What is a Catholic Cemetery?

Below is a transcript the the video:

So, you might be wondering, what is a Catholic cemetery and why is it important?

The grounds of a Catholic cemetery are consecrated and are an extension of the Catholic Church.   They play a vital role in our Catholic faith and are a symbol of the reverence we hold for the human body when the soul passes on to God.  The cemetery says to the world, the body rests here in this sacred ground to be remembered and reverenced as we wait, in hope, for the promise of the resurrection.

So, when families come to Mt. Olivet Cemetery, they enjoy the beauty and they are comforted as they remember their loved ones, knowing that that they all will one day be reunited together with God.  And to clarify, you don’t need to be Catholic to be buried at Mt. Olivet. We are available to all faiths.

For more information about our cemetery services in the Denver Metro Area, visit https://cfcscolorado.org/services/cemetery/

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Cremation and the Catholic Holy Mass – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to this week’s Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

We’ve been doing a series on cremation, and we talked about is cremation permitted in the Catholic Church. We talked about do’s and don’ts of cremation. Today we’re going to address our final question and that is, can you have a funeral mass if you’re cremated?

The basic answer to that is yes. But let’s go into a couple details of it.

First of all, if you’re going to be cremated it is preferred that the body be present for the mass. So, the idea being you have the vigil, you have the mass, then you have the cremation and then you place the individual into a cemetery.

So that is the preferred way. There’s a lot of spiritual and psychological benefits to it. There’s a benefit to your family, seeing the body there, being present there, seeing the body at the mass, receiving communion and all that with the body presence. So that is the preferred, it is permitted to have the cremated remains present.

So, you can have the cremated remains present instead of the body, but it’s preferred to have the body. Now People ask, well, why would you not have the body?

Having the body present is a little bit more expensive because there’s transporting the body, caring for the body. You need a casket, all those different types of things. So, the preferred is the body present but it is permitted to have the cremated remains there.

If the cremated remains are present the mass and the committal are very similar except for a few minor things that a lot of people wouldn’t even notice. The biggest one that people probably would notice is there’s no pall placed onto the cremated remains we place a pall on the casket reminding us of the white garment we receive at the baptism and that is connected to dying and rising with Christ and so we put the pall on the casket to remind us of our baptism and the connection to the baptism. If the cremated remains are there, we don’t do anything as far as putting the pall on there and all that. So that’s the biggest piece.

The piece that most people wouldn’t notice is there’s some little minor changes in the prayers that are said. But other than that, it is a funeral mass as everything else would be.

And so, we’re looking at yes you can have a funeral mass if you’re cremated preferably with the body present but if not still have that mass because we want you to have graces of that mass as you go on your journey to the heavenly father.

This is Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

Have a great week.

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Catholic Cremation Dos and Don’ts – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to this week’s funeral facts with Deacon Marc.

If you remember back to our last session, we talked about cremation and we talked about is cremation permissible? and permitted within the Catholic Church? and the answer was: It is permitted, it’s still preferred to bury the body, but it is permitted, and you can go back to that video series to talk about all the different reasons why and what the church teaches about that.

So today what we want to look at is what are the do’s and don’ts with cremated remains? Essentially the bottom line of all that is we do what we do with the human body, and we don’t do what we don’t do with the human body.

All of that is grounded in an overriding principle of respect for the body whether the body’s intact or cremated there’s a respect for their body as a creation of God, created God’s image and in many cases someone who’s been baptized, received communion, received Christ body blood soul and divinity in communion with our Lord and savior.

There’s an overriding principle that we want to respect the body whether the body has been left intact and buried or whether the body is cremated.

So, what do we not do?

We don’t spread the ashes and we don’t make the ashes into things. There’s a variety of reasons why we don’t do those things beyond just the respect for the body. I was recently a couple years ago with a first or second grader who lost grandma she was given a necklace with grandma’s cremated remains within and she lost it, and she was devastated and wasn’t there she lost necklace she lost grandma.

We out of respect for the body what we do ask is that the cremated remains to be placed in a cemetery there are multiple reasons for that, respect for the body, security of the remains, giving you a place where you can go and visit your loved one, and finally putting someone into the cemetery provides for psychological and spiritual transition in the grieving process.

It’s very important there’s many different options available we’re going to talk about the ministry we have later about the crypt of all souls where we inter cremated remains but that’s a whole other podcast. So today we’re talking about the do’s and don’ts of cremated remains we do what we do with the body we don’t do what we don’t do with the body we don’t scatter we don’t make them into things and place them in a cemetery.

That is this week’s funeral facts with Deacon Marc have a great week!

For more information about CFCS Colorado’s cremation services, visit https://cfcscolorado.org/services/cremation/

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Comforting the Sorrowful, a Spiritual Act of Mercy

Hugging Thornton CO Funeral Home And Cremations

Pope Francis appealed for a “culture of care” in his message for the 2021 World Day of Peace released on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. The Church’s Spiritual and Corporal Acts of Mercy can help guide us towards this “culture of care”.

Comforting the sorrowful, especially those dealing with grief, is one of the Spiritual Acts of Mercy.

Comforting the Sorrowful

Be open to listening and comforting those who are dealing with grief. Even if we aren’t sure of the right words to say, our presence can make a big difference.

• Lend a listening ear to those going through a tough time.
• Make a home cooked meal for a friend who is facing a difficult time.
• Write a letter or send a card to someone who is suffering.
• A few moments of your day may make a lifetime of difference to someone who is going through a difficult time.

Source: https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/jubilee-of-mercy/the-spiritual-works-of-mercy

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

What the Catholic Church Teaches about Cremation – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark,

Excited to be here with you today, we’re going to talk about a topic that we get a lot of questions about and that is cremations.

I want to talk about cremation first and foremost and be very clear as to the approach we’re going to take and talking about cremations today because when you bring up cremations, you have people all over the place. Some that feel very strongly of cremation should occur. People that feel strongly of cremations shouldn’t occur.

We’re not going to go into what should or shouldn’t happen but really stick to what DOES the church teach about Cremation? And so there’s three pieces that we’re going to go through today we’re going to answer the question;

  • Does the church permit cremation?
  • How do you care for the ashes?
  • What happens at mass with regards to cremated remains?

Those will be the three topics we’re going to talk about but for today we’re going to start about with the question that we get all the time is that does the church permit cremation?

So the answer to that is yes, the church does permit Cremation. Since 1963, the Church has officially permitted Cremation and in the last couple years, they’ve given some great direction on helping us understand the why behind Cremation and so there’s two documents always helpful to learn a little bit about why the church teaches what it does, and so there’s two documents that I really encourage if you have questions about why does the church teach this, and what we’re going to talk about today.

I’d encourage you first and foremost to go to a document that was put out by Pope Francis in 2016, it’s instructions on regarding the burial of a deceased and the conservation of ashes of cremated remains and so that was put out in 2016 and the Vatican does a really nice job of explaining some of the background behind how we should care for a body whether it is a full body or whether it is cremated.

Just recently back in March the American Bishops put out an amazing document on the proper disposition of the bodily remains and so that one also goes into some great detail talking about why does the church teach what it teaches. Really would encourage you to look at those two and we’ll provide some web links for those as well.

So, the church does permit cremation but it’s very clear, we need to be very clear about it, Permits cremation, but the preference is always a bodily burial and so you might be asking why is that the case and so let me quote from what the American Bishops put out in the proper disposition of the bodily remains.

They wrote, “The church considers burial to be the most appropriate way of manifesting reverence for the body of the deceased. As it is clearly an expression of our faith and hope in the resurrection of the body. While the church permits cremation unless it is chosen for reasons contrary to the Catholic faith, the preferred method is burial”

There’s a couple key things within that.

One is a cremation is permitted but two that full burial of the body is what is preferred out of reverence for the body and also expression of faith in life everlasting and in the resurrection. There’s an interesting statement within that it says that the cremation is permitted as long as there’s you’re not doing it choosing it for reasons contrary to the Catholic faith.

So what is that mean?

You’re not doing you don’t want to do cremation to say hey “I don’t believe in the resurrection so I’m going to cremate my body” that’s not accordance with our faith and that would be a reason to say we shouldn’t really do the cremation because you we do believe in the resurrection that is a basis of our faith.

The idea being is that the cremation is permitted but still for a lot of different reasons spiritual psychological reasons for those that remain behind, the bodily burial is the preferred. The other piece that they wrote is the body is not something that is used temporary by the soul as a tool and that can ultimately be disregarded as no longer useful.

Jesus Christ has promised that one day at the final resurrection, the souls of the dead will be reunited with their bodies. Jesus himself did not leave his body in the tomb but rather rose from the dead with his own body.

Christ rose from the dead with his body and all. For that same reason as an expression of our faith in the resurrection. Burial of the body is what is preferred.

So, to answer this week’s question, is Cremation Permitted?

It is permitted. But the burial of the whole body is preferred.

Gave you two documents that the church has written. There’s another book that outlines his teachings and are the history of death and beliefs of Christianity around death and burial? That is a Scott Hahn book, Hope to Die is another great resource you can use to learn a little bit more about it.

So, That’s this week’s Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark,

Make it a blessed week!

Other Resources:

Presentation of the Instruction Ad resurgendum Cum Christo regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation:
https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2016/10/25/161025b.html

U.S. Bishops’ Doctrine Committee Issues Statement on the Proper Disposition of Bodily Remains:
https://www.usccb.org/news/2023/us-bishops-doctrine-committee-issues-statement-proper-disposition-bodily-remains

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Stations of a Catholic Funeral – Part 4: The Rite of Committal – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

We’ve been going through a journey where we started talking about why we have funerals and the four basic reasons why we have funerals; that worshipping God, thanking God for his love and mercy, for asking God’s graces to fill that void that we have with faith, and then finally to pray for that person who passed away.

And then we talked about the fact that there are three stages or stations to the right of Christian funerals, and we talked about the vigil, we talked about the funeral liturgy which is the funeral mass the source and summit of our faith, and then today we’re talking about that final stage the committal.

The committal is a very powerful time it’s that time where we are saying goodbye to the loved one for that final time and turning it that loved one over to God in their final resting place in most cases the committals held right where that person is going to be laid to rest and so there are times when it can’t be you have pouring down rain you have snow hail whatever it may be sometimes the presider won’t end or the family will say let’s hold it inside the building and then we’ll move to that place to final rest and place the person in the ground or in that fault or niche or whatever it may be but for the most part that committal is held right at graveside or right at that point of the person being placed in that in a niche where they’ll have that final resting place.

There are two forms of a committal there’s the right of committal and then there’s also the right of committal with commendation so if the person didn’t have a funeral liturgy didn’t have a commendation at the funeral liturgy that can be done at the committal time as well but for the most part most people have that liturgy and we’re doing the right of committal and so we’ll talk about that today.

The committal has a couple of different pieces to it there’s the introductory right where we talk and welcome people to the right and we really talk about the fact that we’re here for two reasons one again to pray for that person passed away and secondly to pray for ourselves and ask God to fill us at this time of trouble that this time where many of us are feeling a lot of pain.

We’ll then have a very brief scripture verse just to ground ourselves back into scripture and a scripture verse that we read and then there’ll be a prayer of over that place of final commitment and oftentimes that location will be sprinkled with holy water and blessed at that point in time if it is not already blessed.

After we have the prayer of the place of final rest that is where traditionally the person is laid to rest so if the person is a traditional burial that casket will be lowered into their place or if they’re being placed in a niche the person will be placed in the nitche and door will be placed over in front of it.

That can also be done at the end of the right for pastoral reasons if it’s believed it’s best to do so at that time but in a lot of ways it makes sense to do it here because then after that final committal of that person into the ground or into their place of rest then there is the Lord’s prayer, there’s a final prayer for the individual and then there is the blessing of those that are there and so it kind of does bring closure to the whole right by having that committal of the body take place right there in the middle.

And so, you have some opening prayers the committal of the body and then some closing prayers and the blessing at the end. People always ask, “should we stay for that committal body into the final resting place?” and I always highly encourage it.

The reason being is we are physical psychological beings and we’re spiritual beings as well and that seeing that person laid into the ground or put into the nitche has a very powerful impact in helping us in those four components that we’ve talked about regularly about why do we have funerals and so being present therefore that is highly recommended and highly impactful in most cases as well but it’s also understandable as to why people wouldn’t be there for that

And so, it all does come down to why do we have the right of Christian funerals? why do we have a committal? We have a committal because we’re going to thank God for his love, we’re going to worship him and we’re going to ask God to fill us with his graces through this right, and then finally we’re praying for that person on their journey.

That is our funeral facts this week with Deacon Marc make it a great week and May God bless you.

 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Stations of a Catholic Funeral – Part 3: The Funeral Mass – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

We’ve been going through we started a couple weeks ago looking at why do we have funerals and so we have those three stations and today we really want to talk about the liturgy and what is the liturgy, and we need to go fundamentally that the liturgy, the mass is the source and the summit of our faith.

So, when we’re thinking of the liturgy, it is really that high point where we’re coming from the home with the vigil. We’re moving into the church where we’re putting up placing ourselves directly in god’s presence through that source and summit of the liturgy of Mass and then finally we’re moving to the cemetery for the committal where we will be turning our loved one over to the love of god and the mercy of god and committing on to their final resting place so the funeral liturgy again the most common preferred way is the funeral mass this is a traditional mass with a couple different components in it that we’ll talk about but then you can also do the funeral liturgy outside of mass for different pastoral reasons.

It may be we don’t can’t get a priest. It may be that for the good of the family that it’s better to do the liturgy outside of the mass. We have two formats. The funeral liturgy outside of mass
and in the preferred the funeral mass itself and that is what we will spend our time talking about what is that funeral mass look like.

The other piece before we go into that those components is the church really highly recommends and asks that the body be present for that Funeral Mass. Now, the cremated remains can be, but the preferred way is always to have that body present representing for the body of Christ that was there and laid to rest at the same point in time. Having the body there provides both spiritual and psychological benefits for those attending the liturgy and so there’s spiritual and psychological reasons for it but we really do like to have the body present for that funeral liturgy for that funeral mass but the same point in time you can have the cremated remains and there’s a lot of different reasons why people do that as well.

When we’re thinking about the mass, the liturgy, it follows basically the same format as a traditional mass but at the beginning and the end, there’s some slight differences. At the beginning, you’re going to most likely have the reception of the body. If you have a full body there, a pall will be placed over the casket reminding us of the the white garment that was provided to us at our baptism. We’ll have the sprinkling right. We’re reminded of the baptism of the of the loved one going back to the sprinkling and of the baptismal washing that occurred at the baptism and so we’ll have that reception right.

The individual will be brought into the chapel at that point in time and then the mass will proceed as typical with the liturgy of the word, the liturgy of the Eucharist and then at the end, we have the commendation prayers and the commendation prayers have some different components to it where we’re asking God to take this loved one into his care and take him into his arms at that point in time and so when you think of the funeral mass it really is a similar components of a mass with just a an addition at the beginning of the end.

Now one of the things I think needs to be clear and we’ll end with is who is that mass for? Often times, I’ll be talking to families that come in and say you know what we don’t really practice our faith anymore even though mom went to church every single day, we don’t really think we need to have the mass. Well, the bottom line is that Funeral Mass, well, it has some benefits for ourselves and filling that void that we may have. The Funeral Mass is for that person who passed away. It’s their final time in the church. It’s their final time within that sacrament of the Eucharist and so, when we’re thinking about the Funeral Mass, this is really a time for that loved one who passed away where we’re praying for their soul, their journey that they’re having to the heavenly father and so important that we remember that that mass is really for that person who passed away.

And so there we have it the second station the funeral liturgy where you have the funeral mass but you can also have the liturgy outside of mass with it again all that goes back to why do we have funerals we have it to worship god we have it to thank him for his love and mercy we have it to ask for his graces to fill us and fill that void that we have at the loss of loved one and finally we have it to pray for that person passed away.

We thank you for joining us this week and make it a great week.

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Stations of a Catholic Funeral – Part 2: The Vigil – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Last week when we got together we talked a little bit about what were the reasons we have Catholic funerals and talked about that we give thanks to God for his love and mercy of us that we worship God that we asked God to help us fill with his graces that void of that loss that we have, and then finally we pray for that person that passed away.

And then we introduced at that time that there are three stations to right of Christian funerals as the vigil or sometimes called the wake the funeral liturgy and then the right of committal and so today what we’re going to do is spend a little bit of time just going through that first one the vigil service or the wake and what is that look like and what is its purpose.

The vigil has evolved many times over the years, I can remember early in my childhood my parents going to vigils for many, many nights in a row. My wife can tell stories about her grandfather having wake or vigil on the living room table at their house in New York.

Typically vigils are the night before the funeral but they are usually before the funeral it’s the first time the community gathers together to come together to remember the person passed away but then also at the same point in time beginning praying to god and filling that void of loss with god’s love with god’s grace and the graces of the holy spirit and so it’s that time when they come together. The vigil has a couple different components to it.

A traditional vigil starts out with the introductory right welcoming opening prayer and then we ground ourselves as we should always in scripture with the opening reading either from the Old Testament or the New Testament the gospel a brief, brief homily to ground ourselves and have a reflection in that scripture and then after we ground ourselves in scripture we then have time for intercessory prayer and that intercessory prayer can take on a different component with it.

Often times it can be traditional like we do at mass where we say we pray for the world. Let’s pray to the Lord. Lord hear our prayer.

And we do those different litanies of intercessory prayers. The intercessory prayer can also be the rosary. The rosary is one big intercessory prayer where we’re asking for Mary to intercede on our behalf for us. And so we have that intercessory prayer.

Then finally ending with the our father and a blessing of all those who are coming here and again as we’re thinking about those components what we’re doing again is grounding ourselves and remembering that god loves us that we’re worshiping him we’re praying for that person who passed away and then at the same point in time we’re asking god to fill us with his love so that we can make it through that very difficult time.

The vigil again is that first time we get together and we start remembering that person so it’s a very appropriate time to have eulogies and how people speak about that person and the impact of that person in their lives and it really is that preparation stage where spiritually, psychologically, we’re getting ready to make that transition from the home then to the church where our second station is the liturgy and we’ll talk about that in a future video and then finally, the Committal where we go to the cemetery and so you have this progression and at the same point in time supporting each other through that

So that’s our funeral facts for this week. We’ve talked about the vigil at first stage. An important stage for us as we could go through the three stations of the Right of Christian Funerals.

Make it a great week and God bless you.

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Stations of a Catholic Funeral – Part 1: What is involved? – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

 Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to funeral facts with Deacon Marc. This will be a section of a weekly blog where we talk about funeral facts from a Catholic perspective, something none of us really want to talk about but it’s important for all of us to understand because we all have to deal with it at one point or another with family, loved ones, and eventually with ourselves.

So, let us begin today. We’re talking about why do we have funerals and what is the order of Christian funerals?

The Church has had funerals since day one we can see that with Lazarus with Christ when he raised him from the dead and we throughout church history funerals have played an important role within the Catholic faith.  So, why do we have them?

I’ve asked this question to people and one of the most interesting responses I get was well we need do something with the body.

Well, yes we need do something with the body but we want do that respectfully and there are reasons why we have funerals, and really there are four primary reasons why we have funerals. We can have all these other reasons but there are four primary ones.

One, we want to worship God. We want to come together and worship Him for He gave us our lives, and He gave us that opportunity to be with that person and so we’re thanking Him and worship Him.

We’re also thanking God and remembering about His mercy that He has for us, His ultimate mercy. None of us deserve that mercy but He is merciful, loving, and we trust in His mercy and so we thank Him for that mercy.

The third reason is to fill that void of loss that we have with that person who’s no longer with us and so we come together as a community we pray with each other, we grieve with each other, and we’re filling that void with Christ and God at our center of our lives.

And then the fourth reason is probably maybe the most important reason is; we’re praying for that person on their journey. Christ told us that not everybody goes to heaven he says that the gate is narrow and the road is thin and not everybody is going to get through that and so we want to pray for that person on their journey on their journey to the heavenly Father.

Four reasons why we have Catholic funerals:

1) Worship God
2) Thank God for His mercy
3) Fill the void of loss with faith
4) Pray for the deceased

So then what does a funeral look like?

You know I can remember growing up when we had funerals it would seem like they would go on for an entire week and things have changed over the years but the one piece that has remained the same is there really are three stations to the order of Christian funerals.

First, we have the vigil, this is when the community comes together and they start remembering the person, they also start praying to God and coming together and filling that time with the love of God you know in a prayerful type of way.

The second piece is the funeral liturgy, typically this is the mass that can be a funeral liturgy outside of the mass but this is when we go to the source and summit the Eucharist and we pray for that person and we have that mass in honor and intention for that individual.

And then, finally we have the committal, and this is typically out of the grave site where we say the final prayers and we commend that individual to God and to their last lasting resting place.

And so there are those three stages and it’s interesting when you look at those three stages it really goes from the home, to the church, to the cemetery, and it’s like a procession of taking that person on a journey and we go on that journey with them. So, we’re going from the home of the vigil to the to the church with the mass and finally to the cemetery with the committal.

So, three stations we’ll be talking about those more in depth over the next couple weeks but that does for today’s issue of funeral facts with Deacon Marc.

We hope they have a blessed week!

 

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A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

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