I am insulted by the suggestions that “we are shackled to the traditional Christian burial process of embalming, placing in a air-tight elaborate casket and entombing the casket in a concrete vault.” Show me the text book or doctrine of any church that “calls” for this practice! This was a practice imposed upon Americans who didn’t and don’t know they have a choice. It is the result of ignorance and greedy practices of unethical funeral directors, but not Christian pastors. That generalization can be made of our American culture and granted it is the common practice in the Christian community. Granted pastors have not led the fight against these practices, but in my 45 years of seminary and ministry I have never heard that embalming and air-tight caskets or vaults were expected for Christians.” It is a common practice in the Christian community, but is not an expectation. As a Lutheran pastor I did not give leadership to members, because I was not aware that we had choices. I have long scorned and objected to the embalming and air-tight elaborate caskets. Concrete vaults were brought about by the industry, perhaps, but were adopted by cemetery boards “to keep the ground from sinking over many years.” When my mom died 4 years ago she was not embalmed, we made a simple pine casket ourselves, drove her to Minnesota from Texas in our truck and rendered the last loving care we could give, in keeping with her wishes. Our church was surprised by it, but impressed, and interested saying “I didn’t know we could do that!” I like very green death care and burials and want to be simply buried in a shroud, taken to the VA cemetery in San Antonio by my family in our truck or SUV; after months or making this a clear option, I have been assured that this is possible in Texas by the VA Scheduling office. But that the Christian community calls for embalming etc? Please, be honest. It does not! Send me your reference at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.