Even though in death, the soul is separated from the body, in the resurrection of the dead, our physical bodies will receive new and incorruptible life in reunion with our souls as was pledged to us in Christ's own resurrection. The burial of the bodies of the faithful departed in consecrated ground is the most appropriate way to associate the deaths of our loved ones with the death and burial of our Lord and to express our faith that they will also share in the glory of the Lord's resurrection through the resurrection of their own bodies.
Not only does burial signify confirmation of our faith in the resurrection of the body, it also shows respect for the body which was an inextricable part of the identity of the dear departed and which, in Baptism, became a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Because some persons in the past chose cremation to deny the possibility of the resurrection of the body, Catholics were forbidden to cremate the bodies of their dear departed. However when cremation is not intended to deny Catholic belief, the Church now permits it for serious reasons.
The funeral Mass should be celebrated in the presence of the body before cremation but may also be celebrated in the presence of the ashes of the dear departed (cremains) after cremation.
After the funeral Mass, the cremains must be laid to rest in a sacred place, e.g., a cemetery which may contain a special location for this purpose. The reservation of the ashes of the departed in this way promotes showing the same respect for the cremains as is accorded to an uncremated body. The inclusion of cremains in the places where others are buried is also a reminder that all the faithful departed are part of the community of the Church who deserve inclusion in our prayers as exemplified by the custom of celebrating Mass in cemeteries on All Souls Day.
Thus the cremains are not to be reserved at home or divided among family members. Also, in conformity with giving the cremains the same respect that is given to the uncremated body, they are not to be scattered but preserved, as are the uncremated bodies of the faithful, in the sacred places provided for such reservation.