The cemetery has always been a place for the deceased to have his or her final rest. For thousands of years, the traditional burial practice has been the most used process of disposing of the deceased bodies. Cemetery came from an ancient Greek word named “sleeping place”, that death is a type of eternal sleep, burying the body and is left to decompose over time. There is also the belief in cultures that the body must be whole for the afterlife thus, the practice of the traditional burial process where in the body slowly decays and is returned back to the ground.
There are two ways to bury deceased bodies. There is the traditional process wherein the deceased body will be placed inside a casket and will open to public view for a few days. Depending on the family’s preference, there will be a funeral procession wherein they will transfer the casket from the funeral home to the cemetery as it goes into its final burial rest. This process is the most conventional practice of burying the dead. For years, this practice is the one that is commonly used across cultures.
Another method is your cremation, where it condenses dead bodies and reducing it to the basic chemical compounds, by burning the bodies until it becomes remains of dry bone, ashes and minerals. Public viewing can be optional in this course, and it can be done prior or after the cremation process. This process is becoming more popular because it is said that cremation has been an easier and cheaper process than those who use the traditional method. People now prefer cremation because it is less costly than the traditional burial process being at least one fifth less expensive than that of a traditional burial.
The crematorium, the body is burned at a temperature of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit or 1093 degrees Celsius. Instead of using coal and coke, which was used prior to the 1960’s, they use natural gas, propane and diesel to fuel the furnaces, also using the latest technology wherein you can control the temperature and there will be less odor emitted from the smoke. Crematoriums can be found in either inside or near the church or on the funeral home.
There are different cultures who believe in the process of cremation, however, some do not allow it because of reasons such as pagan rituals, the disrespecting of the corpse, etc. Each religion and country has different traditions that they uphold and that they cherish. Most Christian religions disapprove of the cremation process; they’d prefer to do the natural way of decomposing of the deceased body, burying them to the ground.
In the Church of Christ popularly known as Iglesia Ni Cristo, the tradition says that God strictly forbids the process of cremation. It was because pagan rituals influenced cremation. Another was because it had religious connotations outside of the church’s beliefs. According to INC members, cremation was not included the bible to begin with. The bible teaches that the dead are supposed to be buried in the grave; wherein they go back to dust and the soul dies with their body. They strictly follow the writings in the bible and all their traditions and beliefs are influenced by what was written down in their sacred book.
Roman Catholics on the other hand did not allow cremation from the beginning. It was forbidden because of the process is pagan rituals of Grecians and Romans, similar to those from INC. They bury their dead in graves or catacombs.
They believe that the body being a sacramental object and this process allows the refusal of resurrection to one’s body. Although outlawed, it was seldom practiced for several reasons such as burning of the multitude of corpses due to battles and famines. At present times on the other hand, the Catholic Church already allowed cremation as long as it goes through the proper funeral rites before the cremation process.
Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches also disapprove of the cremation process. It is a rejection of the Christian dogma, and is not permitted to have a church funeral and excluded from liturgical prayers. Although forbidden, there are special circumstances that cremation will be allowed, as long as it will be for a greater cause. Examples of which are during epidemics and when the civil authority allows it.
The process of cremation is becoming more popular because it is a cheaper process than your traditional burial. Some, still continue do practice with the traditional process of burying for religious and personal reasons. Those who can afford it, they usually do the process of the natural decaying, but for money-saving purposes, cremation is becoming a more popular choice. It saves effort and most especially money. The most important thing is that it is the preference of the family or the person who is departed, and that the deceased body is given a proper, final, rest.