homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Cremation, Etc.

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.    
Source: (consider it) Thread: Cremation, Etc.
stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

 - Posted      Profile for stonespring     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I don't know of any Christians who believe that someone whose body is cremated (or cremated with ashes kept by family or scattered), donated to science, used for organ donation, not buried in a Christian cemetery, etc., will not be saved merely because of the treatment of the body after death (as opposed to the intentions/beliefs of the person before death that may have lead to choose that to happen to their body after death). I know the RCC is fine with cremation as long as the ashes are treated with respect and buried, but it strongly suggests burial, in a Catholic cemetery whenever possible. I do not know what the Eastern Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox believe, and I do not know which Protestant denominations, if any, have anything to say regarding this.

I'm more interested in discussing what different denominations USED to believe regarding what happens to the body after death and its effects on the soul of the deceased - again, effects on the soul merely as a result of what happens to the body after death, separate from whatever the person may have believed or wanted to happen to his/her body. What was the justification for past teachings regarding treatment of the dead and where/how/why have those teachings changed, if they have?

Posts: 1520 | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Regarding why things changed, I've heard that it has a lot to do with the awfulness of the First World War.

New forms of warfare meant that the bodies of many soldiers were blown to smithereens and so there was nothing to bury. Christians were simply unwilling to consign vast numbers of brave young warriors to hell simply because their bodies couldn't be buried whole.

I can recommend this moving but also fascinating documentary, which talks about how British customs and beliefs about death have changed a great deal since Victorian times. We hear about bodysnatchers, the unhygienic overcrowding of church graveyards and the gradual acceptability of secular cemeteries, and also how cremation moved from being a cultish, eccentric practice towards being the British norm.

In my culture cremation is still considered to be somewhat undesirable, although this is rarely expressed theologically.

[ 05. June 2017, 20:17: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

Posts: 6473 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The British in particular had a terrible history of defiling bodies in the 18th and 19th century. If there existed some notion that resurrection depended on bodies being treated with respect, this was widely flouted.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10325 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Honest Ron Bacardi
Shipmate
# 38

 - Posted      Profile for Honest Ron Bacardi   Email Honest Ron Bacardi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Whilst I imagine that beliefs may have varied locally, I think the general belief held was that burial rites were done in honour of the deceased and their life, which they believed would continue after the resurrection - not because they believed that any loss of bodily parts would inhibit their resurrection.

There are several very early writings and practices that would confirm that. And of course under persecution it was not unusual for body parts to be eaten by wild animals etc.

--------------------
Anglo-Cthulhic

Posts: 4809 | From: the corridors of Pah! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Horseman Bree
Shipmate
# 5290

 - Posted      Profile for Horseman Bree   Email Horseman Bree   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Somewhat tangential: My wife has a (nightmarish?) comment about whether your bodily resurrection involves reuniting ALL of the bits that were once part of your body - amputated legs, old eye lenses, lost teeth, fingernail clippings, hair, and so on.

What might actually be resurrected for this "life after death"?

--------------------
It's Not That Simple

Posts: 5369 | From: more herring choker than bluenose | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The Orthodox Church has always been strongly anti-cremation, but not because we think it will affect the person who has died. Hell, we'll dig somebody up and spread their bones to the four winds if we think they're a saint*. But that's honoring the body, whereas burning it isn't.

OTOH if we spill the Eucharist on the carpet, we take the carpet out and burn it. That's honoring the Body and Blood of Christ, where burying it wouldn't be.

I don't get it either.

__________
*exaggerating only slightly for rhetorical effect

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63202 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

 - Posted      Profile for stonespring     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Whilst I imagine that beliefs may have varied locally, I think the general belief held was that burial rites were done in honour of the deceased and their life, which they believed would continue after the resurrection - not because they believed that any loss of bodily parts would inhibit their resurrection.

There are several very early writings and practices that would confirm that. And of course under persecution it was not unusual for body parts to be eaten by wild animals etc.

What about in the Middle Ages though? Did the Church ever have a theology of bodily integrity of the corpse (other than natural decomposition) - or at least having all of your body parts in one place, preferably buried in sacred ground - that was connected to resurrection? Why were the ways that heinous criminals' bodies were dealt with after execution often mentioned as being intended to deny rest to their souls? Was that merely symbolic? Or, at least in the Middle Ages, was there an actual theology/Church teaching behind it?
Posts: 1520 | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

 - Posted      Profile for stonespring     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
The Orthodox Church has always been strongly anti-cremation, but not because we think it will affect the person who has died. Hell, we'll dig somebody up and spread their bones to the four winds if we think they're a saint*. But that's honoring the body, whereas burning it isn't.

OTOH if we spill the Eucharist on the carpet, we take the carpet out and burn it. That's honoring the Body and Blood of Christ, where burying it wouldn't be.

I don't get it either.

__________
*exaggerating only slightly for rhetorical effect

I forgot about saints' relics. But a saint's soul is already in heaven so I guess doesn't need the help. [Smile]
Posts: 1520 | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I have a cremation story. I work for a trade association in the funeral industry, and last month got a phone call from a woman. She said, "My dog died and I had the animal cremated. But I am still very sad about my dog's death. So I opened the urn and am sniffing the ashes." Her question was, is this a dangerous practice? I wasn't real sure of the health hazards, but suggested it was not a grand idea. (You will recall Keith Richards, sniffing his father's cremated remains...)

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5820 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
What about in the Middle Ages though? Did the Church ever have a theology of bodily integrity of the corpse (other than natural decomposition) - or at least having all of your body parts in one place, preferably buried in sacred ground - that was connected to resurrection? Why were the ways that heinous criminals' bodies were dealt with after execution often mentioned as being intended to deny rest to their souls? Was that merely symbolic? Or, at least in the Middle Ages, was there an actual theology/Church teaching behind it?

There has never been any suggestion in the Christian Church that resurrection is dependent upon having an intact corpse. Christian apologists in the Patristic period spent a lot of time saying, yes, God can bring the body back even if it has been burnt, or drowned, or even if it has been eaten by wild animals. Augustine deals with a thought experiment about a cannibal whose ancestors have all been cannibals, and whether that person will be resurrected if all their body is made of other people's bodies. (I think he concludes that God would sort it out.)
There's a passage in one of John Donne's sermons which I can't place right now on the matter.

Desecrating the corpse of a criminal was I think partly a sign of disrespect. Also, popular piety did not always match up entirely with the official piety of the educated: there was a belief that the dead dwelt together near their bodies until Judgement Day and that particularly on All Souls' Eve they were still part of the community where they were buried. So that by refusing a criminal proper burial you're refusing them part of the society of the dead and the living in the meantime.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10420 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Late Quartet

Irredeemably speciesist?
# 1207

 - Posted      Profile for Late Quartet   Author's homepage   Email Late Quartet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
[aside] To add to cremation, burial, burial at sea, cryogenic preservation and mummification we now need to add alkaline hydrolysis, if you didn't already know, I just found out from the BBC the other week!

--------------------
Late Quartet is cycling closer to Route 6 than Route 66 these days.

Posts: 897 | From: Sheffield | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Honest Ron Bacardi
Shipmate
# 38

 - Posted      Profile for Honest Ron Bacardi   Email Honest Ron Bacardi   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Stonespring - I can't really add anything to what Dafyd has just said. My own knowledge comes from the patristic period too. It's entirely possible that various folk beliefs arose, but I don't think the formal teaching of the church changed in the medieval period.

--------------------
Anglo-Cthulhic

Posts: 4809 | From: the corridors of Pah! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Also, organ donation and legal donation of bodies to medical science are quite recent - they are obviously not desecration of the body and help people, but are obviously not things the Church Fathers thought about.

I have been an organ donor since the moment I turned 18. I feel that using my body to help others is the most God-honouring thing I could do with it.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5314 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

 - Posted      Profile for stonespring     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Late Quartet:
[aside] To add to cremation, burial, burial at sea, cryogenic preservation and mummification we now need to add alkaline hydrolysis, if you didn't already know, I just found out from the BBC the other week!

Does anyone know if the RCC or any other church has come out against any of the latter three of these?
Posts: 1520 | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
Shipmate
# 18686

 - Posted      Profile for Pangolin Guerre   Email Pangolin Guerre   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:

OTOH if we spill the Eucharist on the carpet, we take the carpet out and burn it. That's honoring the Body and Blood of Christ, where burying it wouldn't be.

I don't get it either.

Burning the carpet would 'release' the Presence? (Grasping at straws here.)
Posts: 675 | From: 30 arpents de neige | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
The Orthodox Church has always been strongly anti-cremation, but not because we think it will affect the person who has died. Hell, we'll dig somebody up and spread their bones to the four winds if we think they're a saint*. But that's honoring the body, whereas burning it isn't.

OTOH if we spill the Eucharist on the carpet, we take the carpet out and burn it. That's honoring the Body and Blood of Christ, where burying it wouldn't be.

I don't get it either.

__________
*exaggerating only slightly for rhetorical effect

ISTM, many religious practices are about control. Not necessarily in a nefarious sense, but everything reinforcing the universality of a religion.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17100 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There has never been any suggestion in the Christian Church that resurrection is dependent upon having an intact corpse. Christian apologists in the Patristic period spent a lot of time saying, yes, God can bring the body back even if it has been burnt, or drowned, or even if it has been eaten by wild animals.

I'm sure you're right. However I remember reading in Ronald Blythe's "Akenfield" that people were buried in Suffolk churchyards facing East, so they'd be facing Jerusalem when Christ returned in glory; however the Ministers were buried the other way round so they would be facing their flock on Resurrection Day.

(Having said that, I know of one historic Baptist chapel in the county which buried on a north/south axis, presumably to show they were having no truck with State Religion or Popery!)

Posts: 9476 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

 - Posted      Profile for stonespring     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:

OTOH if we spill the Eucharist on the carpet, we take the carpet out and burn it. That's honoring the Body and Blood of Christ, where burying it wouldn't be.

In the RCC (I think - someone correct me if I am wrong), a sacramental (a blessed thing, not a sacrament, like a rosary that has been blessed), should only be disposed of by burial or burning. Water from rinsing the vessels used at communion should go straight into the ground and not into the sewage system (there are special basins and drains in Catholic sacristies that allow for this). I am not sure what the RC course of action is for carpet stained with consecrated wine - would burial be allowed or would it also have to be burned? Does anyone know?
Posts: 1520 | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

 - Posted      Profile for Pomona   Email Pomona   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:

OTOH if we spill the Eucharist on the carpet, we take the carpet out and burn it. That's honoring the Body and Blood of Christ, where burying it wouldn't be.

In the RCC (I think - someone correct me if I am wrong), a sacramental (a blessed thing, not a sacrament, like a rosary that has been blessed), should only be disposed of by burial or burning. Water from rinsing the vessels used at communion should go straight into the ground and not into the sewage system (there are special basins and drains in Catholic sacristies that allow for this). I am not sure what the RC course of action is for carpet stained with consecrated wine - would burial be allowed or would it also have to be burned? Does anyone know?
IIRC burning is usual.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5314 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged


 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools