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.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Mystery of Music, Part II 3 hours ago
Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18
From simple husband to ascetical priest September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18