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Perspective

Why traditional burying of the dead still matters

Cremation is on the rise, and this is the problem.

Let the dead bury their own dead, Jesus tells his followers. But these days, it seems, even the living think they can’t afford to do it. Their question: Why bother?

Americans increasingly cremate remains, at least in part with hopes of saving on funeral expenses. One-third of those who chose cremation in 2010 had said cost was a factor, up from 19 percent in 1990, according to a Funeral and Memorial Information Council survey of 858 adults. In Nevada, where unemployment and foreclosure rates are through the roof, 73 percent of those who died were cremated. That was up from 65 percent in 2006 and more than any other state.

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