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Religious View On Cremation: Jehovah’s Witness

Religious View On Cremation: Jehovah’s Witness

When someone that you love passes, there are many practical arrangements that you will need to make. Organizing your loved one’s funeral service is one of the most critical tasks that you need to perform. During the funeral planning process, you will need to make an important decision; should you choose a burial or a cremation?

There are many factors to consider when choosing between a cremation or a burial. But one of the most crucial influences on your decision will be religion. Different religions have different views on the afterlife and what should happen to the physical body after someone passes. With this in mind, understanding your loved one’s religious beliefs and how this impacts their funeral is essential to ensure that you respect their wishes. 

Some religions, such as Judaism, do not typically permit cremations. This is because in Judaism followers believe the soul leaves the body in stages after death rather than immediately. Therefore, it is crucial for the body to receive a traditional Jewish burial service. Although cremation is rarely acceptable to Jews, cremations are permissible and, in some cases, the preferred option in many other faiths. Here we will discuss cremations, examine whether Jehovah’s Witnesses permit cremation, and what they believe happens after you die. 


What are the Benefits of Choosing Cremations Over Burials?

Cremations are quickly becoming more popular than burials. Figures show that in 2021, the cremation rate in the United States reached 57.5%. Over the next few years, the number of people opting for a cremation instead of a burial is predicted to rise even further to 64.1% by 2025. But why do many people choose cremations? Cremations offer many benefits, here are just some of the reasons people choose them over a burial:

Cremations are often cheaper than burials. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), as of 2022, the average cost of a burial is $7,848. In contrast, the average cost of a cremation is $6,970.

Another reason cremations are often chosen instead of burials is the fact they are often considered more environmentally friendly. Cremations mean the chemicals used in the embalming process are not required, and land is not taken up for use as burial plots. 

Cremations are also often chosen by people that do not want the traditional aspects involved in a funeral service and burial. Instead, many people like to forego a ceremonial burial and opt for a simple service and cremation.

What do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe Happens After You Die?

Jehovah’s Witnesses have strong beliefs and follow strict rules to observe their faith. In keeping with this, followers have firm ideas about what happens after a person passes. Followers of Jehovah believe that when a person dies, their soul and physical body also die. The religion compares death to being in a deep sleep. Unlike other religions, where people that die are believed to go to heaven and hell, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that death is a state of nothingness for both the body and the soul, and there is no awareness. Despite this, Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe they can be resurrected, and most followers do not fear death. 

One of the most well-known aspects of the Jehovah’s Witness faith is its belief in Armageddon. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that when the world ends, only 144,000 of God’s most faithful worshippers will be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven. But, as the years pass and more people die, the number of spaces left amongst the 144,000 is declining fast. The faith teaches that those who do not die during Armageddon will be taught the correct way to worship God. 

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Prefer Burials Over Cremations?

It is estimated there are 1.2 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States. With cremations becoming the preferred option for the majority of the US population, do the nation’s Jehovah’s Witnesses choose cremations, and does their faith permit them? The answer to this question is yes; cremations are allowed. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe you need a physical body to be resurrected. As such, there are no strict rules that state that Jehovah’s Witnesses need to be buried. So, the choice of whether to have a cremation or burial is down to the family’s preference.This video explains in more detail what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe happens after death:

What Happens at a Jehovah’s Witness Funeral Service?

Jehovah’s Witness funeral services are far shorter than those of many other religions. In fact, the funeral service itself may last for just 15 to 30 minutes. Also, unlike most other faiths, Jehovah’s Witness funerals spend very little time talking about the deceased and their lives. Instead, the attention is mainly focused on reading scriptures and on prayers.

Cremation or Burial: Which One Should You Choose?

The choice of whether to have a cremation or burial is something that is often determined by a person’s religion. However, for Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is very much a personal preference whether they decide to opt for a cremation or burial. 

Nowadays, cremations are a far more popular option and are now chosen over burials by a large proportion of people. As discussed above, there are many benefits of being cremated instead of buried. The costs involved in cremations are generally lower, which is one of the leading reasons that people opt for cremations. One other significant benefit of choosing a cremation is that it enables a lasting keepsake to be created in memory of a loved one. Having cremation jewelry made from your loved ones’ ashes is an ideal way to keep their memory alive and ensure they are always with you. Having a keepsake such as cremation jewelry can bring comfort to those left behind and has become more popular in recent years.

Ultimately, deciding whether to opt for a cremation or a burial is a personal choice. Still, there are many benefits of being cremated, which is why it is now the preferred option for many people.

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