Cremation or burial?

March 28, 2018 | 36 comments

I had a woman ask me if cremation was okay for the body once she passed on. She was concerned that there might be a connection between what happened to the body here on earth and what happened to her in the afterlife.

I assured her that there was absolutely no connection between what happened to the body on earth and her experience after leaving it behind.

“You never were that body,” I reminded her. “You are a spiritual being, living a spiritual life with a spiritual individuality that lives forever at-one with God. To cremate the body is not to cremate you. You are spiritual. You always have been and always will be.”

36 thoughts on “Cremation or burial?”

  1. It is good to be reminded that our true self is always spiritual, thanks Evan.

    Last week I mentioned a poem I had written and Uta expressed an interest in seeing it. I sent it to Evan to see if he minded my sharing it, and he said to go ahead, and so here it is:

    February Birdsong

    Long before the sun came round,
    in the dark, and in the rain,
    came the pure and joyful sound
    of the thrush’s clear refrain.
    Making sure he got it right
    three times o’er he sang each phrase
    and I listened in delight
    to his glorious song of praise.

    Ornithologists declare
    it’s not out of gratitude,
    nor a form of avian prayer
    that brings forth this sweet prelude.
    Birds, they say, don’t sing for joy,
    (folk like me have got it wrong)
    claiming a domain’s their ploy –
    that’s the purpose of their song.

    Still, I wonder in delight
    (never mind the mundane reason)
    that, before the sky is light
    (and in this inclement season)
    sounds so vibrant, pure, and clear
    such as I have never heard,
    melodies to please the ear
    pour forth from this little bird.

    So, at times when things go wrong,
    dark and dreary seems the morn,
    think about the thrush’s song
    ringing out before the dawn;
    let a joyful song of praise
    lift our thought to gratitude,
    banishing the gloomy days –
    faith is our beatitude.

    Anne P.Daly

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely poem! It really started my day right.

      There’s a poem Mom loved, “God’s Day,” from the periodicals. She, my brother, and my aunt worked to add additional verses to it, as it had verses for a few of the synonyms for God, and we wanted them all included. It was a great experience!

  2. That poem is lovely. It reminds me of why I don’t have ear plugs in my ears when I work in the garden. I love to hear those birds singing. Thanks to both of you, Ann and Evan.

  3. Anne pat, thank you for your beautiful poem. All winter I have had a flock of 15 to 20 bluebirds that have been coming to one of my feeders. They are such charming, vibrant little birds. I often think of them with great gratitude for their presence. What wondrous beauty and joy God has instilled in such seemingly simple things.

  4. How really good to clarify this.
    We always and only live and move and have our being in God, Mind, Spirit.
    Science and Health states: “Mortal existence is a dream; mortal existence has no
    real entity, but saith “It is I.””
    How can what happens in a dream affect the Mind of God, our only Life?

  5. Just like a caterpillar emerging from its chrysalis (cocoon) as a butterfly – the cocoon just crumbles and falls away… we emerge gently!

    1. This topic which at first would appear rather grim, is actually so uplifting…transforming into bird songs and butterflies. How beautiful! ~ Just when the caterpillar thought it was the end of the world, it became a butterfly. ~ Thank you, Evan and All for your insights

    2. Bevi,
      I like your point here. The focus is not on the cocoon. When a chick emerges from an egg, the focus is not on the egg. Those things fall away and become nothing.

  6. What a perfect answer you gave that lady Evan!
    I guess many many people would be wondering about this question but not if we remember that Jesus’ life and his mission proved that life is not only infinite and eternal but untouched by material situations, be they crucifixion, sickness, burial or cremation.
    Mary Baker Eddy tells us “Life is, like Christ, “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.”
    (SH 249:18–19) but we know the human body sure isn’t! :-O
    So I guess that only leaves one thing… consciousness in and of Spirit…and that Christ consciousness is never subject to pain, damage or decay. I’m sure the lady was very satisfied with your answer! Thank you again as always for such excellent posts that are always so relevant .

  7. Thank you Evan! That is a good reminder. Annepat, Thank you for sharing your lovely poem! Wonderful ideas expressed here today – thank you! 🙂

  8. Thank you Evan, this goes along nicely with this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson on Reality and the crucifixion that Jesus went through only to emerge as God’s untouched and perfect child ascending up beyond all material sense of things to be at the right hand of God. Still very much real and substantial without that useless body.

  9. Oh thank you Evan and all. I loved the sweet poem, Annapat! What a wonderful consciousness we live in, trees clapping their hands, birds singing, butterflies emerging to soar, etc etc, but best of all, we have our precious Father that just smiles and smiles! What a happy world we really live in!
    A splendid day to all and All!

  10. Thank you Evan and those that have commented. I agree with Carol about how uplifting the comments have been, Evan though I also felt Evan’s answer to the woman was very uplifting too!

    Here’s a question that I’ve always wondered about that I’ll throw out for anyone to comment on…the Bible story of Jesus’ crucifixion seems to make specific references to:

    “a man named Joseph”


    “begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.”

    What is the spiritual significance of those “burial” details? They seem so focused on “taking care of the body of Jesus after the crucifixion”. Jesus later presented his body “unchanged” after the crucifixion. These things have always puzzled me. Why was it so important for the people that saw Jesus after the crucifixion to see him in the same body he appeared to them in at the end of the crucifixion?

    1. Brian, I have an opinion about this since you asked. I think it was important for his disciples and Mary M. and Mary to see the body crucified and then risen so they understood there was no death. The body is what people saw as life so he appeared to them in a form they could recognize. He wanted his disciples to “watch” or bear witness to this process (revealing the Truth about life) in the garden of Gethsemane because he wanted to free them from fear of death. Of course the flesh/mortal mind was saying taking this cup is a bad idea and he proved mortal mind and the five senses to be liars in this process as well. This was a very new concept for the people back then. It was an awakening, except, his disciples slept in the garden. He wanted his disciples to bear witness to and share this Truth or feed his sheep/lambs. This is just my opinion.

    2. I have always thought Jesus needed to reappear to the disciples exactly as they had last seen him, so that they would have no doubt that it was him – and perhaps the burial details are another occasion showing that Jesus understood and experienced abundance and every need met – even the care for his body, after he had died an (undeserved) criminal’s death, was completely met in a way that provided for the next stage of his experience.
      Just my own thoughts, I will be interested to hear from others too about this.
      Thank you Evan and SV family.

    3. Thank you Kirsten and MB for your replies! After thinking about this myself and reading your comments, I had a few more ideas I thought I’d share…

      – I think burial procedures were very important to the Israelites of Jesus time, so perhaps this passage shows a) how much some people (as represented by “a man named Joseph”) loved Jesus. Joseph probably put himself at risk doing what he did. Also, b) it probably meant a lot to Jesus’ mother, Mary, as well as others that he was buried properly…again due to the common beliefs of the Israelites of that time and as MB pointed out this act showed how God meets every need to comfort Jesus’ family and friends.

      – I have to keep reminding myself that as explained in the Scientific Statement of Being on page 468 of S&H that there is no matter. Based on that fact, there was no “material” body to be buried from an absolute sense and Jesus didn’t really re-appear in a material body. But sometimes the mortal mind beliefs we are holding in thought result in spiritual ideas appearing in what appear to be material forms. So maybe the people who saw Jesus after he arose could only have seen him if they thought he still had a physical body to inhabit (as Kirsten pointed out…the body represented “life” to them). Perhaps if he had been cremated, they would not have been able to see him because their own thoughts would have been unable to conceive of the possibility of Jesus reappearing after his body was destroyed.

      Anyway, I’ll keep thinking about this because I’m sure there is more to learn…but I just thought I’d share the new ideas I had about this Bible passage.

  11. Thank you Evan. What you shared couldn’t have been more timely as my Mom was cremated this morning. I sent your message onto family members in hopes that it will bring peace to them as well. Divine Love truly does meet every human need.

    1. You are so right, Janis. Evan’s posting reminded me of what a practitioner told me when my mom passed… that my mom was truly a spiritual idea. The practitioner asked me point-blank – What has changed about the spiritual idea called “your mom”? Nothing, of course. The practitioner was very correct. I still think of this every time I think of my mom and even passed this inspiration to a friend going through the same experience recently. It is so appropriate in this week leading up to Easter.

  12. Grateful for your topic today Evan. Will make copies for my sons. As Janis said, Divine Love truly does meet every human need.

  13. What thoughtful comments this blog has inspired. Annepat, your poem is delightful. I also feel that Jesus had to present his body as proof that he had not died. We don’t live in a physical body. As is stated in Genesis 1, we were created in God’s image and likeness – therefore spiritual not material.

  14. Thank you Evan. I have shared this twice today. First with a CS friend whose Mum passed on a few days ago and then tonight I read it out at my church’s testimony meeting. The readings were on resurrection and your SV was greatly appreciated by a lady whose Mum passed away a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to all for your comments.

  15. Thank you Annepad, that you share your very nice poem with us here in the SpiritView blog. I love your sweet poem. The thrushs are on the red list in Germany. And regrettably I have not seen one since years, only lots of black birds and tits. But there cannot be any out lie of any creature God created, they are all spiritual ideas in divine Mind. That matches a bit with today`s SpiritView.

    Thank you so much dear Evan for your answer to the woman`s question – very true and helpful!

    And thank you all very much for your lively and lovely and interesting comments.

    1. Oh, sorry, I ment “But there cannot any creature God created d i e o u t (not “out lie”) 🙂

  16. Interesting responses today. A lady I know recently passed on and I read a Christian Science article (by Kimball) that a person doesn’t die because they were never born – they are spiritual. Whilst I understood her to be spiritual, I was surprised by this because there are plenty of references in the Bible about our physical bodies- we were all created by God. I shared what I read with a kind fellow Christian Scientist who confirmed Kimball’s statement. I have since remained confused because when we pass on and move on spiritually, there is a physical body that still needs to be buried or cremated by someone else. So it can’t be a dream or be unreal.

  17. Hi Craig,

    The definition of “real” in Christian Science, is that which lasts forever. The physical body is temporal. Once buried and decayed, it is nowhere to be found. So, it’s not real in the big picture scheme of things. It’s finite. Your eternal spiritual individuality, however, lasts forever. It is real!

    1. Thank you Evan for your explanation, it is useful. Sometimes I have difficulty looking at scriptures from a Christian Science perspective, hence my comments I wrote (for example, Psalm 139).

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