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Letters

Weddings coverage and cremation advantages were on readers’ minds this week.

Vow views

I was happy to see the February 12 issue on "Wedding Style".” I eagerly opened it and was instantly disappointed by its nontraditional perspective. But Alyssa Giacobbe’s essay was the frosting on the wedding cake (“Having Your Cake . . .”"Having Your Cake ..."). As she attempts to weave a positive message about marriage into something popular culture can digest, I wonder: Why is there a need to timidly “sell” marriage? Pretty pictures of reception venues and cakes can’t compensate for the negative messages throughout. Is it possible to feature a story about marriage as the union of a man and woman, in love, to serve and sacrifice for each other, and the beautiful fruit of their union (not to mention the benefits to society)? As a public voice, you have a responsibility to work for the good of society and yet have been taken hostage by the politically correct – who pervert everything beautiful and make it into something solitary and selfish.

Gayle Wencis / Atkinson, New Hampshire

Continue reading below

The Globe Magazine is my go-to-first read as I settle into the Sunday paper. I was really pleased to see your featured wedding article was about a gay couple. The photos and story were beautiful. However, a story about cremation in the wedding edition, really? And the off-putting Dinner With Cupid? My goodness! I think it’s time for Cupid to retire. Miss Conduct, help this feature out!

Christine Jutres / Sunderland

I read "John Loves John"with interest, oohing and aahing over the jackets, the wedding cake, the flowers (the tractor, not so much, although it did make me chuckle!). However, I was dismayed that no mention was made of the person officiating at the marriage ceremony – in my opinion a role of even more importance than that of wardrobe consultant, caterer, or florist. I’m sure that John and John chose this person with at least as much care as they did the rest of their cast.

Kate Fitzgerald / Winchester

Parting words

In response to G. Jeffrey MacDonald’s essay on cremation vs. burial (Perspective, February 12), I recall that the Bible also tells us, “Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shall return.” Apart from carrying on religious tradition, I’m not quite sure why burial should be a “concrete sign of eternal hope” in “an age of cynicism and despair.” Given the dead body’s process of decay, it would seem to provoke the opposite reaction. I’m comforted knowing I can go directly back to that dust (via cremation) from whence I came when my time comes.

Frank Forrest / South Weymouth

Where does the Rev. MacDonald get his figure of $2,500 for a burial? Having just prepaid my 91-year-old mother-in-law’s burial, which included a $2,400 funeral director’s fee before we had purchased a single item, I know that is not possible. We purchased low- to mid-range items and planned no wake or funeral service, and the total was more than $11,000. We were stunned that a simple burial could cost that much. While money is certainly not the reason for choosing cremation over burial, I can certainly understand why many do. I also take issue with his assumption that a cremation can have no rituals. They are certainly possible whether at a wake, funeral, or gravesite. Ashes can be prayed over and buried just like a body. Spiritual traditions can be honored no matter how you decide to put a loved one to rest.

Donna Sullivan / Brookfield

While the Rev. MacDonald considers cremation a problem, I’ve long thought that it will be a necessity for the future. The population of Greater Boston in 2010 was roughly 4.6 million. One hundred years from now, nearly every one of those people will be dead. By my back-of-the-envelope calculation, that will require more than 5 square miles of burial plots. Where is everyone supposed to go? Either there will be cemeteries everywhere, or we will have to start burying people four deep, like they did in King’s Chapel Burying Ground (at least, that’s what the tour guide said). Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t need the help of a plot of ground to inspire memories of family and friends who are no longer around me. I think of them often.

Stuart Goldman / Somerville

The Rev. MacDonald shares several theories about the waxing interest in cremation. Just as he dispels the concept that interment is, de facto, more expensive, he clarifies some of the traditional religious justifications for burial. But it is misinformed and misinforming to state that cremation is the environmentally sensitive way to finalize one’s corporeal being. Foreign Policy magazine quotes an anti-cremation source saying that burning a body emits a significant amount of carbon. Cremation may save some grassy area, but it is not green. There is a process called bio-cremation. Allegedly eco-friendly, bio-cremation is the subject of a controversial push to legalize it in California. That alone should give us pause in any life-or-death decision.

Rozann Kraus / Cambridge

I don’t fear dying, but I do fear cremation. My husband’s wishes were to be in a closed casket and cremated and we obeyed. Now I choose to be cremated, when the good Lord says it’s my time, because I want to be next to my beloved. I’m OK with that now. Amen!

Glory M. Vrabel / Thompson, Connecticut

Since when is it OK for a respected newspaper to preach religious doctrine? This offensive article belongs in a church newsletter, not in a news publication upon which the community depends for objectivity and credibility.

Gail Nelson / Beverly

COMMENT Write to magazine@globe.com or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.
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