Author Topic: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.  (Read 2641 times)

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Offline Maria

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Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« on: December 27, 2015, 05:41:13 AM »
Quote
In Seattle, a local nonprofit group wants to become the world's first organization to offer as a service human composting, in which the departed are turned into nutrient-rich soil that can be used to grow flowers, trees or food. ...

Spade said she hopes to get the service up and running in three years. But the project has significant legal and regulatory hurdles to surmount before it can get under way.

http://news.yahoo.com/greenest-goodbye-seattle-group-wants-compost-dead-160529263.html

Would not this method be more in line with the Orthodox way where the deceased are neither embalmed nor cremated.

I do not like the idea of turning the human compost as suggested in the article, but the traditional Greek method was to bury a deceased one, and then after three years dig up the grave. If the deceased were still in the process of decomposition, it would be promptly reburied, if not, then the grave would be available to someone else after any bones were relocated into a special vault or repository where human skulls and bones were stored. However, in the rare event that the deceased one was found miraculously preserved, then that body would be washed, dressed in new clothes, and then placed in a coffin and moved to another area.

Read Hamlet, where the grave diggers were digging up an old grave in which to place a newly departed body.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 05:42:44 AM by Maria »
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Offline wgw

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 06:04:14 AM »
I am not sure why we cannot simply leave the dearly departed in peace.
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2015, 07:58:00 AM »
I am not sure why we cannot simply leave the dearly departed in peace.

It would be nice, yeah. But sometimes burial space is at a premium.
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2015, 09:24:34 AM »
I do not like the idea of turning the human compost as suggested in the article, but the traditional Greek method was to bury a deceased one, and then after three years dig up the grave. If the deceased were still in the process of decomposition, it would be promptly reburied, if not, then the grave would be available to someone else after any bones were relocated into a special vault or repository where human skulls and bones were stored.

Nothing traditional about that. It's the system developed in urban cemeteries, where burial space is at an ever-rising premium. In villages, even now, graves can remain undisturbed in perpetuity, unless someone's family makes special arrangements to move the bones somewhere else.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 09:26:33 AM »
I do not like the idea of turning the human compost as suggested in the article, but the traditional Greek method was to bury a deceased one, and then after three years dig up the grave. If the deceased were still in the process of decomposition, it would be promptly reburied, if not, then the grave would be available to someone else after any bones were relocated into a special vault or repository where human skulls and bones were stored.

Nothing traditional about that. It's the system developed in urban cemeteries, where burial space is at an ever-rising premium. In villages, even now, graves can remain undisturbed in perpetuity, unless someone's family makes special arrangements to move the bones somewhere else.

I suppose one could say it's traditional in the 1st Century Jewish sense- wait till decomposition and then moves the bones to an ossuary.
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Offline IXOYE

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 12:00:11 PM »

Would not this method be more in line with the Orthodox way where the deceased are neither embalmed nor cremated.


No.

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2015, 12:03:19 PM »
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2015, 02:29:35 PM »
Would not this method be more in line with the Orthodox way where the deceased are neither embalmed nor cremated.

The laws in the U.S. seems fairly restrictive to me, so I'd wonder how many things the law (not to mention local practices and hospital/funeral home requirements if using them) would allow. Anyway, but as it relates to the dead and dying generally, and how things have changed as far as how we deal with all that, you might like this recording. There are other things by the same person elsewhere on that site, and on youtube.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 02:30:55 PM by Asteriktos »
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2015, 03:59:44 PM »
I do not like the idea of turning the human compost as suggested in the article, but the traditional Greek method was to bury a deceased one, and then after three years dig up the grave. If the deceased were still in the process of decomposition, it would be promptly reburied, if not, then the grave would be available to someone else after any bones were relocated into a special vault or repository where human skulls and bones were stored.

Nothing traditional about that. It's the system developed in urban cemeteries, where burial space is at an ever-rising premium. In villages, even now, graves can remain undisturbed in perpetuity, unless someone's family makes special arrangements to move the bones somewhere else.

In perpetuity?

Nothing is eternal on this earth as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and avalanches can bury a cemetery.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2015, 04:09:29 PM »
I do not like the idea of turning the human compost as suggested in the article, but the traditional Greek method was to bury a deceased one, and then after three years dig up the grave. If the deceased were still in the process of decomposition, it would be promptly reburied, if not, then the grave would be available to someone else after any bones were relocated into a special vault or repository where human skulls and bones were stored.

Nothing traditional about that. It's the system developed in urban cemeteries, where burial space is at an ever-rising premium. In villages, even now, graves can remain undisturbed in perpetuity, unless someone's family makes special arrangements to move the bones somewhere else.

In perpetuity?

Nothing is eternal on this earth as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and avalanches can bury a cemetery.

Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and avalanches don't perform exhumations. ::)
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2015, 04:14:52 PM »
I do not like the idea of turning the human compost as suggested in the article, but the traditional Greek method was to bury a deceased one, and then after three years dig up the grave. If the deceased were still in the process of decomposition, it would be promptly reburied, if not, then the grave would be available to someone else after any bones were relocated into a special vault or repository where human skulls and bones were stored.

Nothing traditional about that. It's the system developed in urban cemeteries, where burial space is at an ever-rising premium. In villages, even now, graves can remain undisturbed in perpetuity, unless someone's family makes special arrangements to move the bones somewhere else.

In perpetuity?

Nothing is eternal on this earth as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and avalanches can bury a cemetery.

So in other words, we should excise perpetuity from the dictionary?
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2015, 04:35:14 PM »
I do not like the idea of turning the human compost as suggested in the article, but the traditional Greek method was to bury a deceased one, and then after three years dig up the grave. If the deceased were still in the process of decomposition, it would be promptly reburied, if not, then the grave would be available to someone else after any bones were relocated into a special vault or repository where human skulls and bones were stored.

Nothing traditional about that. It's the system developed in urban cemeteries, where burial space is at an ever-rising premium. In villages, even now, graves can remain undisturbed in perpetuity, unless someone's family makes special arrangements to move the bones somewhere else.

In perpetuity?

Nothing is eternal on this earth as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and avalanches can bury a cemetery.

Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and avalanches don't perform exhumations. ::)

In California, there were coffins and dead bodies floating down from a cemetery.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2015, 04:46:09 PM »
I do not like the idea of turning the human compost as suggested in the article, but the traditional Greek method was to bury a deceased one, and then after three years dig up the grave. If the deceased were still in the process of decomposition, it would be promptly reburied, if not, then the grave would be available to someone else after any bones were relocated into a special vault or repository where human skulls and bones were stored.

Nothing traditional about that. It's the system developed in urban cemeteries, where burial space is at an ever-rising premium. In villages, even now, graves can remain undisturbed in perpetuity, unless someone's family makes special arrangements to move the bones somewhere else.

In perpetuity?

Nothing is eternal on this earth as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and avalanches can bury a cemetery.

Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and avalanches don't perform exhumations. ::)

In California, there were coffins and dead bodies floating down from a cemetery.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, if any.
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2015, 05:07:23 PM »
No, Maria's right, there are some parts of Greece where the villages had a tradition of exhuming the dead and moving them into an ossuary.
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2015, 05:51:26 PM »
I am not sure why we cannot simply leave the dearly departed in peace.

It would be nice, yeah. But sometimes burial space is at a premium.

We should just build necropoli on a more vertical basis.  If a pyramid is good enough for Khufu, it's good enough for us.   ;)
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2015, 06:26:31 PM »
I am not sure why we cannot simply leave the dearly departed in peace.

It would be nice, yeah. But sometimes burial space is at a premium.

We should just build necropoli on a more vertical basis.  If a pyramid is good enough for Khufu, it's good enough for us.   ;)

I prefer Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, myself. Gives the birds a meal.
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2015, 07:22:13 PM »
Lord have mercy.
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2015, 07:28:39 PM »
I am not sure why we cannot simply leave the dearly departed in peace.

It would be nice, yeah. But sometimes burial space is at a premium.

We should just build necropoli on a more vertical basis.  If a pyramid is good enough for Khufu, it's good enough for us.   ;)

I prefer Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, myself. Gives the birds a meal.

This however seems to me to dishonour the mortal remains.  Also, despite the name, towers of silence are not actually skyscrapers full of dead people.  What would be wrong, by the way, with transforming the Empire State Building into a towering mausoleum?   :P
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2015, 07:44:21 PM »
I am not sure why we cannot simply leave the dearly departed in peace.

It would be nice, yeah. But sometimes burial space is at a premium.

We should just build necropoli on a more vertical basis.  If a pyramid is good enough for Khufu, it's good enough for us.   ;)

I prefer Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, myself. Gives the birds a meal.

This however seems to me to dishonour the mortal remains.

I suppose that's a matter of perspective, but then again I'm kind of a treehugger lol.

Also, despite the name, towers of silence are not actually skyscrapers full of dead people.  What would be wrong, by the way, with transforming the Empire State Building into a towering mausoleum?   :P

You mean it isn't already? *rimshot*
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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2015, 07:46:31 PM »
What would be wrong, by the way, with transforming the Empire State Building into a towering mausoleum?   :P

You couldn't pay me to be buried in such a place. Green burials FTW.
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Offline biro

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2015, 07:56:54 PM »
With the recent passing of my aunt, my Mom and Dad have both mentioned that they would like to be cremated.

They are Roman Catholic. I'm Orthodox. When the time comes for me, God willing many years from now, I would like to be interred. (A regular coffin burial.)

As far as I know, the Orthodox prefer that people be interred. And I will keep to that.

I haven't discussed this in depth with them yet, because the issue is so fresh in our minds. We are all sad about this.

However, I kind of don't like cremation so much, not for people. (Pets are different.) I would prefer Mom and Dad be given old-fashioned burials.

I don't want to cause a huge bugaboo at this point. I will probably not bring it up until Aunt Mary's memorial is complete.

It's just a heavy thing to think about. There I was, complaining about unimportant things - little everyday bothers - and then something serious happens.

 :'(

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2015, 11:49:32 PM »
With the recent passing of my aunt, my Mom and Dad have both mentioned that they would like to be cremated.

They are Roman Catholic. I'm Orthodox. When the time comes for me, God willing many years from now, I would like to be interred. (A regular coffin burial.)

As far as I know, the Orthodox prefer that people be interred. And I will keep to that.

I haven't discussed this in depth with them yet, because the issue is so fresh in our minds. We are all sad about this.

However, I kind of don't like cremation so much, not for people. (Pets are different.) I would prefer Mom and Dad be given old-fashioned burials.

I don't want to cause a huge bugaboo at this point. I will probably not bring it up until Aunt Mary's memorial is complete.

It's just a heavy thing to think about. There I was, complaining about unimportant things - little everyday bothers - and then something serious happens.

 :'(

I was grateful to have a chance to pray this morning. It was difficult to go to church, but it gave me strength.

Lord have mercy.

+++++

Back on topic, I really do not like the idea of composting human remains in woodchips and leaves, but I do like the Greek villages who carefully dig up graves and place the skull and bones in an ossuary.

One never knows if a person will be glorified by God and his/her body miraculously preserved. We must hope that all Orthodox Christians who have partaken of the Body and Blood of Christ will persevere in holiness and receive an eternal crown.



« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 11:51:27 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2015, 12:12:33 AM »
What would be wrong, by the way, with transforming the Empire State Building into a towering mausoleum?   :P

You couldn't pay me to be buried in such a place. Green burials FTW.

But if the graves can't be reused, then what happens when the available space runs out?
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2015, 12:13:09 AM »
With the recent passing of my aunt, my Mom and Dad have both mentioned that they would like to be cremated.

They are Roman Catholic. I'm Orthodox. When the time comes for me, God willing many years from now, I would like to be interred. (A regular coffin burial.)

As far as I know, the Orthodox prefer that people be interred. And I will keep to that.

I haven't discussed this in depth with them yet, because the issue is so fresh in our minds. We are all sad about this.

However, I kind of don't like cremation so much, not for people. (Pets are different.) I would prefer Mom and Dad be given old-fashioned burials.

I don't want to cause a huge bugaboo at this point. I will probably not bring it up until Aunt Mary's memorial is complete.

It's just a heavy thing to think about. There I was, complaining about unimportant things - little everyday bothers - and then something serious happens.

 :'(

I was grateful to have a chance to pray this morning. It was difficult to go to church, but it gave me strength.

I'm glad you were able to feel a little better.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2015, 12:34:43 AM »
Thank you.
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist/works Warning: stories have mature content.

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Offline Theophania

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2015, 12:52:48 AM »
Biro, my mother (and maybe my father, not entirely sure) wants to be cremated, citing her fear of confined spaces. I've assured her that she won't care about being in a confined space because it's just her body, not her soul, but nope, she is adamant about this. So I definitely understand. I personally have no qualms about cremation myself, but I do worry because of what the Church says about it. I hope they both change their minds or I don't have to deal with it for a long, long, long time to come.

We are eventually going to run out of land to be buried in though, which will be an interesting situation.
It's common knowledge that you secretly want to be born in early 17th century Russia.  As a serf or a royal, I know not.  Chances are serf.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2015, 03:04:03 AM »
What would be wrong, by the way, with transforming the Empire State Building into a towering mausoleum?   :P

You couldn't pay me to be buried in such a place. Green burials FTW.

I agree that nobody should be embalmed or otherwise engage with Big Death, but are green burials even legal?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 03:04:23 AM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2015, 03:13:17 AM »
What would be wrong, by the way, with transforming the Empire State Building into a towering mausoleum?   :P

You couldn't pay me to be buried in such a place. Green burials FTW.

I agree that nobody should be embalmed or otherwise engage with Big Death, but are green burials even legal?

Yes, at least here in Oregon. The laws in most states protect people's burial rights much more than most people know (thanks to decades of brainwashing). Sometimes law enforcement is ignorant of the laws and tries to prevent the exercise of burial rights. But Amish and Orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews are all legally able to bury according to their traditions. There are some good legal resource-books out there -- check your library.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2015, 04:49:04 AM »
What would be wrong, by the way, with transforming the Empire State Building into a towering mausoleum?   :P

You couldn't pay me to be buried in such a place. Green burials FTW.

I agree that nobody should be embalmed or otherwise engage with Big Death, but are green burials even legal?

Yes, at least here in Oregon. The laws in most states protect people's burial rights much more than most people know (thanks to decades of brainwashing). Sometimes law enforcement is ignorant of the laws and tries to prevent the exercise of burial rights. But Amish and Orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews are all legally able to bury according to their traditions. There are some good legal resource-books out there -- check your library.

Oh, that's good to know. Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 04:49:25 AM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Online Arachne

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Re: Avoid embalming. Embrace composting.
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2015, 07:44:21 AM »
What would be wrong, by the way, with transforming the Empire State Building into a towering mausoleum?   :P

You couldn't pay me to be buried in such a place. Green burials FTW.

But if the graves can't be reused, then what happens when the available space runs out?

Back to the reusable graves. Or mandatory cremation.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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