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Author Topic: Green Burial: It's not easy dying Green  (Read 1140 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: September 29, 2011, 09:20:52 AM »

Can one be Orthodox and be buried "green"?

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In green cemeteries bodies are wrapped in a shroud or placed in a biodegradable coffin just three feet down to speed decomposition.  Instead of gravestones, trees, shrubs or wildflowers may mark the burial spot in an effort to preserve and restore the land.  And there are lots of other options if you’re interested in going out green – you can be freeze-dried, biocremated, or your remains put into an ocean reef ball to create a home for fish.  This hour, we’ll look at the green burial movement with guests DR. BILLY CAMPBELL, Founder and President of the Memorial Ecosystems and Ramsey Creek Preserve, the first green cemetery in the United States, and MARK HARRIS, the author of Grave Matters: A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 09:21:30 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 09:38:58 AM »

Most burials until relatively recent times were "green". (High ranking persons in many societies being the obvious exception.) Burials should be into the earth, so that eliminates some of the options offered. To me it seems very fitting. Unfortunately, here in North America there are legal restrictions on burials in most places - though I believe the movement is growing.
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bogdan
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 09:39:56 AM »

Traditionally Orthodox are buried "green" anyway (simple coffins, no embalming, etc). I am told that in Greece and other Orthodox countries, the bones are usually dug up after a few years and kept in family ossuaries, so nothing remains in the environment long-term.

What might be un-Orthodox is not having a certain burial location (dumping the remains into a reef), because there is no place for family to visit and no grave for priests to bless or pray at. Of course, it's not absolutely necessary, but having the physical location is important and is possible in 99% of deaths. Also, marking the grave with a cross is a symbol of ultimate victory, while marking it with a tree or something else strikes me somewhat as a symbol of resignation.

So, to me, the green burial proper is great, but somehow obscuring the location of the grave is problematic. Burial in an Orthodox cemetery is ideal, because the body will still be involved in the life of the Church. At monasteries especially, the graves are frequently blessed and prayed over.
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 05:31:29 PM »

Traditionally Orthodox are buried "green" anyway (simple coffins, no embalming, etc). I am told that in Greece and other Orthodox countries, the bones are usually dug up after a few years and kept in family ossuaries, so nothing remains in the environment long-term.

What might be un-Orthodox is not having a certain burial location (dumping the remains into a reef), because there is no place for family to visit and no grave for priests to bless or pray at. Of course, it's not absolutely necessary, but having the physical location is important and is possible in 99% of deaths. Also, marking the grave with a cross is a symbol of ultimate victory, while marking it with a tree or something else strikes me somewhat as a symbol of resignation.

So, to me, the green burial proper is great, but somehow obscuring the location of the grave is problematic. Burial in an Orthodox cemetery is ideal, because the body will still be involved in the life of the Church. At monasteries especially, the graves are frequently blessed and prayed over.

In Biblical Judaism they would take the bones out of the tomb after 1 single year then moved!!!!  EEEEK!

I don't really know how long decomposition of a human being takes, but 1 year seems like such a small time to do that.
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2011, 05:52:40 PM »

I don't really know how long decomposition of a human being takes, but 1 year seems like such a small time to do that.

Does anyone anymore live around things that die and stuff and watch it happen or come across it?

Go kill something about the size of a human and bury it in a shallow grave.

It don't take long.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 05:52:57 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2011, 05:57:18 PM »

Here in the great green NW a body decomposes pretty quickly because of the ecosystem.
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 06:13:18 PM »

Here in the great green NW a body decomposes pretty quickly because of the ecosystem.

You are going to be hard pressed to find somewhere it doesn't take a lot less than a year.

Some places: days.

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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 06:16:32 PM »

I ain't no green-hipster and all that.

Ideally, I would like to be exposed to the elements. Let the large animals have at me.

Realistically, although the State of Ohio says I can't, I would like to be put into a sheet and dropped about four feet.

Just to screw with the sprawl in this country, I was looking into buying plots which are up for grab in places where people are strategically having themselves buried to stop sprawl.

The zoning laws don't ban burial yet and will keep development away for forever or until Western sensibilities about graves change.
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