One of the marks of Christianity, especially the Catholic kind, is it's respect for the dead. Recognizing that the human body has the capacity to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit, Christians have an appreciation of the value of God's handiwork, honoring the remains of the deceased because, like the soul, the body will rise again at the Last Day, renewed through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One of the marks of our secular society is its hideous tendency to view the human body as a commodity. To the secular world, the body is a commodity that can be easily disposed of at will, at least at the beginning of the life cycle. At the end of the life-cycle, the secular materialist has to struggle with the question of meaning that they have avoided throughout life. What does one do to memorialize the human body which is, essentially, only a collection of material that accidentally came together in this form? The emptiness of materialism is found in its lack of respect for the human body, a body that was created in the image and likeness of God, and which finds its redemption in the very real, very physical Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians, we must pray for the triumph of the Spirit of God over the spirit of the Age. We must pray that all men will be enlightened by the grace of God and will see the body as the Temple it was designed to be.
See this interesting article by Michael Medved that provoked the above thoughts: