Religion: Ashes to Ashes

For the first time since 1603,* the Church of England has been seriously revising its entire body of church laws. Anglicans are finding that many traditional religious practices have become outmoded over the centuries, that many new ones have come into usage. No new practice is more unusual—and none has gained speedier acceptance—than one discussed in convocation at London last week: scattering the ashes of the cremated dead.

Cold Ground. In crowded Britain, where many cemeteries have three layers of dead and the burial vaults are crammed with urns, ash-scattering is more common than in any other Christian country. More than 76%...

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