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Different Cultures

Ash Wednesday

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Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday everyone.  So if like me you’re still full from the pancakes yesterday you’re not alone! Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day is when many countries with a Christian population celebrate. Traditionally you would empty your larder of all the goodies before you embarked upon Lent. You can see the almost literal translation in…

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Story about Scattering of Ashes wins Irish short story competition

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Story about Scattering Ashes

Story about Scattering Ashes Ashes by Claire Zwaartmann has won first prize in RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition  (RTE is the Republic of Ireland’s public broadcaster). The story is about a deceased mans children scattering his ashes in the bay. It centres around the son needing to collect the ashes, the choice of location…

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Instagram, Tina Turner and Scattering her sons ashes

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Tina Turner sons ashes

The musical icon Tina Turner has recently (28 July 2018) scattered the ashes her son at sea off the coast of California (USA). Very sad, her son apparently took his own life earlier in the month. How did she let people know? Instagram, (see picture below) adding the following comment: “My saddest moment as a…

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Have I been wrong about Resomation (water disposal of a body)

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disposal of a body ashes

Burial and Cremation are the time-honoured ways to dispose of a body, since prehistoric times cultures have been either been burning or burying them (some have been leaving them on the top of mountains for the vultures- but let’s not go there). Well there is a new kid on the block – Alkane Hydrolysis body…

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Splitting Ashes and the Church of England

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ashes into jewellery

The good old CofE don’t really like ashes to be split, and the Catholic Church specifically prohibits it. I was speaking at a resent Church of England conference on the subject of ashes and this thorny issue was raised. From a secular point of view I never realised the extent to which this vexed the…

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Hindu Scattering Service on the Ganges in India

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Ashes ceremony Ganges

The Hindu population of the UK increases year on year, in the last census in 2011  817,000 people in England and Wales  identified themselves as Hindus which is 1.5% of the population. A proportion of these would loved to have their ashes placed in the Ganges in India after their death. For some time we have…

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South Korea has adopted cremation in a big way

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Cremation trends in south korea

In the 1994 20.5% of South Koreans chose cremation, this figure has shot up to 86% last year. A massive change in less than a generation. I have never known any county’s funeral practises to change as radically as quickly, in the UK the same change took three times as long a an we are…

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The rise of unclaimed ashes in Japan

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unclaimed ashes japan

The issue of unclaimed ashes in Japan is becoming a problem for the local authorities. A trend mirroring the UK. Whilst there are cultural differences, many of the issues are similar to those in the UK: firstly the weakening of bonds within extended families and thus the willingness of extended family willing to pay; secondly…

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The Vatican’s position on the ashes of saints

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catholic church saints ashes

The Vatican has updated it rules on relics these are body parts (and more historically) including associated items of a saint. There has been issues recently when surviving family members disagree with what the  Catholic church wishes to do body of a person once they have given saint status. The rules were last updated in…

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