Funeral rites

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  My understanding is that we may not have catholic funeral rites for someone who will not be either buried or committed in a columbarium. Is that correct?


A:  You may and should provide a funeral for any Catholic who dies, though a canonist would know from canon law what circumstances need to exist for denying someone a funeral. The recent Vatican statement on proper disposal of remains says nothing about denying someone a funeral who doesn’t follow the directive. In a different context, the Order of Christian Funerals says that anyone who does not have a funeral mass with the remains present should still have a mass for the dead offered for them.

We have virtually no control over the decisions people make about ashes. But the simple decision to have them sprinkled or kept on a mantle is not reason enough to forbid a funeral mass.