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Divided Over the Final Rite

DW-WORLD readers had divergent views on an article reporting on a German cardinal's warning against alternative burial trends such as cremation, burying urns or scattering ashes.

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German Cardinal Lehmann would like death done the traditional way

The following comments reflect the views of our readers. If you would like to have your say, click on the feedback button below. Not all reader comments will be published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

It's all very well telling us to go back to traditional burials. There isn't enough land in London, and in any case, dying is expensive business. If the Bishops can get the undertakers to lower their fees, then they can tell us what to do. But when your average funeral, i.e. Cremation, in London is £1,500, a burial is out of the question when having to buy land -- Una Barry

In the US, where a "traditional" funeral can cost significantly more than $7000, several books have been published pointing out that there is no law preventing individual citizens from building their own coffins and preparing the bodies of their deceased for burial, themselves. The only thing a mortician can do that a private citizen can't is to "embalm" a body -- a practice which was shown to be totally unnecessary over 50 years ago. With a state permit, you can even bury the person yourself, on your own property. There's even a company that sells "cardboard coffins" that rapidly biodegrade. There is also a company that takes the cremated remains of an individual and "compresses" them into an artificial diamond. I thought that this was a nice idea. I'm generally glad to see these alternatives made available, because, at least in the US -- and it sounds like in Germany as well -- the mortuary business has become a massive rip-off. -- Tom Read, Texas, United States It seems that some Christian clerics have the same difficulty with aboriginal beliefs in Europe that they had here in North America. So they "frown upon pagan practices". One cannot help wondering if the world might have been a better place if middle-eastern religions had stayed in the middle-east and left the rest of humanity alone -- Skallagrim Walker, Vancouver, Canada

I am in favor of alternate burial. I believe grieving is important to those who are left behind. You don't need a place to go to remember the dead. How about looking around you and knowing they are regenerating the earth with their ashes. I feel alternative burial helps to deal with land issues -- Barbara Schwab, USA

The new trends in burials amount to downright desecration and disrespect for the dead. I recall that during Communist times, complete cemeteries were paved over for use as highways. So it follows that the trend in the loss of faith (mainly Christian) there should follow a lack of traditional Christian customs. People get what they ask for and the consequences are and will be very sad to say the least. Cost is just a poor excuse -- Mary Wilhelmy

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