During most of its history, cremation was banned by the Roman Catholic Church. According to Wikipedia:
It was regarded as the most sacrilegious act towards Christians and God, not simply blaspheming but physically declaring a disbelief in the resurrection of the body.
But faced with an increasing number of Catholics opting for cremation, in 1963 the ban was lifted, and this opened the way to some imaginative treatments of the ashes of the dead.
In the UK, a company called Eversculpt transforms ashes into glass sculptures “to die for” (the intro pic shows Eversculpt’s Managing Director Lloyd Taylor holding up one of the many sculptures produced by his company).
This is simply not acceptable, says Cardinal Gerhard Müller, right, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
According to the Guardian he said ashes must be kept:
In a holy place, that is a cemetery or a church or in a place that has been specifically dedicated to this purpose. The conservation of ashes in the home is not allowed.
The cardinal reiterated that burial of the dead was preferable to cremation.
We come from the earth and we shall return to the earth. The church continues to incessantly recommend that the bodies of the dead be buried either in cemeteries or in other sacred ground..
Furthermore, in order to avoid any form of pantheistic or naturalistic or nihilistic misunderstanding, the dispersion of ashes in the air, on the ground, on water or in some other way as well as the conversion of cremated ashes into commemorative objects is not allowed.
A bishop may allow ashes to be kept at home only in extraordinary cases, according to a Vatican document, Ad Resurgendum cum Christo.
The document is dated August 15 and says Pope Francis approved it in March. The instructions were released this week ahead of All Souls’ Day on November 2, when the faithful remember and pray for the dead.