The Catholic Church has officially allowed cremation since 1963 with the expectation that the body would be brought to the Church for the funeral liturgy followed by cremation. More recently, the Holy See has authorized the celebration of funeral liturgies in the United States with cremated remains present.
According to the Order of Christian Funerals, “The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport and the final disposition. The cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in mausoleum or columbarium.
The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.” (Order # 417) This is why the burial of ashes in the earth or placement in a tomb or columbarium is called for.
The Catholic Church desires to keep holy the burial places of the dead – and to make them places of prayer. This is why it is always desirable to commit the remains of our loved ones in a blessed cemetery with appropriate marks of remembrance. For more information on cremation and the proper disposition of cremated remains please contact us.