Steps to Making Funeral Arrangements in Advance: Pre Planning

Although trends have dramatically shifted over the years, some people postpone making burial or funeral arrangements in advance because they don’t view these important decisions as a priority. 

As a Catholic, you may strongly desire to adhere to the Church’s teachings regarding burial, funeral, and committal rites, but you avoid engaging in these topics regardless of the potential circumstances. 

The Catholic Cemeteries Association of The Diocese of Pittsburgh is here to help you. Now is the time to pre-plan your final arrangements. This loving act frees your family from making difficult choices during an already stressful time. 

Below is an overview of the pre-planning process. We’ll look at the steps you can take to help pre-plan your funeral and discuss why advanced planning is so important. 

Steps To Help Pre-Plan Your Funeral

Avoid Mistake #1 – Making a Decision Without Enough Information

Making funeral arrangements in advance involves more than choosing a headstone or grave marker. After you establish your budget, you’ll need to make several decisions. Today’s Catholic funerals have many personalized options. But you can’t make an informed choice if you aren’t aware of all your options. 

The Catholic Cemeteries Association’s funeral professionals will help guide you through the process step-by-step. We can walk you through the options available in the Pittsburgh area. Some of the commonly asked questions we can provide answers to include:

  • Is above-ground entombment (mausoleum) more or less expensive than in-ground burial?
  • Can a non-Catholic spouse, child, or relative be buried in a Catholic Cemetery?
  • Can Cremated remains still be buried in a Catholic Cemetery if they’ve been kept at home for a long period of time?

Adhere to Catholic Teachings About Cremation

As you pre-plan your final arrangements, you may wonder what the teachings say about cremation. The Catholic Church has officially allowed cremation since 1963. 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 a mausoleum or columbarium.”

The Catholic Church desires to keep holy the burial places of the dead. This is why it is always desirable to commit the remains of our loved ones in a blessed cemetery with the appropriate entombment options, such as a mausoleum or columbarium. 

Make Sure You Have an Up-to-Date Will

An outdated will may not reflect your current wishes or plans. Without an updated will, a probate judge will likely divide your assets. This process can take some time and create hard feelings. 

It’s a good idea to review your will annually. You will also want to make immediate changes if a birth, death, marriage, or divorce impacts your will. An up-to-date will eliminates misunderstandings and allow your final wishes to be known to your loved ones.

Pre-Plan with a CCA Representative

The Catholic Cemeteries Association can help you make arrangements that honor your personal preferences and your family’s needs while following the Church’s teachings. Our representatives know that these are difficult conversations to have. We provide compassionate and knowledgeable services.

Consider Prepayment for Your Memorial Arrangements

Prepayment ensures that your pre-planning choices are honored. Your loved ones won’t have to choose between honoring your final wishes and financial considerations. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your funeral will be conducted as you want.

CCA offers several options to finance your final arrangements, many of which include long-term interest-free financing. 

As far as planning goes, The Catholic Family Security Association (CFSA) offers a funeral-planning alternative called The Catholic Funeral Plan (CFP), which you can use at any funeral home. You can meet with a CFP agent to further discuss this alternative.

Communicate Your Wishes To Family

Depending on the circumstances at the time of death, your family may or may not know what your wishes are if you haven’t pre-arranged. Ideally, you should inform your family members about your arrangements so that they will honor them as outlined. Putting these wishes into writing is better than a conversation. People can forget important details or disagree about what you requested. Let your family know the cemetery where you made your final arrangements.

Make Pre-Planning Arrangements with The Catholic Cemeteries Association of The Diocese of Pittsburgh

Making funeral arrangements in advance relieves your family of the financial and emotional burden. Making these decisions today also ensures that your Catholic traditions will be honored. At The Catholic Cemeteries Association, we can help you with the pre-planning process.

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