SHAMOKIN -- On Tuesday, the Vatican issued new guidelines for Catholics when it comes to cremating remains of loved ones.
The Catholic Church allows its faithful to be cremated, however how the ashes are kept is now a concern for religious leaders.
The Farrow Funeral Home has been in Shamokin for 140 years and for the past 46, it's been run by Malcolm and his brother.
Over those years, Malcolm has seen more and more customers opting for cremation rather than burial for their loved ones and says it now makes up half of the requests.
“When I started in the early '70s we had one, two cremations on our file. Now we have a whole file full,” said Malcolm.
What's also changing is the way people are storing the remains of their loved ones.
Farrow says while customers do still order a traditional urn for the ashes, the trend is rapidly shifting to customized ornaments, even jewelry and accessories.
“They'll get a locket, a ring, earrings, a broach, all different things are available,” said Malcolm.
Now the Vatican has new guidelines for Catholics when it comes to cremation.
While the church allows Catholics to be cremated, it's the way ashes are being kept that's a concern for church leaders.
Now the Vatican says remains must buried in a church cemetery or sacred place. Ashes should not be divided among relatives, should not be kept in houses, or scattered, “nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects.”
Farrow expects plenty of Catholics will follow the Vatican's new rules but isn't concerned this will hurt business.
“People want to keep ashes. They want to have these mementos. They want to keep an urn, have a small urn of some of the ashes. It's very hard to stop people with what they want to do.”