If you're Catholic, you can be cremated after you die, but your ashes cannot be scattered or even kept in an urn in your family's home.

(UPDATE: Well, actually you can keep them at home, but you'll have to get permission from your bishop.)

Basically, cremation has been allowed in the Catholic Church since the early 1960s, but today, the Vatican clarified its stance on the practice. Ashes are to be kept in a "sacred place," such as a church cemetery. Places ashes cannot go: in the air, on the land, at sea, in an urn on your mantle, or in mementos such as jewelry or other objects.

The ashes are also supposed to be kept together -- so no sharing ashes among family members. The ashes are to be kept in a place where they can benefit from prayers from other Christians.

Still, if the church has its way, they'd prefer Catholics be buried intact, due to belief in the resurrection of the body.

The new guidelines were released after the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

[h/t CNN, USA Today]

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