The Catholic Church knows that grief and loss come to all of us. They also know that what we do with the remains of the ones we love is significant and instructive. The foundation of the Church’s preference for a solemn funeral and Christian burial is based on the counterintuitive belief that death has a positive meaning and is a transition to a new life, not an ending. It stands opposed to the modern objectification of the body and the way cremation and scattering seems to erase that essential part of the departed. The Church has done us all a favor by clarifying these things and reminding all of us why the rituals around dying and burial are so significant. In them, we show what we believe about the meaning and transcendence of life and how much we value every part of the person of our beloved departed.

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