Cremated remains – updated

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: On your March 11 post, you said that the church does not require the presence of a body for a funeral. As I understand it, a funeral in the presence of cremated remains is possible because of an indult that the US received. The bishop in each diocese has to approve it – either on a case-by-case basis or by delegating said approval to pastors. Our bishop has done the latter. But, depending on where the writer is from, he may need to seek permission. 

We adopted this texts from John Huels’  book, Empowerment for Ministry.   

Faculty 4.25 Funeral with Cremated Remains Present: You may celebrate the funeral liturgy in the presence of the cremated remains of a deceased person, taking into account the concrete circumstances in each individual case, and always observing the following conditions: (1) There is no anti-Christian motive for choosing cremation (c. 1176, §3). (2) The cremated remains will be handled with respect and buried or entombed in a place reserved for this purpose. (3) There is no other canonical prohibition of a funeral liturgy, namely, for notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics and other manifest sinners for whom ecclesiastical funerals cannot be granted without public scandal to the faithful (c. 1184). Doubtful cases are to be referred to the bishop. 


A: Thanks for this clarification. OCF 426b and 427 say that the diocesan bishop makes the judgment. He may do that case by case, or delegate the decision to pastors or priests.