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Nicole Sonier-Hoe wrote:

Dear Fathers,

  • Once a person's body has been cremated, do their spirits remain attached, at least in part, to their ashes?

My father recently passed and his body was cremated. Our family will be hosting a celebration of life for him this coming weekend [at a local church] but my mother wishes to leave the urn with my father's ashes at home instead which, to me, just seems wrong.

I just feel his ashes need to be there as well, for:

  • his sake
  • the sake of his spirit
  • closure, and
  • everyone else too.


  • What does the Church think about this issue?

Thank you.

Nicole

  { Once a person's body has been cremated, do their spirits remain attached, in part, to their ashes? }

Eric replied:

Dear Nicole,

We are just lay people, but I can confidently answer your question that the spirit of an individual, after death, departs for Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory (on the path to Heaven) and does not permanently remain with the cremains of the body.

The Jews believed that the soul hung around the body for three days after death but even they agreed that it departed after that point.

By the way, it is contrary to Catholic law and practice to retain the cremains in a home. They must be buried in a manner befitting a deceased person.

Eric

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