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Cremation

Cremation is the practice of disposing of a corpse by burning. This often takes place in a crematorium or crematory. The body is placed in a wooden box and burnt at a temperature of 1400° to 2100° Fahrenheit (760° to 1150° Celsius). The remains consist of about 5% of the body's original mass.

Cremation was practised in the ancient world, being mentioned in the Old Testament and used widely in the Greek and Roman civilizations.

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Resurgence of cremation in the Christian world In Christian countries cremation fell out of favour, because of the Christian belief in resurrection of the dead, but in the Middle Ages rationalists and classicists began to advocate it again. In England, for example, Sir Henry Thompson, Surgeon to Queen Victoria, was the first to recommend the practice on health grounds after seeing the cremation apparatus of Professor Brunetti of Padua, Italy at the Vienna Exposition in 1873. In 1874 Thompson founded The Cremation Society of England. The society met opposition from the church, who would not allow cremation on consecrated ground, and the government, who believed the practice to be illegal. Cremation was finally made legal in England by a judgement in February, 1884 in Cardiff. An Act of Parliament for the Regulation of burning of human remains, and to enable burial authorities to established crematoria was passed in 1902.

In 1963 the Pope lifted the Roman Catholic ban on cremation, and in 1966 allowed Catholic priests to officiate at cremation ceremonies.

List of religions that permit cremation Baptists, Buddhism, Calvinism, Christian Science, Christian Churches of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Hare Krishna, Hindu, Jehovah's Witnesses, Liberal Judaism, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravian Church, Mormons, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventists, Sikhs, Society of Friends (Quakers). List of religions that forbid cremation Greek Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Orthodox Judaism, Parsees, Russian Orthodox Christianity, Zoroastrians.

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