The Orthodox Pages
ASK AN ORTHODOX PRIEST
Why is it against the orthodox faith to be cremated? Always been told we must be buried but without a explanation.
Answer to Question 2.
The Orthodox arguments against Cremation are:
1) Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ died on the Cross and was buried. (Nicene Creed) therefore we should imitate Jesus.
2) Everyone will be bodily resurrected in the Second Coming of Christ. Cremation is a denial of the bodily resurrection.
3) The human body is the temple of God and is a sacred sanctuary even after physical death.
4) Cremation with Godís blessing is never mentioned in the Old Testament.
5) We must not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2) especially as
cremation becomes more common. Cremation is the denial and purposeful
destruction of Godís human temple. As followerís of Christ, we are not
dualists or spiritualists who believe that the material world is
inherently evil and to be despised. Rather, as Christians, we believe in
the inherent goodness of the material world, especially our human bodies.
Together, our body and soul, are created in Godís image and likeness. We
are called to redeem and transfigure the creation to its original glory
and beauty by continually resisting sin and temptation, repenting of our
transgressions, and opening our hearts, minds and bodies to the indwelling
presence of Godís divine grace through His only-begotten Son and
life-giving Holy Spirit. The only fire we should submit ourselves to is
the fire of Godís love and holy presence. Because the Orthodox Faith
affirms the fundamental goodness of creation, it understands the body to
be an integral part of the human person and the temple of the Holy Spirit,
and expects the resurrection of the dead. The Church considers cremation
to be the deliberate desecration and destruction of what God has made and
ordained for us. The Church instead insists that the body be buried so
that the natural physical process of decomposition may take place. The
Church does not grant funerals to persons who have chosen to be cremated.