Funerals and the Disposal of Human Remains

Norman Doe

in The Legal Framework of the Church of England

Published in print July 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262206
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682315 | DOI:
Funerals and the Disposal of Human Remains

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The disposal of human remains is regulated by a complicated tangle of state-made and church-made law. The law of the Church of England generally treats the disposal of corpses and cremated remains in the same way. The right to a burial in the churchyard, which now extends to the disposal of cremated remains, is one of the rights in the package of rights enjoyed by parishioners. The law regulates both the exercise of burial rights and, in the same way as Roman Catholic Church canon law, rights concerning the use and choice of funeral services. In contrast, exhumation, reservation of grave spaces, erection of memorials, and the disposal of remains in closed churchyards arise by way of privilege and not from general rights. This chapter examines the growing body of diocesan norms dealing with the ministry of deliverance. It also discusses the disinterment and disposal of cremated remains in closed and open churchyards.

Keywords: Church of England; Roman Catholic Church; corpses; burial; canon law; exhumation; churchyards; ministry of deliverance; disinterment; funeral services

Chapter.  10623 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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