Even though some people think it is sacrilegious to be cremated, that method of being interred is more popular today than it was years ago. The cremation Association of North America (CANA) has been tracking cremation statistics in the United States and Canada since 1913. According to the latest statistics published earlier in June 2017, cremations are on the rise. The organization gives reasons for a 50 percent increase in cremations.

Cremations on the rise

Cremations used to be the exception. Now they are becoming the norm. For the first time since 2015, cremations outnumbered burials in the United States as reported by the National Funeral Directors Association.

Reasons for cremations

Personal preference is still the major reason for a cremation. Some people don't want to put their family through the process of arranging a funeral with a lot of fanfare. They prefer the simplicity of cremation.

Some used to think that people are cremated because they don't have insurance or money for a burial. That might be true in some cases because cremations are less expensive, but that is not true in all cases. People might have insurance for a burial, but they prefer not to put a lot of money in the ground.

Religious views

People used to shy away from cremations because of the lack of scriptural knowledge about the process. The Bible is silent when it comes to cremation.

Since there is no mention about cremation at all, many people are comfortable with the practice because it is not forbidden. Some want to be buried in the earth because Jesus was buried, and there are other burials recorded in The Bible. It is the belief that the human body should be returned to dust. That can happen only by burial and not by cremation.

Besides, there are no records of cremations in the Bible.

The Roman Catholic Church used to forbid cremation, but the practice is permitted today. The Catholic Church still prefers burial, but cremation can be done when the family agrees for the ashes to be placed in a cemetery or columbarium, the building with niches where urns are stored.

Ashes cannot be scattered in nature or stored in a home or separated to be distributed among relatives.

Some religions forbid cremations, including Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims. Mormons encourage burial but do not forbid cremation. Liberal Protestants and Jews are more open to cremation. However, some do not prefer cremation because of the Holocaust.

It is recommended that if people want to be cremated, they should have a living will or make arrangements before their death because if it is not in writing, there could be a big fight among family members concerning burial or cremation. In most cases, burial is the chosen method unless it has been otherwise clearly stipulated.