How do you feel about death
The burial culture of Christianity
Can a Christian have a cremation, what happens after death and what does a grave look like?
Christianity has many faiths: Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox and many communities, churches and parishes with Christian denominations such as B. the Anglican Church. Over two billion people profess Christianity; very few live in Asia and Africa. Christians believe in Jesus of Nazareth, Christ the anointed of God, in his death and resurrection. Christians see the basis for their own actions in his words and deeds.
Faith, death and resurrection
"Catholic" comes from the Greek and means "all-embracing, all-inclusive". The message of Christ is addressed to all people, regardless of race, gender, or age, and the task of the church is to preach the message, to find followers and to build an inclusive community around the world.
For Christians, death is the ultimate end, part of the human creature. It is the entry into disproportionate. According to the Christian faith, with death every person returns to God and receives their eternal home there, so they cannot become anonymous - not even if they are missing or are buried anonymously. In the Catholic Church only those who believe in Jesus live on in the hereafter; the others are condemned to torment in hell.
The Protestant Church does not have this idea of purgatory, which is used to cleanse sinners before ascending to heaven, and even rejects it. This is reflected, for example, in the different commemoration days of All Saints' Day (Catholics) and Sunday of the Dead (Protestants).
What form of burial does a Christian choose?
For a long time, burial was the traditional form of burial, as the body had to be preserved for the resurrection. A cremation was disgraceful and intended for witches or criminals. There is no form of burial that is compulsory or recorded in writing. However, burial culture is seen as a “work of mercy” and the aim is to respect and preserve the dignity of the dead. The burial serves the community as an accompaniment to the final rest. The Protestant Church accepted cremation as early as the 1920s. In 1963 the Holy Office also allowed the cremation. Thus cremation and the resulting alternatives, such as burial at sea or tree burial, are now permitted for Christians who are not strictly Catholic or Orthodox.
This was done purely for practical and not religious reasons. So many choose cremation because of the price; it is also more hygienic and space-saving. We would be happy to work with you to find inexpensive options for burial, so that you don't have to choose a cremation for cost reasons alone. The binding regulation of your wishes in a funeral provision is also advisable. Make an appointment for a consultation.
With the Catholics, a clergyman is called as soon as a person is dying. The dying is blessed and anointed. A table with a cross, candles and holy water is prepared. To cleanse and liberate the soul, the last confession is taken, the dying is freed from his sins, the priest speaks texts from the Holy Scriptures and a common Our Father is prayed. The hands of the deceased are folded together as in prayer. When a Christian dies, the whole church is killed. The burial is held by a clergyman, is intended to give support for those who mourn and hope for the resurrection and is therefore public. Members of the church and congregations come from very different backgrounds and regions, each with their own expectations and characteristics.
Clergymen try to combine both: the wishes of the relatives in the design of the funeral service, but also the traditional texts and music. The Requiem, "Eternal Rest", the funeral mass, is the Catholic celebration, the funeral service with singing for the deceased - on the day of the funeral and also on the annual funeral day. Scripture urges Christians to love their neighbor. In this sense, one supports mourners and gives them strength. The mourning does not have to take place in secret, and we are allowed to cry.
For Protestants, burial is the proclamation of the gospel to the living to give them hope in the resurrection of Christ. It serves to weep and mourn the love of the dead and those left behind, is to remind of one's own death and to encourage preparation for it. There is no funeral mass, as it represents caring for the deceased, but a communion as part of the divine service, which is supposed to remember Jesus Christ.
The grave and the cemetery
According to belief, concrete places and gravestones help with mourning work, serve as a reminder and have a healing meaning. This is also one of the reasons why anonymous burials are rejected. A separation of the living and the dead is achieved by burial in the cemetery, which is also visibly demarcated. It also helps to detach oneself from the deceased internally. Treating the remains of the deceased with dignity and letting go cannot be achieved if e.g. B. there is an urn at home in the apartment. That is why the Christian churches are skeptical of many of the easing of the cemetery regulations. The renewed use of grave areas, however, has been known since the Middle Ages. This clearly distinguishes Christians from Judaism and Islam, where eternal graves are prescribed. Christians place grave crosses or tombstones with Christian symbols on the grave to commemorate the deceased. The affixing of the name is also important. For Catholics, in addition to the grave cross, the lamp and the vessel with holy water are symbols of remembrance.
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