Let the last journey of the dead to the soil be in an environment-friendly manner, suggested the Mar Thoma Church recently.

The Church has asked its followers not to use Chinese coffins, which are not easily decomposable. The call came from Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, the spiritual head of the Church.

The wrong practice of using ornamental imported coffins should be avoided as it has serious environmental impacts, wrote the Metropolitan in ‘Sabha Tharaka,’ the mouthpiece of the Church. These coffins are available from Rs. 10,000. Some are priced over a lakh. Such coffins should not be used in the parishes of the church, he said. The spiritual head has also banned the use of these imported coffins in common tombs, family tombs and cemeteries.

Earlier, coffins used were made of easily decomposable softwood. However, a growing trend of using ornate coffins could be seen, said a member of the Mar Thoma Church.

The display of opulence and use of good quality hard wood emerged over the years. The upper lid of the coffins would be given additional coat of polish and smooth finish. The price of the coffins would go up depending on the wood used and the touch of luxury, he said.

The price of ordinary coffins starts from Rs. 2000. Some Christian denominations have started using re-usable coffins for keeping the dead body for funeral services at the homes of the dead. The coffin would be retrieved before the funeral to be used later, he said.

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