6 Common Myths People Believe About Cremation

Cremation is becoming increasingly popular worldwide as an end-of-life agreement. However, despite its growing acceptance, many myths and misconceptions surround it. These myths can cause unnecessary confusion and anxiety for those considering cremation. In this article, we aim to debunk six common myths about cremation by providing accurate information and clarity:

1. The Majority of Religions Prohibit Cremation

Many religions have historically prohibited cremation, a common concern expressed by families during funeral arrangements. However, it is important to note that the acceptance of cremation varies among different religions. For example, cremation is not practiced in religions like Judaism and Islam. However, some churches have evolved their perspective on this matter. For instance, the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church now permit cremation but still maintain a preference for burial. If you are uncertain about your faith’s stance on cremation, seeking guidance from your religious leader is advisable to gain a clearer understanding.

2. Cremation is Not a Respectful Way to Say Goodbye to Your Loved One

This is not true. Cremation can be a dignified and respectful way to bid someone farewell. In fact, many people opt for cremation, which is simple, direct, and avoids holding a traditional funeral service. This allows for a more personal approach, such as having a private memorial or scattering the ashes in a meaningful location like the beach. It also reduces costs and eliminates the need for elaborate funeral arrangements.

3. The Cremation Process Involves Setting the Body on Fire

This belief is far from accurate. Although cremation involves using a furnace, the body is never set ablaze. Instead, it undergoes controlled exposure to intense heat within a contained environment. This process reduces the body to gases and small fragments of bone. These remains are subsequently processed to create ashes, which the family can respectfully handle.

4. Cremation Prevents Families from Having Funerals

If your loved one expressed a wish to be cremated, it may be disheartening to think that a traditional funeral is impossible. However, choosing cremation does not exclude the possibility of honoring them with a funeral before the cremation takes place. You can still organize a meaningful funeral service to pay tribute to their life and gather with family and friends to support one another.

5. Cremation is a New Practice

Don’t be fooled by the notion that cremation is a new invention. Cremation dates back to ancient times. Evidence of cremation can be found in different cultures throughout history. The Greeks, for example, practiced cremation as early as 1000 BCE, and the Romans used it to honor their deceased.

6. Cremation is Pricier than Burial

Don’t fall for the misconception that cremation is more expensive than traditional burial. The cost of cremation can often be more affordable. While the expenses associated with cremation depend on location and specific services selected, it is frequently a cost-effective option. This is primarily due to eliminating costs related to expensive caskets, embalming, and cemetery plots typically associated with traditional burial methods.

Cremation can be a respectful and eco-friendly way of saying goodbye. It offers flexibility in planning ceremonies and helps reduce costs while maintaining meaning. Remember, there’s no right or wrong choice when honoring a loved one’s memory. Trust your decision, knowing it’s what’s best for you and your family.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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