF LOVED ONES
When you lose a loved one, it is common to keep something belonging to them so you can feel that you have a part of them forever.
But this has been taken to a whole new level in a craze which sees cremated remains from loved ones turned into ink and used as tattoos.
Using cremation ashes, known as cremains, are being used by more and more people to be injected into their skin.
Bob Johnson of Finest Lines tattoo parlour in Wickliffe, Ohio, has been doing the commemorative tattoos for 30 years.
He explains the process, adding that the amount of ashes they actually use is microscopic: 'The preparation is different but it's the same way we would do any tattoo. We sterilize them first in an autoclave as we would the rest of the equipment, and them make sure it's fine powder and mix it with the ink.'
But some health and safety experts worry about the practice and that it may be unhygienic or harmful to clients.
Proponents say the ash is made sterile and poses no health risk.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OK, that's pretty weird... But what the heck. People tend to get flipped out the I say my preferred method for disposing of my body would be to throw it down a ravine that coyotes tend to frequent.
Passing through the digestive tract of a coyote would be a fairly efficient and environmentally friendly way to convert my body back into dirt. The price is right too.
Conversion complete! source