Many have chosen cremation as a part of their end-of-life plans for hundreds of years, but one group has historically viewed the practice as an affront to their beliefs. As cremation becomes a more viable, and therefore popular option, some members of the church are beginning to review their stance on cremation. Some churches, too, are even welcoming members of their congregation who have chosen cremation by constructing columbaria and memorial gardens. Other denominations, including Methodists, are also accepting cremation as it becomes more prevalent amongst many Americans.
A recent piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer tells the story of a local Methodist pastor who is acting on the growing number of his congregation choosing cremation. Though some church goers operate under the assumption that their faith disagrees with this practice, others are opting to be cremated and remembered in their local cemetery. Pastor Steve Morton, with help from his church Hopewell United Methodist, has built a memorial garden and two columbaria in the past year to accommodate all members of his congregation and give loved ones a respectful place to remember them by. The Philadelphia church also plans to open four more columbaria in the near future to house other deceased members of the congregation, signifying a trend seen all over America.
According to recent data, 46% of the community in Austin claim to be religious. Of this 46%, 17.4% say they belong to the Catholic church, and it’s likely many of these believe their religion prevents them from choosing cremation as a final passage. In Christianity’s earliest days, members of the church were not allowed to be cremated when they died as leaders felt the practice was both pagan and anti-Christian. On the whole, the church felt that, as followers of Christ, Christians should be buried just as their savior had been. The Catholic church claims they weren’t directly opposed to cremation, but merely preferred “traditional” burial instead. There have been times in history, such as following earthquakes and other natural disasters, where the church allowed cremation as burials were not possible. Today, Christians in Austin across the world can choose cremation as their final resting plan and still be right with the church, providing they follow a certain set of rules.
Many Christians and Austinites are choosing cremation as a part of their end-of-life plans. Cremations allow for individual and moving tributes at a much more affordable cost than burials and traditional funerals. The caring and dedicated staff at Neptune Society Austin will work with you to prepare your perfect cremation plan. Austinites interested in burial at sea can ask about Neptune’s Memorial Reef. Neptune Society’s primary goal is providing compassionate service to the people of Austin and Travis County. Fill out our online form today to request information about preplanning your cremation with Neptune Society Austin.