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Answering Common Questions About Catholic Burial Planning

Are you in the process of arranging a Catholic burial in San Jose? If so, and if this is your first time handling this type of responsibility, then you may feel uncertain about some parts of the process. The following are answers to common questions that people have about Catholic burial planning.

Is cremation an option for Catholic burials?

The Catholic Church lifted the ban on cremation in 1963. The Church recommends that Catholics observe traditional burial customs, but does not forbid cremation, as long as it is not selected for reasons contrary to Christian teaching.

What burial options are available?

An important part of planning a Catholic burial is deciding on a burial option. In-ground, mausoleum, and crypt burials are the 3 most common options. If you are going to choose cremation over traditional burial, then a cremation niche will be another burial option for you to consider.

What funeral rites need to be performed before a Catholic burial?

First, a priest or other minister of the Church offers prayers at the time of death or shortly after. Next, prayer in the presence of the body is carried out, typically before the viewing. After that, usually on the evening before the Funeral Mass, the Vigil or Wake is performed. Then, the Funeral Mass, which is the heart of the Catholic Funeral Rite, is held before the burial service. Finally, the final series of prayers, called the Committal, is offered at the time of burial.

Who should I consult with regarding the funeral rites and burial?

Your funeral director will be an invaluable resource as you plan the burial, and you should also speak with your priest and the cemetery when confirming the funeral plans.

What needs to be done when I visit the funeral home?

When you go to the funeral home to make burial arrangements, be prepared with information for the obituary and anything needed for the death certificate. At this time, you will also order flowers, select a casket or urn, plan for the Vigil and viewing, and arrange for transportation for the services.

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