VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholics can be cremated under certain conditions, the Vatican has said, but loved ones should not scatter the ashes at sea or on land or into the wind, nor should they keep them in mementos or jewelry.
Instead, say new guidelines released Tuesday (Oct. 25), the remains should be stored “in a sacred place” that “prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten” and “prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices.”
The guidelines, issued by the Vatican body responsible for doctrine, came in response not only to the growing popularity of cremation in countries such as the U.S. but also the increasingly common practice of disposing of “cremains” at a spot beloved by the deceased person — or just keeping them on the mantle.
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