My husband got this macabre offer in the mail yesterday from the "Neptune Society." (It doesn't help that he has been ill lately....)

I think this WIN A FREE CREMATION OFFER IS SICK!!! Look in the corner of the card - it even has the name of Last Month's Winner - some lucky guy named Clyde Heartfield. This offer has all the gravitas of Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes! (My husband says, "Do they send balloons if you win?")
The offer goes on to state: "With everyone moving around these days, placing a loved on in a 'local' cemetery may not be as functional as it used to be." At the bottom of the letter in small print it says, "Please accept our apologies if this letter has reached you at a time of serious illness or death in your family." (I can only imagine...)
My mother pointed out to me years ago that cremation is not Biblical. Only the heathen burned the bodies of their dead. Jews and Christians always buried or entombed. Two women came to Jesus' tomb the morning after his death to anoint his body with spices. (Jesus wasn't cremated.)
As a pianist/organist, I play for more and more "body-less" memorial services, and it troubles me about the lack of closure. I think it helps, when possible, to see the body of your deceased loved one. A friend in Georgia told me about an all night wake they held for her mother, who laid in state in a coffin in her living room. That might be on the extreme side, but I can understand this kind of transition period in bidding farewell to a family member.
I sang at the funeral of one of my student's sisters who died and the family couldn't afford a casket, so she was buried in basically a cardboard box with a "no frills" funeral, but it was a lot more respectful than burning her corpse to save a few bucks.

I know four brothers who "couldn't afford" to bury their mother and wanted to have her cremated. However, they have second homes, expensive motorcycles, money for drugs and gambling, etc., so I'm wondering why they wanted to cremate their mother to save money? (Another relative stepped in and paid for the funeral.)
I also have a dear friend whose family was unable to pay for a full (indoors) funeral for her mom, so we met at the cemetery to have a short graveside service before she was buried.
Do you know why you can't find the expression "ashes to ashes and dust to dust" in the Bible? It's because it isn't there! The Bible says we are made from the dust of the earth, but nowhere does it say to burn the body of a deceased family member into an ash state.
I know that people die in fires, are lost at sea, are dismembered, amputated, and other tragedies, and that God will resurrect them on that Great Day. And I understand the "convenience" of portable urns to carry around the ashes of loved ones if you move (as pointed out in the invitation we received from the "Neptune Society"). I even have a brochure from a local crematory that offers family members a front row seat to witness the cremation of their loved one (NO THANKS!!!)
Cremation is accepted these days - even promoted - but I'm sticking with burial for my loved ones when I have to make the arrangements. If you believe in cremation, then my intent wasn't to offend, but to offer another point of view as food for thought.
Climbing off my soapbox now,

P.S.  Just got a response from a friend--

"I totally agree with you on this, Dom! Cremation gives me the creeps. It seems unnecessary. I think because itís cheaper, itís become more acceptable. The Catholic Church did not allow cremation in the past, but does now, though Ďregularí burial is much preferred by the Church. If a person is cremated, the remains must be buried in blessed ground (usually a cemetery), or put in a blessed mausoleum; they cannot be scattered or kept in a house, etc., because of the dignity of the body, before and after death. Iíve heard too many stories of people throwing away ĎUncle Fredí (ashes) while cleaning and such. Just today we attended a funeral where the person had been cremated. It seemed very odd focusing on an urn, even though some wonderful photos of the deceased were in a nearby room to remind us of him during his life. Though sometimes an embalmed body can look pretty strange (some look like what youíd find in a wax museum), I think itís preferable to just an urn. Maybe that's just me, but thatís where I stand! As for winning a 'free cremation' in a contestóoh, really!!  And worse yet, viewing a loved one being cremated?!  It sounds like something someone who strongly disliked the deceased would thoroughly enjoy.  Eeek!  I think NOT cremating a body is only LOGICAL and much more NATURAL, as I would think God would intend."