Since 1963, cremation has been permitted by the Catholic Church. With the body washed in baptism, anointed with the oil of salvation, and fed by the Bread of Life, it is afforded dignity as a temple of the Holy Spirit destined for future glory at the resurrection of the dead. If these beliefs are upheld, cremation is acceptable. Burial or entombment of the body after death remain the norm of the Catholic Church.
If cremation is chosen, it is preferred that the body be present for the wake and funeral mass. Cremation can occur before these services, and the cremains present in place of the body. They are to be treated with the same respect given the human body from which they come. this includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the remains, the manner in which they’re carried, and the final disposition. The cremated remains may be entombed in a columbarium and marked by a plaque or stone that records the name of the deceased. The Catholic Church believes scattering the cremains on the sea, from air or on the ground, or keeping them in the home of a relative or friend are not the reverent dispositions that the Church required, and are prohibited by the Church.