Ever wondered how cremation came about? Cremation is the practice of reducing a corpse to its essential elements by burning, although most religions and cultures are against the practice of cremation and feel that the dead should be properly buried, things have changed a bit.
The practice of cremation on open fires was introduced to the Western World by the Greeks as early as 1000 BCE. They seem to have adopted cremation from some northern people as an imperative of war, to ensure soldiers slain in alien territory a homeland funeral attended by family and fellow citizens. Corpses were incinerated on the battlefield; then the ashes were gathered up ad sent to the homeland for ceremonial entombment. Although ground burial continued…… cremation became so closely associated with valour and mainly virtue, patriotism, and military glory that it was regarded as the only fitting conclusion for an epic life.
The Romans on the other hand, observed all the properties. They covered the pyre with leaves and trotted fronted it with cypresses, after it was ablaze, troops shouting war cries circled it and cast trophies taken from the slain Latinos into the fire. The poured the blood of animals on the flames and when the fires were quenched, they washed the bones in wine and placed them in urns.
In India and some other countries where the custom is ancient, cremation is considered very desirable. It is the wish of all devout Hindus to be incinerated in Varanasi ; The waterfront of that holy city is lined with concrete and marble slabs on which pyres are erected. The remains are then deposited in the Ganges River. In some Asiatic countries cremation is available to only a favored few; in Tibet it is usually reserved for the high lamas; the Laos, it is for those who die “fortunately” (natural causes at the end if a peaceful and prosperous life). Cremation ceremonies in Bali are Colorful and gay. On a “lucky” day, bodies of a number of worthies, which had been temporarily buried or embalmed are carried to a high and decorative tower made of wood and bamboo and crenated. Forty two days later a second tower, which is burned to assist the soul on its journey towards the highest heavens. The ashes of the bodies are scattered on the water.
Cremation in the modern manner is very different. More than likely is a family is getting a dead loved one cremated its for two reasons, either it was the wish of the deceased, or the family doesn’t have enough money to pay for a proper burial and cremation is the cheaper rout. Cremation today is done placing the body in a chamber where intense heat transforms it in an hour or two to a few founds of white powdery ash that is disposed of in accordance with law and sentiment. Scattered in a garden or some other preferred spot, placed in an urn and kept at the home, or taken to a small pot or placed in a columbarium.
The revival of interest in cremation in Europe and United States began in 1874, when Queen Victoria’s surgeon Sir Henry Thomas, published his influential book Cremation, The Treatment of the Body After Death. Although it was not until 1884 that a British court first ruled creation a legal procedure, it won immediate support on both side of the Atlantic.
As the shortage of cemetery space in urban areas become more acute and as objections are answered, cremation may becomes the chief form of burial. Many protestant churches have actively supported it; the Roman Catholic Church has announced that it is not prohibited. The Orthodox Jewish religion however, continues to declare it forbidden. Legal objections that it would allow crimes to go undetected. Cemetery owners and undertakers have also minimized their opposition since cremation has proved no less profitable than more traditional method of burial.