Cremation Trends (USA)
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,975
    Illustrates state-by-state trends regarding cremation vs inhumation of mortal remains:

    Do you notice any trends where you are regarding funeral Masses with cremains vs memorial Masses?
  • As a funeral organist, I've noted an upswing during the last five years or so of funeral Masses with cremains. That observation, however, has been reflective of the rather well-heeled community where I have served. My state (Massachusetts) may have a 50% cremation rate, but I doubt diocesan parish funerals reflect that percentage.
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    I've only song at about three funeral Masses with cremains here at our parish in Texas over the last eight years.
  • My parish does not conduct a funeral Mass for cremated remains, but rather only a memorial Mass.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,975

    And have you noticed a downswing in funerals (not as down as weddings, I imagine) overall?
  • Marc Cerisier
    Posts: 519
    While TN has a low percentage on the map, we see more than that in our parish. We have the full funeral liturgy any time any remains are present. We only have a memorial mass without any remains.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    And have you noticed a downswing in funerals (not as down as weddings, I imagine) overall?

    Liam, I know the question wasn't asked "my way," but we barely have enough organists to cover our funeral needs. Of course, we have four parishes.
  • Liam,

    Yes, there are fewer funerals than when I started out in the business. Unlike weddings, however, the decline has been so gradual as to be inconspicuous.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    I have seen daily Mass Catholics buried without any "rites or ceremonies of the Church". Not to cast blame, but this scenario seems to happen only when the deceased is a widow(er), and the children have left the Church and live across country. Now, I am not judging people, only actions, but their actions do give the impression of not caring. Sad when people seem to care more about Last Things when it comes to their Dog than their Mother.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 430
    Here in Florida, I would guess the number of funeral/memorial Masses I've done in the presence of cremated remains (or else memorial Masses without the mortal remains present at all) accounts for about half of all funerals/memorials I've done. Before I moved here I was in Ohio, and at my parish we had cremains maybe 2-3 times the entire time and memorials sans body only a few more times. Cost is a big factor for many folks, and I think FL has some rather unusual civil laws in place regarding when the mortal remains may be released to the family/funeral home; often times here there is a gap of over a week between the death and the funeral Mass, and it has nothing to do with getting family into town. In OH we had a family of faithful parishioners who owned the funeral home most of our parishioners were buried from and who, fortunately, are more well-educated about Catholic funeral rites and purposes than most other funeral parlors I've encountered. Putting all that together, even if the body was to be cremated, the funeral Mass at least was almost always held in the presence of the body intact.
  • bonniebede
    Posts: 756
    Cremains?!! You just have to love American English.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,975
    The word goes back several decades, to the 1940s.
  • bonniebede
    Posts: 756
    Oh surely it is older that. Didn't the colonies get some measure of independence on the 1700's?
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,499
    I don't often play for funerals. I did today and the remains were cremated. I've only seen that one other time.
  • UGH. I detest the word cremains. First Known Use: 1947. The funeral industry loves. Christians should not use it, because it demeans the body, which for baptized Christians, is of course, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Cremated remains. Morally, for the purposes of a funeral, the ashes ARE "the body." A full funeral with a coffin, and don't let them use the word casket, usually involves embalming--very expensive, a hearse to transport the coffin, and the funeral plot, and having the grave dug. Very, very expensive. Perhaps as much as ten times as expensive as cremation. I live in one of those 70% states.
  • Gina
    Posts: 12
    When I hear "cremains" I can't help but think of "craisins".
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,920
    Craisins are in much better taste, trust me.

    The argument I've heard many a Christian (including close family members) make is "God's going to resurrect me anyways, why should I bother with taking care of this earthly body?" I've always thought this shows a lack of respect for what is not ours to dispose of in the first place (I Cor. 6:19), and its really an idea guilty of assumption on God's part - putting Him to the test. Besides, the idea of having a cousin buried in the family farm "with the crops" makes me a little queasy whenever I eat corn on the cob now . . .
    Thanked by 2JulieColl bonniebede
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,059
    Craisins are in much better taste, trust me.

    You've eaten cremains?
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen