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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Can Catholics be cremated?

Question:

Can Catholics be cremated? I was brought up to believe that cremation is a pagan ritual and is forbidden.

Answer:

Early Christians opposed cremation because pagans often cremated their dead as a sign of disdain for the Christians’ belief in the physical resurrection of the body. To protect belief in this doctrine of faith, the Church forbade cremation. That prohibition was lifted in 1963. The Church still recommends that the faithful be buried, but Catholics may be cremated so long as cremation does not demonstrate a denial of belief in the resurrection of the body (CCC 2301).

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