Pre-planning and Cremation
Perhaps nowhere is the need for the advance planning of burial and funeral rites more important than when an individual has selected the cremation option. That pre-planning is critical for a number of reasons:
- the opportunity to raise the question with other family members and discuss their feelings.
- the need to research the impact of the cremation option on the celebration of the Church's funeral rites.
- the need to understand the various burial options.
What steps should you take?
- Research the question and understand the teachings of the Church.
- Discuss this matter with those closest to you so that they have the opportunity to share their feelings or concerns with you.
- Discuss the issue with your pastor.
- Consult with experienced professionals about arrangements that can be made in advance. Such selections would include choice of cemetery, decision about in-ground or above-ground inurnment of the cremated remains, selection of appropriate urn, and provision for payment in advance of all items that can be secured in this fashion.
Study and understand the variety of funeral rite options that are provided for the benefit of you and your survivors, rites that have traditionally included the Vigil, Celebration of the Eucharist with the body present, and a Committal Service. Take into account the time necessary to perform the cremation and insert that into the schedule of these celebrations. This will be especially important when the decision for cremation is based on a desire to be buried at considerable distance from the place of death.
Associated Catholic Cemeteries Can Help
The Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Seattle can help you and your family weigh your cremation options when you contact us. Not all of the options for burial or inurnment of cremated remains are available at each cemetery, so part of your pre-planning will be to check with your preferred cemetery about your choices.
It is important to remember that the church still recommends burial or inurnment in a Catholic cemetery. Throughout the history of the Church, the Catholic cemetery has served as a visible sign of the faith community, attesting to the dignity of the baptized and the promise of the Resurrection.
Catholic cemeteries are sacred places where we come to be reminded of our history, to be immersed in our Catholic beliefs and practices, and to see our community bear witness to its faith even in the silence of the grave.