• Latin: cremære, to burn


The destruction by fire, of the human body, in opposition to the burying of corpses. It was customary among the semi-barbarous Pre-Canaanites, but neither universal nor constant among the Greeks and Romans. The Jews buried the dead, hence, the Christians had an example for their own form of burying their dead. The Church has never deviated from this time-honored practice.

Current Canon Law states: The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless this is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching. (canon 1176.3)

MLA Citation

  • “cremation”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 June 2016. Web. 6 December 2021. <>