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“Earth to Earth” Burial

“Earth to Earth” Burial

Certainly we are all familiar with the traditional method of burial in a plot. During this new millennium we find innumerable other methods. Many are ecological. A particular motive is to decrease the seeming wasteful use of land. Many people elect to have their body cremated as the vessel that contains ashes does not take much space to bury or it does not even have to be buried.

Today I read an article of this nature that especially intrigued me. It harkens to the kitchen-to-garden approach of recycling known as composting. The concept is that this human body can be composted into soil. This burial application is titled “recomposition.”

The ‘re’ prefix reminds us that we are of the earth and will return to the soil. In fact, those who choose this burial form request their bodies placed in a vessel to hasten their “decomposition into a nutrient-dense soil that can then be returned to families.” Rather than the family setting a vessel of ashes of their loved ones on their mantle, the container holds soil from their loved one.

“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” a phrase from the “Common Book of Prayer,” is oft repeated at funeral services. Loved ones bodies recompositioned into soil brings a more literal meaning to the phrase, yet cultivates imagination.

May the circle be unbroken.

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