Christian burial  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A Christian burial is the burial of a deceased person with specifically Christian ecclesiastical rites; typically, in consecrated ground. Until recent times Christians generally objected to cremation, and practiced inhumation almost exclusively, but this opposition has weakened, and now vanished among Protestants. Catholics are now able to be cremated also, and this is rapidly becoming more common, but the Eastern Orthodox churches still mostly forbid it.

For actors

Actors were traditionally not people of high status, and in the Early Middle Ages travelling acting troupes were often viewed with distrust. In many parts of Europe, actors could not even receive a Christian burial (for example Adrienne Lecouvreur), and traditional beliefs of the region and time period held that this left any actor forever condemned. This negative perception was largely reversed in the 19th and 20th centuries.

For people who committed suicide

Christian views on suicide

In the sixth century, suicide became a secular crime and began to be viewed as sinful. In 1533, those who committed suicide while accused of a crime were denied a Christian burial. In 1562, all suicides were punished in this way. In 1693, even attempted suicide became an ecclesiastical crime, which could be punished by excommunication, with civil consequences following. In the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas denounced suicide as an act against God and as a sin for which one could not repent. Civil and criminal laws were enacted to discourage suicide, and as well as degrading the body rather than permitting a normal burial. Property and possessions of the suicides and their families were confiscated.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Christian burial" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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