Down to the Wire: Just $8,038 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CREMATION

The act of destroying the human body by fire after death. Christians followed the Jews in disposing of corpses by burial rather than by cremation, thinking of the latter as an unnatural and violent destruction of the human body, the repository of the Holy Spirit during life on earth. Since no principle of faith would be jeopardized by cremation, it has always been allowed with permission when public health required it. The Catholic Church has always opposed it, though, when it meant a defiance of belief in the resurrection of the body, and for centuries excommunicated those who ordered cremation for themselves or for others. At present, to meet changing world conditions, the Church is more lenient in her views on this method of disposal of the dead, while still preferring burial. (Etym. Latin cremare, to burn.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Getting Marriage Right 8 hours ago
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. 11 hours ago
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg 15 hours ago
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said 17 hours ago
Public perception demands a way of mercy November 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - 19 hours ago