A leaflet to be distributed “to the people” regarding the cremation of the dead is being drawn up by the Church of Greece which will present the Church’s position, that “the cremation of the body is incompatible with the practice and tradition of the Church for theological, canonical and anthropological reasons.”
The cremation and the Church’s attitude towards the cremation of the dead body, a request that was granted in Greece by opening the first crematory in Ritsona, were the issue of concern for the Standing Holy Synod.
It is reported that the Archbishop and the 12 Bishops, who are members of the Holy Synod, discussed the latest developments as well as the decision of the clergy of the Metropolis of Thebes, next to Ritsona, to make clear that they will not hold religious funeral service to those who wish to be cremated.
In the leaflet, the Holy Synod will remind that the Church does not accept the cremation of the members of the Church. In 2014, with its circular, the Holy Synod first intervened on the issue of cremation.
What the encyclical of the Church of Greece told about cremation
The Church of Greece believes that the incineration of the body is incompatible with the practice and tradition of the Church for theological, canonical and anthropological reasons.
In the 2014 encyclical, the Church also imposed severe penalties for those who choose cremation over burial. In that document, the Holy Synod stated that it respected the religious beliefs of people of a different religion, according to which the cremation of the dead was an important part of their worldview. However, the Orthodox Christians, who voluntarily decided cremation over burial, then declared their autonomy and, therefore, no funeral and memorial service would be held for them.