Although many already follow these general rules, the Vatican has decided to produce guidelines as cremation grows in popularity.
Those wishing to be cremated will not be able to be scattered, divided up or kept at home.
The instruction states:”The Church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased. Nevertheless, cremation is not prohibited, ‘unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine’.”
The new document Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says that remains should be kept in the church, cemetery or specially designated sacred area.
Ashes must not be scattered in the air, on land, at sea or in other ways. They should also not be placed into mementos, jewellery or other objects.
When the deceased has requested a scattering of ashes, a Christian funeral will be denied.