A Catholic Receiving a Protestant Funeral Service + non-Sacred Burial Location?


Someone I know has passed away. He was a lapsed Catholic who received anointing of the sick a couple of months ago, and his protestant family members are thinking of having a protestant “celebration of life”. They are also talking about burying his urn in a park or some other location such as that.

Are either of those an issue?


He’s not Catholic. If he freely chose to leave the Catholic Church and worship elsewhere, he is not Catholic. The Catholic Church may consider him Catholic, but respect must be accorded to his free will. His family can bury him according to their traditions, if no will stipulates otherwise.


All of those are issues with respect to being a Catholic. What one can do about it is another matter. Many years ago there was a Man who was member of a parish in Atlanta. When he died his wife who was not Catholic had him buried from her Protestant church. The priest asked, What should I do?" Someone recommended, “Go to the funeral.”
If there are members of the family who would like to do something, maybe it would be a good idea to have mass said for this person and have as many people as possible go to that mass.



Unless one lives in a nation that requires abiding by Catholic laws, there are limits as to what cam be done if the deceased and/or the family of the deceased does not desire to have a Catholic funeral and Catholic burial.

A Catholic friend or family member can always offer to have a Mass said. But unless someone steps up and offers to pay for a Catholic interment (and the family agrees), what happens to the remains is left to the family and local law.


On a related note, back during the colonial period in New Orleans, it was learned that there was a family that had a young slave girl. She died and they buried her in the garden. Bishop Penlaver had them prosecuted, because as a baptized Christian that girl needed to be buried in consecrated ground with all of the ceremonies of a Christian burial.


For whom?



i knew a devout catholic family man from my parish (8 children; attended Mass every Sunday) who died after a long illness

his family buried him in a secular (although very near to their home) graveyard



My wife and I are cradle Catholics and we will have a funeral mass BUT we will be cremated and buried in
a pet cemetery along with the cremains of all our pets. Together forever with all our babies.


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