The Catholic Church on Natural Burial / “Green Burial” │ Funeral Facts

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to the funeral facts with Deacon Marc

We’ve been going on about a three-week now this is our 4th edition around the final disposition. We talked about what his final disposition? The traditional ways of final disposition, the not so traditional but permitted ways, and then last week we talked about non options and why they were non option.

This week we’re going to talk about a question that like goes on the fringe of all that and it all comes down to how do you define this answer.

Is natural burial permitted?

And anytime, I get that question all the time, can I have natural burial? and first thing I gotta ask them is: what do you consider a natural burial? because in many cases they go back into the composting and different things like that when we’ve already talked about that and that’s not a go and this is why it’s not a go, but we can do an environmentally friendly burial and the church embraces and encourages us to respect the environment and to be environmental friendly so natural burial done properly within the Catholic view is something that is greatly permitted.

So what is a natural burial that is environmentally friendly and aligned with Catholic teaching? And so I can talk about a couple of different things first of all, you don’t have to be embalmed. You can say no to embalming we don’t have to have all those chemicals in your body we don’t have to have all those chemicals in the world you can say no to embalming.

I do need to let you know though if you say no to embalming you have to have a closed casket in most cases. Most cases, most funeral homes will not let you have an unemblamed, open casket. I don’t think your family wants to have, see you unembalmed in an open casket. It just is not, the body deteriorates way too quickly. so you don’t have to have embalming.

You don’t have to have a casket, in most cases. I’ve had people asking I buried in a big sheet type of thing and the answer is yes there’s no requirement that you have a casket. Can I be buried directly on the ground? Can I my body be touching dirt? The answer is yes you can.

And then the final thing I’ve been asked is can we do it so that there’s no machinery digging the grave the answer is yes depending upon the cemetery you can do that, but it probably is going to be very expensive because it costs a lot of money to hand dig the hole that is needed for proper burial.

So those are things that you can do people to minimize the environmental impact the and all that on on the environment is that you can do no embalming, you can do no casket, you can do directly upon the ground, and you could do no machinery if you wanted to do so.

All those contribute to a natural burial so really you can have a burial where someone passes away and you’re put into the ground, but you gotta talk to the cemetery because even in our cemetery we do have one condition upon all that is that we do require that there is a cement vault placed over top of your body so that it prevents the ground from caving in.

What we don’t want to have happen is a safety issue where we have this flat cemetery then all of a sudden we have this deep ditch that is provides with the safety issue and an issue for us to do the landscaping and upkeep of it and so in our cemetery you can be buried on the ground but you have to have a cement vault over top of you to prevent that ground from caving in and make sure that it’s a safety issue.

So all those things can be done it really is a matter of if you want a natural burial call it the cemetery call us up talk to us here about all of it Saints Simeon we can work through the different issues with you and talk to you through what you can and cannot do but in the bottom line is; We want to be environmentally friendly we want to support human being environmentally friendly and there’s a lot that we can do to accomplish that

That is this week’s funeral facts with Deacon Marc make it a great day.

For more information about Catholic Church teaching, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/catholic-teaching/

Catholic Church on Water Cremation / Aquamation and Human Body Composting

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to funeral facts with Deacon Marc.

We’ve been going through a series talking about final dispositions and this one is an interesting one to me and I call it the non options. What are the things that are not options for us as Catholics and more importantly why? Why are these not the right options for us as Catholics not just because someone told us no but why are they not in options.

And so if you’re looking at the funeral industry today, it is absolutely crazy all the different options that you have we have, burial, cremation, donation of the body to science, burial at sea, alkaline hydrolysis, natural organic reduction, cryogenics, mushroom suit. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera; the list goes on and on.

So how do we navigate all this what has permitted and at some points we need to trust those that are studying morality as a church to give us some guidance but we always have to remember that whatever we’re going to do with the body at the end has to be guided by really one major thing and two other sub things of it and that is number one that paragraph 2300 in the catechism that reads:

“The body of the dead must be treated with respect and charity and faith and hope of the resurrection the burial of dead is a corporal work of mercy it honors the children of God who are temples of the Holy Spirit.”

Bottom line with anything we wanna both respect the body and how we treat it and also respect the body in its final disposition and then the other two parts that really come out of that is that the body should be interred as one unit. That doesn’t mean one solid unit but as  one unit in its entirety in a cemetery and it has a you should have the means to do that

And then the other piece of that we don’t often think about is there needs to be that promise of the long term care of the remains and that’s why a lot of places are hesitant to open up cemeteries at local churches and many diocese prefer to have diocesan cemeteries, just because we can make sure that those cemeteries are there forever rather than the church that may close in 15, 20 or 30 years and then you’re like what do we do with all these with this cemetery we have here so three things that we always want to take into consideration and we respect the body both in how are treating it and what we’re doing with it are we in turning the remains and is there long term care possibilities for those remains.

So when you’re thinking about that we have appropriate final dispositions that meet all three of those criteria burial, cremation, burial at sea, donation to scientific research with internment. All those have meet those 3 criteria could be done with respect with internment with long term Care now if we look at all the others and I’m not going to go into each one of them you can look them up if you want I know there’s a lot of curiosity about the mushroom suit but let’s look at two of the most common ones.

Alkaline hydrolysis (sometimes referred to as “water cremation” or “aquamation”) and natural organic reduction (sometimes referred to as “human body composting”) are processes where essentially your body is put into a stainless steel tube, water is combined with some different chemicals is put in and in a short amount of time that combination of the water and chemicals deteriorates all body other than the skeletal remains that water and the chemicals are then released into the sewage system and then the bones are broken down and returned to the family the other one is composting and if you think of having a compost heap back in your backyard that’s exactly similar to what’s it’s doing but a more deliberate purpose for the human body is that you’re combining the body with different things that will allow for the compost over the course of about a month in many cases is what I’ve read so now you might be asking “well what’s the problem with both of those?”

But both of those have problems and that in the respect for the body and in the internment of the remains and with regard to respect for the body both of those processes really aren’t respectful that this is part of the gods the body of that are made in the image of God and also the internment issues are an issue with both and particularly the alkaline hydrolysis much of the body other than the skeletal remains are going down with the tubes with the water rather than being buried with the individual and so in both cases individuals who when the churches looked at this with people who specialize in moral theology have really deemed that these other processes are not respectful of the human body and that we need to stick with the more traditional burial, cremation, burial at see, or donating the body to science with Interment at a later date

A lot to go into a lot of nuances with it there’s some great research and great publications out there with regards to these alternative practices that aren’t accepted we’re going to include in the notes below this video some websites that you can go to that actually have question and answers about all these different processes and can outline them a little bit better than I can in the short video but the bottom line is we got 4 dispositions that are permanent because they respect the body there’s internment of the remains and there’s long term care possibilities there and there many others that are not that way because of lack of respect of the body.

Next week we’re gonna look at one that goes I get a lot of questions about natural burial and how does that apply into these situations we’re gonna talk about that next week in funeral facts with Deacon mark make it a great day.

For more information about Catholic teaching and norms for funerals, cremation, and burial, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/catholic-teaching/

Non-Traditional Methods of Disposition │ Body Donation and Burial at Sea

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc.

It’s great to have you back. For this edition, last time we talked about final disposition, we talked about cremation, traditional body, and really what just in general final disposition is. I want to answer two questions that are fairly common I get.

One is, can I donate my body to science? And then the second question is, can we bury at sea?

And the answer to both is yes with some conditions and so, talk about both of them and start with can I donate my body to science?

Yes, but we want to ground ourselves in the overriding premise that that that is grounding for everything we do with the human body and that is stated in catechism paragraph 2300 that says:

“The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity in faith and hope of the resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy. It honors the children of god who are temples of a Holy Spirit.”

So the bottom line in everything we do, everything we talk about the treatment of the body. We’re talking about respecting it as children of the God of God and as a temple of the Holy Spirit. And so you need to look at it within that.

So then the question becomes can I have an autopsy? Can I donate my body to science? And the answer to that is yes. Paragraph two thousand three hundred and one says:

“Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal and or scientific research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritous”

And so not only is it a legitimate to do but it’s also something meritous to do to allow somebody else to have life from your research on your body or from donating the organs. Now, there’s a couple things that you gotta think about when donating a body to science and there’s two things I want you to consider.

One is that in donating a body to science, the research that’s being done under the use of the body and those parts needs to be done legally and morally. So, you don’t want to donate your body to science to research things that go against the Catholic church’s teachings or things that might go again be utilized to, for instance, promote the culture of death and so, we want to make sure that the research is legitimate is legal and also is going for a morally good purpose.

The second part of it is just like with any human body, we want to inter that body and whatever is left in a cemetery and so after the body is utilized for research, whatever is left is needs to be gathered back together and brought back to the family for a final disposition of burial or cremation and so yes, you can donate the science for legitimate, legal, and moral purposes and then, also at the same point in time with the intention of having that body brought back either cremated or traditional body burial for interment in a cemetery.

So, that’s the first question about can we donate Science. The other not so typical final disposition is burial at sea and yes, in Colorado, we don’t have the sea near us so we don’t see that many burials at sea but if you’re by the coast, you’re probably going to see more people wanting burials at sea.

Now, the first piece about the burial at sea is that it’s not normative. It’s not the normal disposition of the body but it can be utilized when it is necessary as what the different documents of the church has said is that it’s not normal but at the same point in time can be utilized as necessary and there’s nothing in cannon law that prevents the proper disposition of the final body as burial at sea.

Now, there is a couple conditions upon it. One, is that the body or the cremated remains must be buried at sea altogether. So, you can’t go out of your boat and you can’t go out of the boat and start splashing ashes all over the place. You take those cremated remains, you put them in a urn, you weight them down, and you bury them at sea all intact and the same thing with the human body.

The body needs to be placed in an appropriate container casket weighted down so that it’s buried and floats to the bottom and that it is buried as a whole body. The other piece is not church related is the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency has regulations about this.

For instance, you’re not allowed to do a burial at sea within three nautical miles I think it is of regulations as to what is allowed and permanent. The final thing I would tell you is check with your local diocese.

So, if you live in Florida, check with the diocese there. The bishop does have the authority to say this is what we’re going to do with regard to buried sea cremation all that kind of stuff. You’ll always want to check with your local diocese ‘cuz what happens here in Denver may be very different than what happens in Miami and so you do want to check there but the bottom line, Canon Law, nothing preventing burial at sea.

Donating your body to research is permitted and actually can be seen as a meritous type of thing for you to do. Next week, we’re going to talk an exhibition.

We’re going to talk about what are those things that are non options, what can’t we do, and why can’t we do them? With that, this is Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

Make it a great day.

Learn more about Catholic teaching and norms from our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/catholic-teaching/

Traditional Methods of Final Disposition – Burial and Cremation │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

 

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to this edition of Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

We just finished up talking about pre planning and planning and what’s involved in planning and why the benefits are planning. Now, I want to shift a little bit and we’re going to talk about final disposition and what are the options especially through the Catholic view of, for final disposition.

We’re going to look at the traditional ways of final disposition. Some nontypical ways. We’re going to look at natural burial in relationship to all that and then, we’re also going to look non options and discuss why those are non-options.

But to get started with you’re probably like what in the world is final disposition and if you think about those words it really is about that final action that is taken with that human body and so there’s some legal sides about that as well because in most states many states there’s permitting that is required around it and so when we’re talking about final disposition in the eyes of the church you’re really looking at two traditional ways for final disposition you’re looking at whole body burial or you’re looking at cremation and those are the final dispositions that are most common.

We’re going to talk about some uncommon ones but those are the most common final dispositions and when you’re looking at those cases. In both those cases, they require permitting in order to move to that final disposition.

So, before we can bury here at the cemetery, we need a disposition permit.

Before we can have someone cremated, we need a disposition permit and what’s in that is you gotta get a death certificate. Typically, this is done by the funeral director. They send it off to the doctor. Doctor has 48 hours in order to sign off on the death certificate. Once we get the death certificate back, then, we can apply for the disposition permit to either have the burial or the cremation.

In those cases, the final disposition of the burial, the traditional burial is the burial into that place that is part of the permit. If we’re going to someone later, we need to get permitting to move that body to a different place and we really don’t want to do that but that’s where the final disposition is bearing that person in that location.

For cremation, the final disposition is the cremation and those cremated remains is the final disposition and so in those cases in the eyes of the state, you can take those cremated remains and really do whatever you want to do with them but we’ve gotta remember just because it’s legal to do something, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean it’s the right to do and so as a church, we talk about respect for the body and respect for body that’s cremated or in intact in the same way and so we do ask that cremated remains be respected and placed into a cemetery and so that is the final disposition is that is traditional as cremation or whole body burial.

We’re going to look at next time in two examples of some more ways that are acceptable but not as traditional and we’ll talk about those next time, burial at sea and also donate your body to science.

Until that edition, this is Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

Make it a great day.

Visit our website to learn more: https://cfcscolorado.org/catholic-teaching/

Why be Buried in a Catholic Cemetery │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to funeral facts with Deacon Marc we are going to dive into today the question of why be buried in the Catholic cemetery, in the Catholic Cemetery what are the benefits of it and so that’s what going talk about.

Last week we talked about why being be buried in turn in a cemetery in general now we’re going to talk about the Catholic cemetery and what is the benefit of being in a Catholic cemetery and there are a couple of different benefits to it.

One is the care. The obligation according to Canon law for diocese to take care of their cemeteries and so oftentimes with effective leadership within the diocese as we have here in Denver the Catholic cemeteries are well beyond what you’ll find anywhere else in the local area and so the quality of the beauty that is there is just exceptional we really strive to have beauty because it’s one of those 3 transcendentals truth goodness and beauty and it’s a way to be drawn towards God and the love of God and so that is one piece of it that’s just secure the beauty that you typically find in a Catholic cemetery.

The second piece is tradition. When you go back into the early Christians, not the ones that arrive early to mass on a Sunday, but early Christians went right after Jesus went up ascending to heaven. In those early days of the church they started having martyrs and what they would often do is bury is have a church near where that person was martyred and then cemeteries started being built by those churches.

And so there’s a long tradition in Christianity and Catholicism of having the Catholic Church be the center of cemeteries and where people are laid to rest in this day and age with land the way it is and with the church spread out the way it is in cities the way we have it oftentimes we don’t have church cemeteries although many cases we do, but in most a lot of cases we have like we have here in Denver these larger cemeteries that are run by the Catholic Church and so it’s part of our tradition of bringing that community together.

And then the third piece would be prayer, and being part of a Catholic community even upon passing away we truly know and believe that prayers are prayers for those who’ve passed away make a difference and we’re called to pray for them as one of those spirit spiritual works of mercy is to pray for the dead.

So being buried here at a Catholic cemetery you have people regularly praying for those that are in our care here at the cemetery every First Friday of the month for the last decades of years and we’ve been having the First Friday that’s what we’ve been praying for all those who are in our care we get together regularly as a staff every morning we’re praying for those that are in our care and see how those prayers being said formally but then I can’t tell you how many times I’m walking and driving around the cemetery and see people walking around just saying prayers for all those that they come across as they’re walking through the cemetery.

Actually have one priest great suggestions he said go in any section of the cemetery on like All Souls day and just as you pass each gravesite say a Hail Mary with that person’s name as you walk by them and just pray for them so you’re part of this community.

We often joke we have over 150,000 people here at Mount Olivet it I think we probably have the largest parish in the whole archdiocese if we actually qualified as a parish and so there is this community of a faithful that are here and that we pray for on a daily basis.

So, does it make a difference being buried in a Catholic Cemetery? Absolutely, you’re on consecrated ground you have that prayerful community with you and we really strive to make sure that there is that beauty that it should be there and then it draws us closer to God and so funeral facts with Deacon Marc this Friday; why should we be buried in a Catholic Cemetery? Tradition, beauty, and in the prayers that go along with it.

Have a great week and God bless!

 

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

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Why Cremated Remains Should be Interred in a Cemetery – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Welcome the funeral facts with Deacon Marc. We have talked about a lot of different things over the last couple weeks the last couple months and today and then the next session we want to talk about two things that are related. Why should I have my remains interred in a cemetery and, two, why should I have my remains interred in a Catholic cemetery.

We’ll take each of those separately in two different sessions but so today we’ll talk about why should I have my remains interred in a cemetery so just to get it right off the bat we don’t often have conversations about whole bodies being buried in the backyard or in anywhere else at this point in time typically a traditional burial happens in a cemetery so for the most part when we’re talking about why should we be buried in a cemetery or interred at a cemetery we’re talking about cremated remains  and so we want to talk about three different areas the security, this psychological, and then the spiritual. And then all three of those pieces go into the big overarching piece of the whole thing of respect for the body and so let me talk about each one of those pieces separately so that we can give you some insight into why the church says yes you should be interred in a cemetery.

So, let’s start with security; was recently watching the news and on the news was a lady whose house was burglarized robbed and the people took many different things TV, money, jewelry, and this pretty vase that was left on top of the mantle. It wasn’t a vase it was an urn and they were on the news asking for their loved one back. so one reason why it being turned into a cemetery is for that safety and security of your loved one that they’re in a place that is safe and secure for their loved one to be laid for eternal rest.

Then, it brings into the psychological it helps the grieving process. I was talking to a pastor who often has people coming to them and saying hey I’ve lost my loved one X number of years ago and I’m still really grieving is that normal? and he always asks the question “was it the person buried traditionally in a casket or was the person cremated?” and then he asked the question every time he asked the question where are the cremated remains he gets the answer “they’re in the house somewhere…” and so there’s a directly direct tie between being able to go through the grieving process and then also having those cremated remains, the remains of a loved one, in a cemetery it gives you that break that changed realized life is changing. I know we all want to hold on to our loved ones but having that person in the cemetery still allows us to go and visit them but also realizing that life is changing.

And then the third piece is the spiritual side of it. Spiritually when we place our loved one into a cemetery whether they’re in a casket going into the ground, in a mausoleum, whether it’s cremated remains when we close that door when we lower them into the ground when we cover them up we are at that committal we’re also saying God I turn this loved one over to you, I give this person to you. And so we’re giving that word spiritually saying I’m trusting I’m God I’m having that hope and God

So all that comes down together if you take all three of those components together it really is about respecting the body the body that is created in the in the likeness and the image of God and so all the why do we do all those things out of respect for the body and so there is very good reason why we want individuals to be interred placed buried into a cemetery spiritually, for security wise, and for psychological reasons and overall for the respect of the body.

It does make a difference.

That is this week’s funeral facts with Deacon Marc

You have a good week and God bless you!

For more information about our ministry services, visit our website at: https://cfcscolorado.org/services/

 

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

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

“Bring Them Home Mass” gives families with cremated loved ones peace of mind

 

By Deacon Marc Nestorick

“I have had these cremated remains of my mother in my house for years; what should I do with them?” Too many people ask this question after a loved one is cremated and remains are brought home. While it is the teaching of the Church that individuals, whether full body or cremated, should be placed in a cemetery, this does not happen as often as it should. There are many different reasons people elect to bring their loved one’s cremated remains home- financial, difficulty in making the transition, convenience, etc. Typically, this is not a healthy choice for the grieving process or the spiritual growth of the survivor. In the end, many struggle as to how to respectfully place their loved one in a cemetery.

On All Souls Day this year, Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services (CFCS) offered individuals the opportunity to inter the cremated remains of their deceased loved ones in the ‘Crypt of All Souls’ in Ascension Mausoleum at no cost to the family. Thirty-nine individuals were placed in the ‘Crypt of All Souls’ this year. Some of the individuals passed away this year. Others passed away decades ago. In each case, the families decided that it was time to place their loved one in a cemetery to provide peace and security. One family member stated, “I just didn’t know what to do. This has brought us such peace.”

Family members were invited to attend a Mass followed by the Committal Service. Approximately 225 people attended. This ended with each family member bringing their loved one’s cremated remains forward to be interred in the ‘Crypt of All Souls.’ Final prayers were said for the deceased, and a blessing was provided to those in attendance.

While this is the first time CFCS offered the “Bring Them Home Mass,” the cemetery has been taking cremated remains into its care for many years.  On the third Wednesday of each month, a loved one’s cremated remains are interred into the ‘Crypt of All Souls’ with a Committal Service. The number of interred ranges from 10 – 20 per month. Again, this is done at no cost to the families. “While we take cremated remains into our care every month, we wanted to take the opportunity on this All Souls Day to increase an awareness of the opportunity to bring cremated remains into our care and the importance of that internment.” Deacon Marc, Outreach Manager for the Cemetery, went on to say that “we intend to continue our monthly ‘Crypt of All Souls’ Services while also holding the ‘Bring Them Home Mass’ on future All Souls Days.”  The work of CFCS is focused on helping people fill the void of loss with faith, and this day brought the closure that so many needed.

If you would like more information about the Crypt of All Souls, please get in touch with Deacon Marc Nestorick at deacon.nestorickm@archden.org or call the cemetery at 303-715-2083.

https://cfcscolorado.org/events/bring-them-home-mass/

https://cfcscolorado.org/mission-programs/crypt-of-all-souls/

 

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

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Veteran Funeral and Cemetery Services – Denver, Colorado │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to this week’s funeral facts of Deacon Marc, we want to talk about two things.

We’re going to start by talking about Veteran Services and then we’re going to talk about taking care of those in need and those that can’t for the funeral so we’re going to talk about those two pieces at to wrap up our series on the ministries of Catholic Funeral Cemetery Services Archdiocese of Denver and then we’ll go from there.

So today, Veteran Services. Just wanted to let people know that we do have many veterans buried here at Mount Olivet at Saint Simeon and we work with the veteran’s families to make sure that they receive their military honors to many veterans. It’s important for them to be buried in a Catholic cemetery and we can do that here. We also have programs in place to help make it more affordable for veterans to be buried in the Catholic Cemetery if that’s what they wish to do.

So please there’s a page on our website that talks about Veteran’s Services and our ministry to help the veterans as well.

https://cfcscolorado.org/mission-programs/veteran-services

But I want to talk today mostly about those who cannot afford a funeral and the piece that is important for you to know is the Catholic Church is taking care of many many and most of those in the Denver metropolitan area we have regularly individuals coming into our care that have passed away unfortunately with absolutely no means.

It doesn’t mean they’re homeless they may have been living with a family member and have no resources no savings nothing and they passed away with nothing and so we work with those families we work with the county government to provide them a proper funeral and what does that mean?

We provide them with, for example, if they’re Catholic they can have the mass they can have the committal they’re placed in a grave that is with a vault and proper casket and with a headstone with their name on it.

There’s some restrictions on it, to be good stewards you know but with what the monument is we have a standard monument for the for the families that we’re working with that are needing these services but at the same point in time every person that comes to us is given a dignified and spiritual burial here at Mount Olivet.

We haven’t turned anybody away, it is a sacrifice on many families parts for the funeral and things like that but please know those who can’t afford it a funeral are receiving it and they’re receiving it through the Catholic Church.

That is funeral facts with Deacon Marc, make it a great week.

For more information about our Veteran services, visit: https://cfcscolorado.org/mission-programs/veteran-services/

 

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

Funeral | Cremation | Cemetery |

Burying the Dead, a Spiritual Act of Mercy

Burying the dead is one of the Spiritual Acts of Mercy.

 

Funerals give us the opportunity to grieve and show others support during difficult times.  Through our prayers and actions during these times we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn.

  • Send a card to someone who has recently lost a loved one. Make your own card and use some of these prayers (click here).
  • Visit the cemetery and pray for those you have lost.
  • Spend time planning your own funeral mass, read through the Order of Christian Funerals and find our hope in the Resurrection. For a free funeral and cemetery planning guide, click here.

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 |

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.

 

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