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  #1  
Old Jan 31, '12, 10:25 am
jak000 jak000 is offline
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Default How Long For Funeral After Death

Hello,

I am new here. I am a Catholic but not a strong practicing Catholic.

My aunt died and she was very religious, Catholic. She married a man late in her life that had four adult children that never lived in the home or had a relationship with my aunt. Her husband was not religious and was cremated at his death. My aunt as a strong Catholic did not believe in cremation and wanted a traditional burial.

The four children of my aunt's late husband are insisting on cremation to match there father. I am a direct descendant of my aunt by blood and I have objected to any cremation which is afforded to me by law.

Now my aunt is been in a morgue drawer for going on 2 weeks because the four unnatural children refuse to bury her.

My question is how long does the Catholic church allow a body sit in a morgue drawer without a proper funeral or mass?

Thank you for the information.
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  #2  
Old Jan 31, '12, 10:41 am
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YoungTradCath YoungTradCath is online now
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

The Church prefers: burial over cremation, and sooner rather than later. I really don't think there is a specific time limit, but the Church does prefer interment as soon as possible.
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  #3  
Old Jan 31, '12, 11:21 am
maryjk maryjk is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

Did your Aunt have a will? Or did she write anything down about how she wanted her burial handled?

Keep in mind there is a huge difference in price between cremation and burial. We just did both. My very devout Catholic mom was cremated and my barely practicing Catholic father was buried. Well, they were both buried but Mom was cremated first.

The difference in price? A $3000 for Mom and $8000 for Dad. And for Dad, that didn't include a plot, vault or opening/closing of the grave. It could very well be that the cost for burial is out of reach.
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  #4  
Old Jan 31, '12, 11:32 am
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

The church does allow cremation now. Burial can be very expensive, particularly in places where land for a cemetary is scare. As another poster said, the difference in cost between a cremation and a regular burial can be excessive.

If your aunt did not leave a will or instructions for her burial, I would say it is better for her to be cremated and have the remains properly buried/interred, than for her body to languish at the morgue. If you cannot afford to take on her funeral expenses yourself, or convince her stepchildren to do things your way on their dime, than I suggest you withdraw your objections if that is what is holding up the funeral.
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  #5  
Old Jan 31, '12, 12:05 pm
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

I recommend contacting the priest at your parish for advice on what to do in this situation.

Cremation is allowed for Catholics (provided they aren't doing it for reasons contrary to the faith, which tends not to happen these days), but I think it's good to try to honor the wishes of your aunt.
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  #6  
Old Jan 31, '12, 12:28 pm
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Leegal Leegal is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by jak000 View Post
Hello,

I am new here. I am a Catholic but not a strong practicing Catholic.

My aunt died and she was very religious, Catholic. She married a man late in her life that had four adult children that never lived in the home or had a relationship with my aunt. Her husband was not religious and was cremated at his death. My aunt as a strong Catholic did not believe in cremation and wanted a traditional burial.

The four children of my aunt's late husband are insisting on cremation to match there father. I am a direct descendant of my aunt by blood and I have objected to any cremation which is afforded to me by law.

Now my aunt is been in a morgue drawer for going on 2 weeks because the four unnatural children refuse to bury her.

My question is how long does the Catholic church allow a body sit in a morgue drawer without a proper funeral or mass?

Thank you for the information.
If you can afford it, follow you aunt's wishes. I would seem that the adult children have no legal say in your aunt's burial, only a desire that she be cremated like their father. If you are the direct heir, make the arrangements your aunt would have wanted providing that you can.

I fail to see how the 4 children of a previous marriage, unrelated to your aunt, other than by that marriage, have been preventing you from making arrangements.

If necessary, get an attorney but I don't know where they come by the legal right to hold up the funeral.
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  #7  
Old Jan 31, '12, 3:50 pm
FAB FAB is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by jak000 View Post
Hello,

I am new here. I am a Catholic but not a strong practicing Catholic.

My aunt died and she was very religious, Catholic. She married a man late in her life that had four adult children that never lived in the home or had a relationship with my aunt. Her husband was not religious and was cremated at his death. My aunt as a strong Catholic did not believe in cremation and wanted a traditional burial.

The four children of my aunt's late husband are insisting on cremation to match there father. I am a direct descendant of my aunt by blood and I have objected to any cremation which is afforded to me by law.

Now my aunt is been in a morgue drawer for going on 2 weeks because the four unnatural children refuse to bury her.

My question is how long does the Catholic church allow a body sit in a morgue drawer without a proper funeral or mass?

Thank you for the information.
Unfortunately this happens more often than you think.
To answer the basic question, there is no set time period as with Jewish tradition I think is within 24 hours. These time limits were set in the day before modern funeral practices and the body needed to be buried ASAP before decay.
Typically the longest I have from death to Funeral is a week, usually to let family come in from out of town.
I do have a parishioner, because of family conflicts, has not been able to bury her mother now going on two months.
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  #8  
Old Jan 31, '12, 6:09 pm
PacoG PacoG is online now
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

You could apply to your local probate court to be appointed the temporary administrator (and then permanent administrator) of her estate. As administrator, you would then have the authority to make burial arrangements.
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  #9  
Old Feb 1, '12, 4:33 am
jak000 jak000 is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

Thank you all for your kind responses. They have been very helpful.

The legal issues are fairly straight forward and unfortunately our family will have to deal with those in time. My main concern of course is getting my aunt buried properly within the guidelines and time frame of the church and her beliefs.

This is my first situation where I am at the age to bury a relative and I empathize with my parents and elders that had to do this previously.

The funeral home will do nothing until everyone signs a document all agreeing including the stepchildren. I find this a bit outrageous that some unrelated people can control a descendants family member.

Thanks again.
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  #10  
Old Feb 1, '12, 7:07 am
maryjk maryjk is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by jak000 View Post
Thank you all for your kind responses. They have been very helpful.

The legal issues are fairly straight forward and unfortunately our family will have to deal with those in time. My main concern of course is getting my aunt buried properly within the guidelines and time frame of the church and her beliefs.

This is my first situation where I am at the age to bury a relative and I empathize with my parents and elders that had to do this previously.

The funeral home will do nothing until everyone signs a document all agreeing including the stepchildren. I find this a bit outrageous that some unrelated people can control a descendants family member.

Thanks again.
They simply don't want to be sued. Again, find out if there is a will or if your aunt wrote anything down about her wishes. Take that information to the probate office.

I can tell you that I personally know the Funeral Director and he wanted to be very sure that we were doing what my parents wanted. Keep in mind it is very hard to undo something.

And again, sometimes it simple comes down to payment.
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  #11  
Old Feb 1, '12, 8:14 am
chepner3 chepner3 is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

All I can say is, while cremation is often cheaper, when I arranged for my grandmother's funeral, the cost was only $850 (plus the airfare to get her back to her 'home state' which was a plane ticket cheaper than mine.) The funeral doesn't have to be expensive, if costs are an issue.

If your aunt's husband's ashes are buried, they can still be buried together. My husband insists on burial and I prefer to be cremated. We'll be buried together and already own our plots.

Either way, my experience has been that the funeral home is the one who puts on the most time-limit restricts - usually due to costs and space limitations at their facility. We had one family member who died right at the wrong time of the year. Family couldn't travel due to bad weather and it was difficult scheduling because of the holidays. The funeral got pushed out, but only so far, because after a while the funeral home was going to charge us "storage fees".

All that said, your family can shop around for another funeral home and have her transferred so she can be buried according to your wishes. The new funeral home will handle the situation with the current funeral home (tell them about the transfer, issue the death certificate, pick-up the body, etc.)
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  #12  
Old Feb 1, '12, 8:59 am
maryjk maryjk is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by chepner3 View Post
All I can say is, while cremation is often cheaper, when I arranged for my grandmother's funeral, the cost was only $850 (plus the airfare to get her back to her 'home state' which was a plane ticket cheaper than mine.) The funeral doesn't have to be expensive, if costs are an issue.
That will depend on location. I am not sure why your grandmother needed a ticket. When my sister transported our mother, there was no addition cost.
Quote:
If your aunt's husband's ashes are buried, they can still be buried together. My husband insists on burial and I prefer to be cremated. We'll be buried together and already own our plots.
Someone would need to pay to open and close the uncle's grave. If the person being cremated dies first, one can simply wait until the second person dies. If the person to be buried dies first, they must be buried. Then the grave is opened/closed after the death of the second person.
Quote:
Either way, my experience has been that the funeral home is the one who puts on the most time-limit restricts - usually due to costs and space limitations at their facility. We had one family member who died right at the wrong time of the year. Family couldn't travel due to bad weather and it was difficult scheduling because of the holidays. The funeral got pushed out, but only so far, because after a while the funeral home was going to charge us "storage fees".
There is also the problem of ...............well.............decay. (Sorry, but it needs mentioned.) One cannot wait weeks or months and understand that there will be some decay.
Quote:
All that said, your family can shop around for another funeral home and have her transferred so she can be buried according to your wishes. The new funeral home will handle the situation with the current funeral home (tell them about the transfer, issue the death certificate, pick-up the body, etc.)
This isn't a problem with the funeral home. This is a family problem. One part of the family wants to have the remains cremated, one part wants the remains buried. Unless the deceased wrote down what she wanted, this may end up in court. If the deceased didn't have enough of an estate to pay for burial, that may have standing in court.
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"We home school because we have seen the village, and we don't want it raising our child" my husband
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  #13  
Old Feb 1, '12, 1:32 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: How Long For Funeral After Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by jak000 View Post
HelloThe four children of my aunt's late husband are insisting on cremation to match there father. I am a direct descendant of my aunt by blood and I have objected to any cremation which is afforded to me by law.

.
the law in your state specifies who is next of kin and that person alone has the right to make funeral arrangments. There is no good reason under Church law to interfere with them. Even if it is out of your power to give her a Catholic funeral, you can still have a memorial Mass offered for the repose of her soul, and the priest can bless the place her remains are interred. I don't know of any Catholic teaching that justifies holding up the funeral because of family squabbles.
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