Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Jul 27, '10, 7:53 am
didymus's Avatar
didymus didymus is offline
Senior Member
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: April 5, 2005
Posts: 8,018
Religion: Catholic
Default Funeral Mass & cremation

Trying to do some planning and just wondering how things work if one is cremated. Is the urn with the remains brought into the church in place of the coffin?

Also, I understand eulogies are verboten but from what I've seen they've become pretty much standard. Is there a way to avoid this. Even if it weren't against the rules sometimes the priest has been very poorly briefed about the life of the deceased


__________________



Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Jul 27, '10, 8:07 am
dconklin dconklin is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2008
Posts: 1,144
Religion: Catholic
Send a message via Yahoo to dconklin
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

I am on staff at a parish and we often have funeral Masses with the deceased in an urn on a table with flowers in front of the altar. I have never seen the priest not talk about the deceased in his homily. But don't worry, God will still embrace that person even if the priest got some of the facts wrong. The eulogy is said after the completion of the Mass - usually by a friend or family member.
__________________
Dave

When someone asks you to think about 'what Jesus would do', remember he thought it was fitting to get fired up and turn tables over.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Jul 27, '10, 8:26 am
SMHW's Avatar
SMHW SMHW is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 30, 2004
Posts: 6,159
Religion: Roman Rite Catholic
Send a message via MSN to SMHW
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

As you've learned, it is possible to have the cremains present at the funeral Mass. So far I've only been personally present at only one funeral where this happened.

When my mother died one of my brothers delivered a Eulogy at the wake and another gave a reflection after Communion at the funeral Mass. The condition for giving the reflection was that the text of it be presented to the priest prior to the funeral. (A day or two, I can't remember now.) This kind of thing has the double advantage of giving a priest a chance to edit anything the speaker might have been intending to say and also gives the priest a chance to get to know a few things about a deceased person with whom he was not acquainted.
__________________
"To all of us who hold the Christian belief that God is truth, anything that is true is a fact about God, and mathematics is a branch of theology." ~Hilda Phoebe Hudson
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Jul 27, '10, 8:45 am
paperwight paperwight is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 641
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by didymus View Post
Trying to do some planning and just wondering how things work if one is cremated. Is the urn with the remains brought into the church in place of the coffin?


I am puzzled by this, as every Funeral I've been to the cremation takes place afterwards .

First the Requiem with the coffin at the front of the church, then it is taken away for a short service at the crematorium.. The ashes are usually ready to be collected a week or so later, and are then privately interred with another short ceremony which is not in church.

Is the question for when a person dies overseas and has to be returned home as ashes?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Jul 27, '10, 9:09 am
Loboto-Me's Avatar
Loboto-Me Loboto-Me is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 2, 2004
Posts: 1,565
Religion: Conservative Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

My mother was cremated right away and had her Mass said with her cremains at the front of the altar. This is what happened in another province, and what will probably happen with my father when the time comes.

As for my Church here, they have columbriums (hope I said that right) which are being added in a renovation. My husband and I are interested in aquiring one now for our future resting place. The thing is, that the pamphlet says that they want us to have the cremation happen after a Mass where the body is present.

These days, the price of a funeral is already exorbitant, especially when you include a casket which cannot even be rented (I wish!). There's no way that we could afford to include a casket in our funeral plans. I think I'll have to talk to the priest to see if it's possible to forgo that part of the plan.
__________________
While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal- who allow scandals to destroy faith- are guilty of spiritual suicide. -- St. Francis de Sales
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Jul 27, '10, 9:18 am
twopekinguys's Avatar
twopekinguys twopekinguys is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2007
Posts: 5,484
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperwight View Post
I am puzzled by this, as every Funeral I've been to the cremation takes place afterwards .

First the Requiem with the coffin at the front of the church, then it is taken away for a short service at the crematorium.. The ashes are usually ready to be collected a week or so later, and are then privately interred with another short ceremony which is not in church.

Is the question for when a person dies overseas and has to be returned home as ashes?
This can vary from place to place depending on local customs.

In the US, it is not uncommon for the cremation to take place before any funeral services are performed.

I have been to funerals here in the US where the body was present, and then went for cremation, but it is more common for it to happen the other way around.
__________________
Happy for what you have?
Thank God, then Thank a Veteran
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Jul 27, '10, 9:27 am
Stylites's Avatar
Stylites Stylites is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: October 2, 2008
Posts: 2,726
Religion: Amateur Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by twopekinguys View Post
This can vary from place to place depending on local customs.

In the US, it is not uncommon for the cremation to take place before any funeral services are performed.

I have been to funerals here in the US where the body was present, and then went for cremation, but it is more common for it to happen the other way around.
I believe the preferred way is to have the body of the saint present in Church at the funeral Mass before cremation.
__________________
Amateurs do it out of love.



Who wants to see God? Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed jugs of tears for money, wife, and children. But if they would weep for God for only one day they would surely see Him.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Jul 27, '10, 9:29 am
twopekinguys's Avatar
twopekinguys twopekinguys is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2007
Posts: 5,484
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylites View Post
I believe the preferred way is to have the body of the saint present in Church at the funeral Mass before cremation.
True, it is preferred, but in actuality, happens rarely.

As was mentioned earlier, you can't rent a casket for this type of thing, and most people can't afford one just to have it incinerated.

Since cost can be, and usually is a prohibitive factor, many people opt for the cremation first.
__________________
Happy for what you have?
Thank God, then Thank a Veteran

Last edited by twopekinguys; Jul 27, '10 at 9:42 am.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Jul 27, '10, 9:45 am
NewEnglandPriest NewEnglandPriest is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2009
Posts: 3,230
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by didymus View Post
Trying to do some planning and just wondering how things work if one is cremated. Is the urn with the remains brought into the church in place of the coffin?
Essentially, yes, How it plays out from there depends on the priest and the parish. Some priest will not incense the "cremains" or sprinkle them with holy water, others will.

Quote:
Also, I understand eulogies are verboten but from what I've seen they've become pretty much standard. Is there a way to avoid this. Even if it weren't against the rules sometimes the priest has been very poorly briefed about the life of the deceased
The ritual does allow some leeway here: "A member or a friend of the family may speak in remembrance of the deceased before the final commendation begins." (OCF # 170)

The only way to avoid it is to be a member of the immediate family and make it known to others that you want no one to give a euglogy.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Jul 27, '10, 9:52 am
Stylites's Avatar
Stylites Stylites is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: October 2, 2008
Posts: 2,726
Religion: Amateur Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by twopekinguys View Post
True, it is preferred, but in actuality, happens rarely.

As was mentioned earlier, you can't rent a casket for this type of thing, and most people can't afford one just to have it incinerated.

Since cost can be, and usually is a prohibitive factor, many people opt for the cremation first.
Concerning the issue of costs, I am not certain that a simple compressed wood coffin meant for cremation is so expensive that "most people can't afford one." But certainly the costs of funerals are very high, and I've read of nuns who work to make Christian burials affordable. The Catholic cemeteries in my diocese offer free interment of cremains into holy ground for any family who asks for it, although these cremains are placed in a common vault with simple optional memorial plaques.
__________________
Amateurs do it out of love.



Who wants to see God? Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed jugs of tears for money, wife, and children. But if they would weep for God for only one day they would surely see Him.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Jul 27, '10, 9:53 am
SMHW's Avatar
SMHW SMHW is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 30, 2004
Posts: 6,159
Religion: Roman Rite Catholic
Send a message via MSN to SMHW
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylites View Post
I believe the preferred way is to have the body of the saint present in Church at the funeral Mass before cremation.
Another reason why this does not happen is that sometimes local laws require embalming if the body is not cremated or buried within a very short period of time. That is yet another expense that keeps families from having the cremation done after the funeral rather than before.
__________________
"To all of us who hold the Christian belief that God is truth, anything that is true is a fact about God, and mathematics is a branch of theology." ~Hilda Phoebe Hudson
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Jul 27, '10, 10:28 am
twopekinguys's Avatar
twopekinguys twopekinguys is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2007
Posts: 5,484
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylites View Post
Concerning the issue of costs, I am not certain that a simple compressed wood coffin meant for cremation is so expensive that "most people can't afford one." But certainly the costs of funerals are very high, and I've read of nuns who work to make Christian burials affordable. The Catholic cemeteries in my diocese offer free interment of cremains into holy ground for any family who asks for it, although these cremains are placed in a common vault with simple optional memorial plaques.
You are lucky, not every diocese offers this type of thing for those who cannot afford the burial expenses. Gravesites in our diocese start at $1045., then you have to add on the opening/closing fee, which is $980.00.

As far as funeral costs, I was just searching some information and found that the average funeral costs $6000.00, and the major cost in that is the casket. I also learned that the markup on a casket alone can be 1600%.

Even a compressed wood coffin can be expensive to someone who just doesn't have the financial resources. Especially with the economy the way it is right now. I did a simple google search for casket prices, and found a "cremation casket" made my one of the leading manufacturers being sold for $795.00. Of course, that will vary from area to area also, but it gives you an idea.

Just the figures I have given you total $2820.00, and don't even include the fee for the funeral director transporting and caring for the remains, or the cremation itself.

So, as you see, even going the bare minimums, it can add up to be quite an expense.
__________________
Happy for what you have?
Thank God, then Thank a Veteran
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Jul 27, '10, 11:35 am
revert_jen revert_jen is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 27, 2009
Posts: 2,113
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

According to canon law (1176.3):The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.

But you need to be careful about the funeral Mass, because the actual permission given to have cremated remains present for the funeral Mass was worded this way:
"...this Dicastery concedes a particular permission to the diocesan Bishops of the United States of America. By this, local Ordinaries are authorized in the individual cases which are brought to their attention to permit that the funeral liturgy, including where appropriate the celebration of the Eucharist, be celebrated in the presence of the cremated remains instead of the natural body."
As far as I can tell, this means that in each individual case the bishop must approve. It is therefore not a given that permission will be given to everyone. If you want to see the document, it is here: http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/current/cremation.shtml

Regarding money, it is surprising what people can afford if they think it is important. Certainly not everyone can afford to have the natural body present at the funeral Mass. However, it is equally certain that some people who say they can't afford it could in fact afford it if it were important to them. However, it is seen as a waste of money that could be spent on something else. If that something else is food, shelter, clothing, basic transportation, education, etc., then I agree. If it's electronics, entertainment/movies, eating out instead of at home, an expenseive car, etc., then it is just a matter of priorities. Just my opinion, though.

Regarding the eulogy, I believe there is no problem with having one. The thing that I understand is not supposed to happen (GIRM 382), and nonetheless does happen with distressing regularity, is for the priest to turn the homily for the funeral Mass into a eulogy.

If it is the funeral Mass for an immediate family member you could just ask the priest not to do it. If it is your own funeral you are considering, then you could write down your wishes and make sure that an immediate family member knows where to find them. If it's for someone else, as Father pointed out, there's not much you can do.

For myself, in my funeral instructions (if I ever get around to writing them), I'm also going to ask specifically that nobody at the Mass say that I am already in Heaven. Unless I become a lot better (or of course a bit worse) before I die, I'm going to want people praying me out of Purgatory, and it seems less likely that they'll do so if they're told I'm in Heaven already, as I've seen in several Catholic funerals I've attended.

--Jen
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Jul 27, '10, 12:57 pm
Lutheranteach Lutheranteach is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: September 30, 2009
Posts: 1,779
Religion: Lutheran
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMHW View Post
Another reason why this does not happen is that sometimes local laws require embalming if the body is not cremated or buried within a very short period of time. That is yet another expense that keeps families from having the cremation done after the funeral rather than before.

Generally bodies only have to be embalmed if:

1) the deceased died of an infectious illness
2) The body is being transported across state lines
3) The body cannot be stored at a temp of 40 degrees or less and burial cannot take place in 24 hours or less
4) in many states a non-embalmed body is considered embalmed if it is placed in a hermetically sealed metal casket and the service will be closed casket.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Jul 27, '10, 1:25 pm
Stylites's Avatar
Stylites Stylites is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: October 2, 2008
Posts: 2,726
Religion: Amateur Catholic
Default Re: Funeral Mass & cremation

Quote:
Originally Posted by twopekinguys View Post
You are lucky, not every diocese offers this type of thing for those who cannot afford the burial expenses.
While insurance is almost always available there's still going to be a great need out there. Family and friends are often the ones to pay for funerals. While the Church requires that the faithful be buried or interred into sacred ground, the costs involved can be scandalous. Land is so cheap per rural acre compared to the cost of a managed burial plot (talk about markups!), and I imagine that technically all it takes to be sacred is for the land to be blessed. Scattering cremains costs nothing, as does dumping cremains onto someone else's grave, practices not allowed but not unheard of either.
__________________
Amateurs do it out of love.



Who wants to see God? Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed jugs of tears for money, wife, and children. But if they would weep for God for only one day they would surely see Him.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8476Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: speedyg
5153CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
4429Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: daughterstm
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3863SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2
3762Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: daughterstm
3330Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3286Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3225Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3114For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Weejee



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:12 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.