Who decides if I am cremated?
In most cases you make the decision to be cremated. However, your survivors may decide to have you cremated, generally due to special family circumstances, but rarely against your will.
How do I make my wishes known?
If you desire that your body be cremated you can make those wishes known in your will and in documents designed to help plan and prepare your funeral.
Do I have to honor my parent’s or spouse’s wish to cremate them?
Out of respect for loved ones, you will want to do all you can to carry out the wishes of the deceased concerning funeral services provided they are in keeping with Church practice. Yet, you must always keep in mind the therapeutic value to the family of celebrating the full funeral liturgy with the body present. This may significantly outweigh your reasons for cremation before the funeral liturgy.
What funeral rites are celebrated when a person is cremated?
All the usual rites which are celebrated with a body present may also be celebrated in the presence of cremated remains. The United States’ bishops have recently written new prayers and have printed them as an appendix to the Order of Christian Funerals. During the liturgies, the cremated remains are treated with the same dignity and respect as the body.