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Old 18th January 2013, 01:25 PM   #1
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Death of the Funeral

The funeral, the western funeral, began to die in the 1880's and is today being replaced by a dedication ceremony without the disposal of a body ....

In modern cremation there is no funeral, only a dedication ceremony. The body is disposed at another time by those unrelated to the deceased.

It all began in the 1880's in a Cardiff courtroom, the town where I live, when Justice Stephens acquitted Dr. William Price of Llantrisant, a small town on the mountain a few miles away, of sacrilege following the open-air cremation of his son. This led to the passing of the Cremation Act making the burning of bodies legal in Britain, and later become acceptable Western practice.

In cremation today there is a dedication ceremony but only a symbolic disposal of the deceased. At the end of the dedication a curtain surrounds the coffin, then everyone leaves. Often the priest leaves while everyone is still singing. Later, the temporarily abandoned coffin is bundled into a back-room fridge where it takes its place with many other bodies waiting for cremation some days or weeks later, out of sight.

Of course, the Church has no objections to the demise of the funeral: in the first place, cremation is an ungodly pagan practice started by the self-styled pagan William Price, and funereal matters cannot get any worse than those posed by that initial fact. Second, the Church, especially the Catholic Church, has always expressed a distaste for the demised person who, it seems to them, can challenge the popularity of Jesus Christ and his, much more important, death.

The schism between dedication and body disposal may seem like a humanistic advance, but I suspect that it is due to these three factors: a deference to strict local secular by-laws and hygeine practice, a misplaced belief that the Church is on their side to make things right, and a willing, "tasteful" avoidance of the physical reality of death, especially in the face of an experiential denial of death by an officious western science.

Last edited by Jonesboy; 18th January 2013 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
The funeral, the western funeral, began to die in the 1880's and is today being replaced by a dedication ceremony without the disposal of a body ....

In modern cremation there is no funeral, only a dedication ceremony. The body is disposed at another time by those unrelated to the deceased
.
NO. The Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 stateS:
Quote:
Disposal of ashes
30.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), after a cremation the cremation authority must give the ashes to the applicant or a person nominated for that purpose by the applicant.
(2) If the applicant does not want to be given the ashes and has not nominated any person for that purpose, the cremation authority must retain the ashes.
(3) Subject to any special arrangement for the burial or preservation of ashes, any ashes retained by a cremation authority must be decently interred in a burial ground or in part of a crematorium reserved for the burial of ashes, or scattered there.
(4) In relation to ashes left temporarily in the care of a cremation authority, the authority may not inter or scatter the ashes unless 14 days notice of their intention to do so has been given to the applicant.
Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post

In cremation today there is a dedication ceremony but only a symbolic disposal of the deceased. At the end of the dedication a curtain surrounds the coffin, then everyone leaves. Often the priest leaves while everyone is still singing. Later, the temporarily abandoned coffin is bundled into a back-room fridge where it takes its place with many other bodies waiting for cremation some days or weeks later, out of sight.
No.
Quote:
The container and the body shall be placed in a cremator and cremation commenced no later than 72 hours after the service of committal. Where cremation may not be carried out on the same day, the Applicant for Cremation shall be notified.
You've never attended a cremation, have you?
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Last edited by sophia8; 18th January 2013 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Fix quotes
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Old 18th January 2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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Truth-by-proclimation again, I see.
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Old 18th January 2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post

In cremation today there is a dedication ceremony but only a symbolic disposal of the deceased. At the end of the dedication a curtain surrounds the coffin, then everyone leaves. Often the priest leaves while everyone is still singing. Later, the temporarily abandoned coffin is bundled into a back-room fridge where it takes its place with many other bodies waiting for cremation some days or weeks later, out of sight..
That doesn't happen in crematoria here in Belgium. Either the body is cremated on the day before the service and the urn is present during the service, or the coffin and body are cremated straight away and you get the urn with the ashes to take home with you. The latter is what happened when my wife died.

Last edited by dafydd; 18th January 2013 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 01:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mister Earl View Post
Truth-by-proclimation again, I see.
Opinion as evidence, yet again. Another fail.
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Old 18th January 2013, 01:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sophia8 View Post
.
NO. The Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 stateS:


No.

You've never attended a cremation, have you?

In Cardiff crematorium there are fridges. Big Frifdges that hold bodies. The decsased is placed in there. To wait their turn.

This schism between dedication and disposal is now very popular. The pantomime disappearing act with the curtain is becoming universal. A fear and unfamiliarity with death, together with a serf-like deference to a pseudo-aristocratic secular local authority and science, contributes to the demise of the funeral.
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Old 18th January 2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
That doesn't happen in crematoria here in Belgium. Either the body is cremated on the day before the service and the urn is present during the service, or the coffin and body are cremated straight away and you get the urn with the ashes to take home with you. The latter is what happened when my wife died.
You will have to clarify the term "straight away". Straight after what exactly?

In the UK cremation is "straight away" after being taken from the fridge, some days after the dedications.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
You will have to clarify the term "straight away". Straight after what exactly?

In the UK cremation is "straight away" after being taken from the fridge, some days after the dedications.
It means ''straight away''. Straight away after the service the coffin and body are burned and when it's cool enough you get some of the ashes in an urn. Are there any more common phrases that you would like me to explain to you?
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
In cremation today there is a dedication ceremony but only a symbolic disposal of the deceased. At the end of the dedication a curtain surrounds the coffin, then everyone leaves. Often the priest leaves while everyone is still singing. Later, the temporarily abandoned coffin is bundled into a back-room fridge where it takes its place with many other bodies waiting for cremation some days or weeks later, out of sight.
What's considered to be "disposal of the deceased"? Nobody really watches bodies decay underground through cameras or glass coffins, do they? That would seem to be the parallel to watching a body be burned.

So I'd see a service before cremation to be equivalent to a service before burial.

Quote:
The schism between dedication and body disposal may seem like a humanistic advance, but I suspect that it is due to these three factors: a deference to strict local secular by-laws and hygeine practice, a misplaced belief that the Church is on their side to make things right, and a willing, "tasteful" avoidance of the physical reality of death, especially in the face of an experiential denial of death by an officious western science.
That seems similar to the way that people don't even wait around while the grave-diggers finish filling in the grave, which they could do, and which is far less "gross," for lack of a better word, than watching a cremation. My wife and I were at a cemetery the other day looking for a particular 19th century ancestor's tombstone, and stopped to ask the gravediggers for help with the location. They were just starting to fill in a grave, but not a mourner was in sight.

I think people haven't really got personally involved in death since the days that it was customary for family members to wash and dress the body themselves, dig the grave in the family cemetery and fill it in.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
In Cardiff crematorium there are fridges..
What are Frifdges? Anyway, what is wrong with waiting to burn the body? Another pointless thread from you.

Last edited by dafydd; 18th January 2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
What's considered to be "disposal of the deceased"? Nobody really watches bodies decay underground through cameras or glass coffins, do they?
Some do. There is a company in Seattle called SeeMeRot that places webcams in the coffin so you can watch your loved one decay. The slogan of the company is ''Just because you're dead it doesn't mean that you can't have visitors.'' I would not recommend visiting their website, it's strong stuff. You can see the cams. if you are so inclined.

Last edited by dafydd; 18th January 2013 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:13 PM   #12
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I recognize the existence of crematoria and cremation funerals, but I do not see how their existence equates to the "death of the traditional western funeral". I have attended no less than 8 funerals during my life, and not a single one of them was a cremation.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:15 PM   #13
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My funeral instructions are taken straight from that most brilliant of Englishmen, Wilfred Thessiger.......Just leave me out under a tree for the hyaenas.

Thing is, we're a tad short of hyaenas here in the South of England, so I have to organise to die in Africa. Suits me fine......

On the premise of your original post. I'm sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. When we cremated my Uncle two years ago, I was able to go back that same afternoon and collect the ashes, still warm. He was spread on the roses before sunset.

Mike
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I recognize the existence of crematoria and cremation funerals, but I do not see how their existence equates to the "death of the traditional western funeral". I have attended no less than 8 funerals during my life, and not a single one of them was a cremation.
I've attended ten , and two were cremations. Most people are buried here in Belgium.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:17 PM   #15
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What's all this then?

Oh, I see.

We can bury 'em, burn 'em, or dump 'em.

Last edited by Resume; 18th January 2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Resume View Post
What's all this then?
We're watching a man publicly counting to potato without having to go through rhubarb first.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
My funeral instructions are taken straight from that most brilliant of Englishmen, Wilfred Thessiger.......Just leave me out under a tree for the hyaenas.
I'm going one better. People will look up to me when I'm dead, I'm going to be buried up a tree. [Thanks Spike}


Quote:
On the premise of your original post. I'm sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. When we cremated my Uncle two years ago, I was able to go back that same afternoon and collect the ashes, still warm. He was spread on the roses before sunset.
The same thing happened with my late wife and my late sister-in-law. Same day, still warm. Cue Jonesboy to come back and tell us that we are wrong...... 10---9...8....7....
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Resume View Post
What's all this then?

Oh, I see.

We can bury 'em, burn 'em, or dump 'em.
I'm leaving my body to Antwerp university for medical students to practice on. It will save my relatives the exorbitant cost of a funeral. Does that count as dumping?
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
I'm leaving my body to Antwerp university for medical students to practice on. It will save my relatives the exorbitant cost of a funeral. Does that count as dumping?
Of the finest kind.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
You will have to clarify the term "straight away". Straight after what exactly?

In the UK cremation is "straight away" after being taken from the fridge, some days after the dedications.
Doubtful. The practicalities of incineration are such that there is no real advantage of doing it in bulk if you have to put things in cold storage in the meantime. Particularly since they have tightened up on the emissions standards for crematoria.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:38 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
My funeral instructions are taken straight from that most brilliant of Englishmen, Wilfred Thessiger.......Just leave me out under a tree for the hyaenas.

Thing is, we're a tad short of hyaenas here in the South of England, so I have to organise to die in Africa. Suits me fine......
I do vuagely recall the police did find some remains that they eventualy concluded were an attempt at sky burial.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
What are Frifdges? Anyway, what is wrong with waiting to burn the body? Another pointless thread from you.
That's what comes of poisoning the well with so many egregious "science" threads.

What could be an interesting discussion about the modern evolution of burial customs, instead is tainted by the OP's body of work in the community.
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:59 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That's what comes of poisoning the well with so many egregious "science" threads.

What could be an interesting discussion about the modern evolution of burial customs, instead is tainted by the OP's body of work in the community.
The community?

''I do not do anything for a living. No job, no pension, no prospects. I stay at home and do DIY. I save money by cycling for groceries and signing on at the dole office.''
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:03 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
It means ''straight away''. Straight away after the service the coffin and body are burned and when it's cool enough you get some of the ashes in an urn. Are there any more common phrases that you would like me to explain to you?

Yes. You could start with the term "straight away". Have another go. That wasn't clear enough.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
What's considered to be "disposal of the deceased"? Nobody really watches bodies decay underground through cameras or glass coffins, do they? That would seem to be the parallel to watching a body be burned.

So I'd see a service before cremation to be equivalent to a service before burial.



That seems similar to the way that people don't even wait around while the grave-diggers finish filling in the grave, which they could do, and which is far less "gross," for lack of a better word, than watching a cremation. My wife and I were at a cemetery the other day looking for a particular 19th century ancestor's tombstone, and stopped to ask the gravediggers for help with the location. They were just starting to fill in a grave, but not a mourner was in sight.

I think people haven't really got personally involved in death since the days that it was customary for family members to wash and dress the body themselves, dig the grave in the family cemetery and fill it in.
By attendance at the "disposal" of the body I mean attendance at the point where the body is introduced to its final resting place or demise. In burial this takes place at the graveside with the mourners in attendance. Dirt is often thrown in, flowers etc, as a direct involvement with the act of covering with earth, though being placed in the earth is the most significant detail here. Garden maintenance is also attended to, as it is with the authorities. In cremation there is no attendance.
I don't understand your allusions to "grossness". Indians participate in cremation direcly as did William Price.

Last edited by Jonesboy; 18th January 2013 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I recognize the existence of crematoria and cremation funerals, but I do not see how their existence equates to the "death of the traditional western funeral". I have attended no less than 8 funerals during my life, and not a single one of them was a cremation.

The schism between dedication ceremony and disposal is increasingly popular.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:16 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
My funeral instructions are taken straight from that most brilliant of Englishmen, Wilfred Thessiger.......Just leave me out under a tree for the hyaenas.

Thing is, we're a tad short of hyaenas here in the South of England, so I have to organise to die in Africa. Suits me fine......

On the premise of your original post. I'm sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. When we cremated my Uncle two years ago, I was able to go back that same afternoon and collect the ashes, still warm. He was spread on the roses before sunset.

Mike
In western cremation there are few sentiments of expression to be present at the cremation. Often, more often than not, the actual, immediate method of disposal of the body, especially in busy crematoria, is refridgeration. Creamtion is a way of emptying the fridge and getting the ashes to the relatives.

Last edited by Jonesboy; 18th January 2013 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Doubtful. The practicalities of incineration are such that there is no real advantage of doing it in bulk if you have to put things in cold storage in the meantime. Particularly since they have tightened up on the emissions standards for crematoria.
I attended a crematorium tour.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:38 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
By attendance at the "disposal" of the body I mean attendance at the point where the body is introduced to its final resting place or demise. In burial this takes place at the graveside with the mourners in attendance.
Guess I'm not seeing the distinction. The body still exists in the grave, so it's the "final resting place" but not the "demise" (destruction). In cremation, the demise/destruction would be the burning, but the "final resting place" would be sprinkling of the ashes, which is often attended by the family, or placing the ashes in an urn or niche. Not sure how that's done, my mother wanted her ashes sprinkled.

Quote:
I don't understand your allusions to "grossness". Indians participate in cremation direcly as did William Price.
I thought it was one of the key points of the whole thread. From the OP: "'tasteful' avoidance of the physical reality of death, especially in the face of an experiential denial of death by an officious western science."

Other ways of tastefully avoiding the physical reality of death include letting a funeral home make up a body to look as if it's sleeping before presenting it to the family, and not watching the grave be filled in with dirt. Watching a body be cremated or staring at an un-made-up body would emphasize the physical reality more than watching the grave being filled, but we don't even do the latter.

Last edited by Pup; 18th January 2013 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:41 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
In western cremation there are few sentiments of expression to be present at the cremation. Often, more often than not, the actual, immediate method of disposal of the body, especially in busy crematoria, is refridgeration. Creamtion is a way of emptying the fridge and getting the ashes to the relatives.
What are ''refridgeration'' and ''Creamtion''? What is wrong with the method of cremation that you describe? Another pointless thread from you. Would you prefer it if the family had a barbecue over the burning body?

Last edited by dafydd; 18th January 2013 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:45 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Guess I'm not seeing the distinction. The body still exists in the grave, so it's the "final resting place" but not the "demise" (destruction). In cremation, the demise/destruction would be the burning, but the "final resting place" would be sprinkling of the ashes, which is often attended by the family, or placing the ashes in an urn or niche. Not sure how that's done, my mother wanted her ashes sprinkled.



I thought it was one of the key points of the whole thread. From the OP: "'tasteful' avoidance of the physical reality of death, especially in the face of an experiential denial of death by an officious western science."

Other ways of tastefully avoiding the physical reality of death include letting a funeral home make up a body to look as if it's sleeping before presenting it to the family, and not watching the grave be filled in with dirt. Watching a body be cremated or staring at an un-made-up body would emphasize the physical reality more than watching the grave being filled, but we don't even do the latter.
When I attended my mate Eddie's funeral last summer the mini bulldozer was filling in the grave as we stood around talking before we went to the traditional ''coffee table'' as they call the gathering after the funeral here.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:53 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
I attended a crematorium tour.
And What I suspect you saw was storage for bodies before the ceremony.
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Old 18th January 2013, 04:05 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
And What I suspect you saw was storage for bodies before the ceremony.
That's what they are usually for. They don't stack the bodies up with fork lift trucks. One another tack, I read that a crematorium in England is making all their equipment bigger because of rising obesity in the population.
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Old 18th January 2013, 04:27 PM   #34
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Much ado about nothing. Contrive a crisis, manufacture a non-existent controversy, and for what purpose?

As noted by many posters, the OP is not even accurate in the assertions, so logically the conclusion must be suspect.

More practice is needed:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=251525
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Old 18th January 2013, 04:29 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Much ado about nothing. Contrive a crisis, manufacture a non-existent controversy, and for what purpose?
Attention?
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Old 18th January 2013, 04:39 PM   #36
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Funerals aren't really for dead people anyway... they are only of benefit to the living.
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Old 18th January 2013, 04:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Resume View Post
What's all this then?

Oh, I see.

We can bury 'em, burn 'em, or dump 'em.
I think we've got an eater!

In all seriousness, more power to people choosing their own methods of disposal! I'd love to have my remains jettisoned into the sun, but not sure if I can afford that sort of thing. Well I suppose that'll be free in about 5 billion years anyway--I guess I can wait.
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Old 18th January 2013, 05:02 PM   #38
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It may be true that cut rate cremations are done en masse with refrigerated bodies, but I think this is optional and I have certainly never seen it though I've attended a fair number of funerals. Plenty of people are still buried in the traditional way, and plenty more are cremated individually, with a funeral in every meaningful sense of the word. The one cremation I have been to in the last decade or so, the immediate family were invited to witness the actual incineration, and we did so. The next day after the remains were processed the urn was buried in the same way one would have buried a casket. The only real difference was the obvious one of having to wait a little while so the remains could be gathered up and allowed to cool.

If people wish to eliminate the rather old fashioned rituals of funerals, I think you'll find it has more to do with the families than with the funeral profession, which profits from traditional ways.

And by the way, Jonesboy, the word "demise" in standard English means "death," not the decay of a body. You can, of course, redefine it if you wish, but as usual, when you do so you end up just compounding bad ideas with bad communication skills.
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Old 18th January 2013, 05:20 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
In modern cremation there is no funeral, only a dedication ceremony.

I'm confused. A funeral is, by definition a ceremony to honour a deceased person.
You're saying that in modern cremation a ceremony held instead of a ceremony?
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Old 18th January 2013, 05:25 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Some do. There is a company in Seattle called SeeMeRot that places webcams in the coffin so you can watch your loved one decay. The slogan of the company is ''Just because you're dead it doesn't mean that you can't have visitors.'' I would not recommend visiting their website, it's strong stuff. You can see the cams. if you are so inclined.
Wow. That site looks so very extremely legit.
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