Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Intimately associated with Christ’s death and resurrection is the hope of our own resurrection from the dead. Faith in our own resurrection is inseparable from faith in Jesus’ resurrection. As Saint Paul reminds us, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile…” (I Corinthians 15:17).
The body, which in life houses so many gifts of God and is the temple of the Holy Spirit, is worthy of particular care even after this earthly life has ended. It is still the mark of a devout and faithful Catholic to provide that his or her remains are buried in conformity with our faith and the norms of the Church, in a Catholic cemetery where the whole Church offers prayers for eternal rest and peace.
It is inevitable that we will all have to make decisions about our final arrangements. It is a good idea to give the matter of burial arrangements some consideration ahead of time. If death comes suddenly, it becomes difficult to make good decisions at a time when grief and concern for the future throw the mind into turmoil. Even when death is expected, grief drains our energy and clouds our ability to think clearly. I know from the experience of my own mother’s death how helpful and what a source of consolation the ministry of The Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh can be.
My hope is that you will be open to receiving this information from Catholic Cemeteries while reflecting on the sacredness of Christian burial at the time of death.
Grateful for our belief that “Nothing is Impossible with God,” I am
Your brother in Christ,
Most Reverend David A. Zubik
Bishop of Pittsburgh