Can a Catholic be buried in a township cemetery?

My brother died two weeks ago. His wish was to be cremated without a funeral. He wanted to have his ashes scattered but because this is not permitted by the Church, we want to bury his ashes. He had an infant son, forty years ago, who was buried in a local cemetery where the mother (not Catholic) had family members buried. In the months before he died he had expressed the desire to visit his son’s grave but was not able to do so. What would have to be done in order for him to be buried with his son?

Code of Canon Law:

Can. 1180 §1. If a parish has its own cemetery, the deceased members of the faithful must be buried in it unless the deceased or those competent to take care of the burial of the deceased have chosen another cemetery legitimately.

§2. Everyone, however, is permitted to choose the cemetery of burial unless prohibited by law.

Either the deceased or those responsible for their remains may choose whatever cemetery they want to be buried. There is no restriction that it must be a Catholic cemetery. The use of “must be buried” in the parish cemetery is not meant to restrict the choice of the deceased or their family, that wording is used to require the parish to give burial preference to their own parishioners over non-parishioners.

You can simply make arrangements with the local parish to have committal prayers said at whatever cemetery you have chosen. Or, if there is no local parish for the cemetery, you can have the funeral home arrange for a priest or deacon to do the committal prayers.

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