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Learn More About Catholic Funerals and Cremation

Different cultures and religions have varying funeral customs that can change with time. If you or a loved one is Catholic, you may be wondering whether cremation is a part of Catholic funeral traditions. In addition to contacting a Catholic cemetery to ask about Catholic funerals in San Jose, you can also read the following information to find out more about cremation and Catholic funerals.

Catholic Church and Cremation

In 1963, the Catholic Church announced that cremation was no longer forbidden to those of the Catholic faith. This provided more options for people to choose from when it came to end-of-life decisions. As long as the remains of the deceased are respected during and after the cremation process, cremation is an option to consider during Catholic funeral planning.

Cremation and Funeral Timing

For a Catholic funeral, the full body of the deceased should be present, which means that cremation should take place after the funeral rites have been completed. It may be possible to rent a casket to use for the funeral—this will allow you to follow the guidelines of the Catholic Church without having to purchase a casket that will not be used for burial. If the body of the deceased is cremated before the funeral rites take place, the cremated remains should be present at the funeral mass, with appropriate revisions made to the texts used during the service.

Burial of Cremated Remains

According to Catholic funeral customs, cremated remains should be buried or entombed. In 2016, the Vatican announced specific guidelines stating that cremated remains should rest in a sacred place, and should not be displayed in the family home, scattered, or placed in jewelry pieces. According to Catholic teachings, the deceased will be resurrected, and so the remains must be respected and kept whole. This is accomplished through burial or entombment at a Catholic cemetery.

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