Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

29 February 2012

Grave Matter

One of those questions that surfaces from time to time:  Can I be buried in a non-Catholic cemetery?

Nowadays, perhaps, the more prominent question may be, "When I die, I want my ashes to be scattered in the ocean at Sea Isle City, except for a portion to be divided equally among my children and stored in lockets for them to wear.  Is that all right?"

Yikes.  The notion of respect for the resurrected body was not entirely rescinded with the Church's permission for cremation.  It seems nevertheless to have opened the vault to all kinds of long-standing abuses that may have been a temptation, at best, until now.

The Church does not permit cremation when the survivors intend to keep the remains at home indefinitely or divided in any way into portions.  Scattering is not permitted.  Reposition in the ground or in a mausoleum are the options.  Here is a "Catholic Update" instruction on Catholic teaching as of 1997.  Our diocesan bishops since that time have extended much leeway to parishes regarding the celebration of Mass in the presence of cremains.

No comments:

Post a Comment