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/

cemetery in Aurora, CO
Personalizing Your Loved One’s Funeral

 

The service that is held before the burial in a cemetery in Aurora, CO. is the funeral. These services have been taking place in one form or another for over thousands of years. These rituals are important in many cultures as a way to honor the deceased as well as focus on the moving of life from this world to the spiritual one.

While these services have a typical order of service, they can be customized to make them more personal for your loved one. Let’s look at some ways this is done.

Change Up the Guestbook Into Something Different

When guests first arrive at the service, they will make their way over and sign the guestbook. This is the first opportunity to change things up a little. Rather than having guests just sign their name in the book, invite them to write a short memory or other note instead. This will make the guestbook a keepsake that you can look back on.

Personalize the Décor

Another way to customize the service is by the décor. This could be anything from using their favorite color to their favorite holiday for inspiration. For example, if they loved Christmas, you could include holiday décor and poinsettias. If they loved the color yellow, you could use yellow flowers, tablecloths, candles, or other elements. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look “traditional”. Guests won’t mind and in fact, may enjoy it as it can make them feel more connected to the deceased.

Display a Photo Collage

Creating a photo collage display provides a perfect opportunity to show off your loved one’s life and personality. You could add photos that show things like:

  • Their wedding, graduation, or other big life events
  • Childhood photos
  • Photos of their first car or other things that were important to them
  • Achievements, medals, and ribbons
  • Images of them surrounded by friends and/or family
  • Images of them enjoying their hobbies or passions

When choosing photos, you can ask other family members and even close friends for photos as they may have some great photos you have not even seen before.

Serve Their Favorite Dishcemetery in Aurora, CO

At the reception after the funeral consider serving your loved one’s favorite dish. Maybe it was something that was homemade by you or them. Perhaps it was a savory entrée from a local restaurant. Whatever it was, serving it at the reception as either the entire menu or part of it is a wonderful way to personalize this event. And don’t forget about the drink. Did they have something they always loved? Maybe sweet tea or lemonade? Perhaps a favorite beer or wine? Make sure to include this as well.

Final Thoughts

You can see that there are a variety of ways you can customize your loved one’s funeral. This can bring much comfort to families who wish for something a little more unique. If you would like more information on services at the cemetery in Aurora, CO., or more ways to customize your loved one’s tribute, contact us today as we are always here to help.

cemetery in Aurora, CO
How to Care For Your Loved One’s Gravesite

Gravesites are a very special place. They are the final resting place for your loved one. They are also a place where you and others will visit when you wish to feel close and connected to the deceased. Because of how special this space is, you will want to ensure its beauty and upkeep throughout the years. While your cemetery in Aurora, CO. may have grounds maintenance, it is nice to know how to take care of your loved one’s gravesite yourself as well to ensure it is always up to your standards.

Caring for the Headstone

Your loved one’s headstone is an important feature of the gravesite. This tribute serves as a monument to them as well as holds important information such as their name and dates of birth and passing. You want to keep the headstone clean and in good condition. Depending on the material of the headstone, you may need different supplies or a different cleaning technique. Some popular materials and the best method of cleaning are:

Marble Headstones

  • Start by soaking the stone in water. This can be done by using a spray bottle, hose, or bucket.
  • Create a mixture of ammonium hydroxide and water at a 1:4 ratio. Then, using a soft-bristled brush apply the mixture and gently scrub the headstone.
  • Rinse the headstone thoroughly with water

Granite, Sandstone, Slate Headstones

  • Soak the entire headstone with clean water
  • Use a non-ionic detergent and mix one ounce to 5 gallons of water
  • Use a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the headstone
  • Make sure to rinse completely with clean water

Maintaining the Overall Site

As mentioned, most cemeteries will have groundskeepers to perform tasks such as mowing the grass, trimming trees, etc., but the maintenance of the individual sites is many times left to the families. You can keep the site looking nice by doing things such as:

  • Raking leaves
  • Trimming grass edges
  • Pulling weeds
  • Picking up sticks or other debris
  • Add grass seeds to any bare patches
  • Water the site

Gravesite Decorationscemetery in Aurora, CO

While adding a flag, flowers, or another décor to a gravesite can be a lovely memento for your loved one, always make sure to check with the cemetery for what items are (and aren’t) allowed. The same is true for materials of vases for flowers as many cemeteries will not allow glass or other materials to be used. This is because if they break or get damaged they can pose a safety risk to visitors and groundskeepers. Always check with your cemetery before leaving anything at the site.

If you live too far from the cemetery in Aurora, CO. to visit it and care for it regularly, there are typically options for extra services from the cemetery as well as other providers who will maintain the site for you. They will charge a fee but it is well worth it knowing your loved one’s gravesite is being maintained and cared for.

cemetery in Wheat Ridge, CO
Steps to Take When a Death Has Occurred

The moments immediately following a loved one’s death can be filled with confusion, loss, and uncertainty. At first, the situation may seem not real; like a bad dream. You may not know what to do or who to contact. Although eventually, you will make arrangements with a cemetery in Wheat Ridge, CO., there are many steps that need to be taken before that. To help you know what to do when your loved one passes, keep reading as we break down the tasks and when they should be completed.

(Immediately) Get a Declaration of Death

The first thing you will need to do when your loved one passes is to acquire a legal pronouncement of death; a death certificate. This can be done by calling 911 and having the ambulance transport your loved one to the emergency room where a doctor can then make the declaration of the passing. If your loved one was in a retirement or assisted living home, then typically, the staff there will take care of this for you.

(Immediately) Notify the Family

Following your loved one being pronounced as having passed, you will then need to notify other family members. Understandably, this can be a very difficult phone call to make. However, it is important that other family members are informed. If you don’t feel up to making several phone calls, notify one family member and ask them to let the others know.

(Within the Next Few Days) Plan The Arrangements

In the days following the passing, you will need to decide on the arrangements for your loved one. This will include things like what type of body disposition you would like for them to have as well as planning any services.

(In the following days) Secure Their Home and Propertycemetery in Wheat Ridge, CO

In the next few days, you will also need to ensure your loved one’s home is safe and secure. Doing things like making sure doors and windows are locked, taking perishable food out of the refrigerator, and making sure any valuables are secure will ensure their home is taken care of.

(In the Following Weeks) Secure All of Their Accounts

It is a good idea to have your loved one’s mail forwarded to your address so that you can begin looking at their bills and other accounts. This will help you know what you will need to take care of. These accounts can include things like car loans, house payments, credit cards, and more.

While this can all seem like a lot to handle, and the truth is told, it is, remember it doesn’t have to all be done at one time. Just take each step at once, breathe, and then go on to the next task. Also, make sure to ask other family members to help with whatever they may be able to. This will take some of the burdens off of you.

Along with making arrangements with a cemetery in Wheat Ridge, CO, there are many other things that need to be taken care of when your loved one passes. Because of this, and the grief you are feeling, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Just know that we are here to help and remember to just take it to step by step.

cemetery in Aurora, CO
Keep These Things in Mind When Selecting a Casket

Making arrangements for ground burial in a cemetery in Aurora, CO. requires making several decisions. Other than the grave marker, one of the most important decisions is the selection of your loved one’s casket. With so many types and styles, as well as ways to customize them, this decision can be a little daunting. We are going to look at some of the major elements to keep in mind when making this important choice.

Casket Material Construction

One of the things you will need to decide is what type of material you want the casket to be made from. There are several different materials available with each having its own set of characteristics such as some being more durable with others may be more decorative.

Some of the most common types to choose from include copper, bronze, metal, gold, stainless steel, wood, veneer, laminate, wicker, bamboo, and even eco-friendly caskets.

Type of Casket Top

Caskets typically offer two choices when it comes to the tops. Either a half-couch or full-couch design. A half-couch design consists of the top half being able to be opened with the bottom half staying stationary. By contrast, a full-couch design allows the top to be opened fully on both halves.

Inside Lining

The inside lining of the casket is often satin but families can choose from other materials such as velvet, and polyester. These linings can be found in different standard colors as well as offer additional colors that can be used to customize a loved one’s casket.

Inside Design

Many caskets offer a design to be added to the inside top lid so that when it is open, the design can be seen. These designs can be found to include photographs, embroidered designs, and even decorations medallions may be added.

Exterior Design

Not only do families have options when it comes to interior design, but the exterior of the casket can also have a design. This design can be on just one part of the casket or wrap the casket entirely. Some popular designs include:

  • Having a cross or portrait of the deceased on part of the casket top
  • Adding a flag design to the entire top of the casket
  • Designing all exterior sides of the casket with a design such as flowers, clouds, or sunrise

With today’s technology, almost any design can be transferred onto the casket including old photographs and custom drawings.cemetery in Aurora, CO

Additional Elements

Once the design of the casket has been determined, there are additional elements that are available. Some of these include things like memory drawers and secret compartments where families can add personal mementos to be buried with their loved ones.

Other features are more decorative in nature such as the hardware used and embellishments added.

Final Thoughts

With so many options, selecting the casket to bury your loved one in the cemetery in Aurora, CO. can seem overwhelming. Just remember to take it step-by-step, one element at a time and you will be sure to design a casket as beautiful and unique as your loved one.

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*** Cemetery Spring Cleanup in April and May. Families are encouraged to remove any items that are not within the guidelines and that compromise the 8” restriction in front of monuments. ***

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