Cremation Thoughts and Insights
A teeny bit of history from Sacred Journey Vessels:
In ancient Rome, around 753 B.C. to 100 A.D., cremation was the main form of disposing of a body. Then societal pressures caused the practice of burial to dominate. Cremation became associated with paganism, and with Christianity on the rise, Emperor Constantine the Great, who ruled from 306 to 337 A.D., prohibited cremation. From that time on, cremation vs. burial has been debated.
Various religious and ethnic customs that had previously insisted on burial, have changed to becoming open to cremation. For example, Jewish people who were not open to cremation, are now reporting that nearly one third of deaths in North America and Europe are followed by cremation. Its popularity continues to grow. Catholics, who traditionally banned the practice, have also changed their outlook on cremation, as long as the cremains are kept in a sacred place.
The services involving a cremated loved one, are as varied as the families who honor their departed. Some people prefer to have a full funeral home viewing of the body before the cremation. Others present their loved one in an urn with a storyboard of photos depicting his/her lifetime. Many services now are performed by a celebrant rather than a religious leader. Often, the service takes place in the loved one's favorite gathering place, like a wooded area, a rented hall, or their home, to name a few choices.
For me personally, cremation is my choice. I believe it is a pure form of passing from this physical body to the spiritual one. I visited a funeral home when I was a teen and had a very thorough explanation of the embalming process. To me, it seems terribly invasive and since I believe our energy lives on, I don't want my body exposed to those chemicals even after death. The purification by fire feels completely right to me.
I hope to have a remembrance service that is composed of beautiful music, lovely flowers, shared stories, and good food. You are all invited!