After death, there are usually two ways of disposing of the dead. They are: burial and cremation. Burial involves placing the body either in a long-lasting or a biodegradable casket and burying it in burial ground or cemetery.
Cremation, on the other hand, is an irreversible process because it involves subjecting the body to high temperatures to reduce it into its basic elements.
However, contrary to the popular misconception, cremation does not result in ashes as shards and pieces of bones still remain. Thus, these bone fragments are further pulverized to get a powdery consistency.
The complete process is carried out in a crematorium and takes about two to three hours time, depending on the weight of the individual being cremated.
In case you are wondering what exactly is a crematorium then read this article from www.cremationresource.org. You shall also find detailed information about the process of cremation on the same site.
Coming to the religious and cultural aspect, cremation is allowed is most religious systems. In fact, it was the most popular way of disposing of the dead during ancient times.
Archeologists believe that it was invented during the Stone Age. This process, nevertheless, is discouraged by the Eastern Orthodox Church, Judaism, and Islam.
Nonetheless, if you are planning to get a departed loved one cremated, you can get a simple or elaborate cremation urn from a store selling memorial products.
Spiritual Significance of Cremation
The term cremation is derived from the Latin word ‘cremare’ or ‘crematus’ which means ‘to burn up’.
Some believe that cremation helps the mourners in healing and recovering from the loss because unlike slow decomposition after burial, it reduces the body to its component elements quickly, thereby encouraging acceptance of death.
In addition, some religions believe that incinerating the body helps usher the departed soul to its next life. Moreover, it promotes the soul’s detachment from its physical body.
Cremation, however, may not be required for highly enlightened individuals who are not attached to the body. To explore the spiritual perspective on cremation and burial, visit this site.
After cremation, the cremated remains can be disposed of in a number of ways like scattering them in air, on land, burying them in a family plot, dispersing the remains in sea, etc.
Besides, some people prefer to store the ashes in a cremation urn and display the urn on a mantle at home. This, however, is often discouraged from the spiritual point of view.
Spiritually speaking, dispersing or floating the cremated remains in a moving body of water such as a lake or sea is considered the best way to dispose of the ashes. After all, water is regarded as a cleansing substance.
In fact, it represents the Holy Spirit, too. You may get more insight on the mysteries of water at www.2012spiritual.info. Furthermore, water burial serves as the fastest route to dispersal.
Besides, at Daily Independent, you can find an interesting article on cremation and spirituality. To understand more about the history of cremation and Biblical views on cremation and burial, you can read this article from Religious Tolerance.org.
Thus, cremation is discouraged in Christianity because it is associated with punishment while burial is associated with honor.