Dying Catholic?

Can a Catholic will that his/her body be immediately cremated and no funeral or service be given for them?

People can do whatever they want. Who’s going to stop them?
Is it prudent?
Funerals are for the repose of your soul, and to permit others to grieve for you in appropriate ways, like praying for you.

I have often thought about it. Bag, tag, and burn 'em. Get used to the flames early. But then I think of my family. They only come together for funerals nowadays. And my wife won’t have any dust in the house… no I think a full sung High Mass with the Cardinal and a guard of honour from the old school seems more appropriate to welcome my soul to my palatial suite of rooms in my Father’s house. OK, a small Parish Mass with a few friends and family hurrying to the graveside so as not to miss the scones and tea offered as some small consolation for coming. Mary doing everything in her power just to get me to Purgatory. Dying Catholic? Hope so…

Yes. A funeral is a sacramental (not a Sacrament). Catholics may decline to participate in sacramentals (such as Rosaries and funerals).

But it’s difficult to imagine what would motivate a Catholic to make such a request. A funeral offers the living the opportunity to pray on the behalf of the deceased, and these prayers would mitigate his experience of purgatory should he go there. It’s a win/win situation.

I would feel deprived if a loved one died with instructions to not have a funeral Mass. It would feel like my loved one didn’t want my prayers (which would be the only thing I could still offer).

I would agree only if one does not have the necessary funds.

Of course, the survivors can have a funeral Mass anyway.

Yes, and this has no cost. If the deceased is an active Catholic, then the Pastor of his Parish has an ecclesiastical obligation to offer a funeral Mass on his behalf. If the deceased is not an active Catholic then he still has a Catholic Pastor (the Pastor of the pastoral district in which he resides) who is similarly bound.

This obligation does not extend to a graveside rite of burial. It is customary for the family of the deceased to offer a small stipend for this service, though I cannot imagine that any Catholic priest would refuse this service because of the family’s inability or unwillingness to pay this small stipend (we’re talking about 20-50 bucks).

You would still have the cost of the casket and all that. The funeral home will charge plenty for their part in all this. And being cremated won’t be free either. :shrug:

In the UK at least, the funeral directors fees and the crematorium fees vastly outstrip what you’d pay to the church for the funeral service. I think canon law also prohibits the church charging a fee which would deprive the poor of a funeral. Whatever the reason for not wanting a funeral Mass, cost shouldn’t be one of them.

Pax et bonum

The Church will not charge those who have no money, the Funerary Parlor and Crematorium, however are commercial businesses, so they’ll charge whatever their customary fee is.

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