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Vatican Issues New Guidelines for Cremated Remains

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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.”


  • Alexandra Rulavage

    As usual, WNEP didn’t bother to do their homework before reporting. These have ALWAYS been the guidelines since cremation has been accepted by the RC Church. This was a mere clarification.

  • I pay taxes too

    Wait…..the same organization that can’t get control of its pedophile priest population is going to dictate what we can and can’t do with our departed loved ones??!

    I don’t think so.

    Sign me,
    VERY disillusioned Catholic

  • RebelRy

    I wear a bullet pendant with my Dad’s ashes in it. His urn is buried in the cemetary, but I wanted a necklace with his ashes in it. Small amount, but It gives me an inner peace, sentimental. HE was my hero – no father and son ever had a tighter bond. I fiercely rebuke anyone that tells me what I can or cannot do with my fathers ashes. Shame on the vatican. They should spend more time reeling in their pedofile priests and leave their noses out of business like this! It’s my decision, not some religious faction in Italy.

  • faaq

    I am surprised the Vatican hasn’t (yet) charged the sheeple faithful a fee to ensure the departed who are cremated are headed to Catholic heaven.

  • don justice3

    I think most Catholics are intelligent enough to think for themselves as to what should be done with a loved ones remains. They don’t need to be told by some Idiots at the Vatican.

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