St. Stephen Cathedral Mass
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Mass
Published on November 1st, 2013
Bulletin PRAYER LIST Updated: As a parish, the faith community of St. Stephen wants to support and lift up in prayer those who are hurting, those who are facing surgery, and those who need our prayers in a particular way at a particular time in their life. Granted, every person in our parish can use prayers; but the purpose of our prayer list in the bulletin is to make parishioners aware of people who are in special need at a special time in their life. PLEASE HELP US TO UPDATE OUR PRAYER LIST by calling or emailing the office.
The CHURCH and CREMATION
I. As a Catholic May I Be CREMATED? Yes. The Church’s definite preference is for burial of the body. However, since 1963 cremation has been permitted, although the cremated remains were not allowed to be present during the funeral Mass (the Mass of Christian burial). The US bishops petitioned Rome to allow the cremains to be present for the funeral Mass because of financial and stewardship (in larger cities, cemetery land is diminishing) reasons. In 1997, the Vatican gave the bishops of the United States permission to allow the celebration of the funeral Mass with the cremated remains (cremains) present, provided the local bishop permits it, and Bishop Medley does.
II. Must CREMATED REMAINS be BURIED/ENTOMBED? Yes. Respectful final disposition of cremated remains involves interment or entombment. Burial options include a family grave in a cemetery or an urn garden, a special section in a cemetery with small, pre-dug graves for urns. A common practice is the entombment of the cremated remains in a COLUMBARIUM, which is an arrangement of niches, either in a mausoleum, a room or wall into which an urn or other worthy vessel is placed for permanent memorial.
III. May I SCATTER the Cremated Remains? No. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative/friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires (Order of Christian Funerals, appendix II #417). Burial at sea of cremated remains differs from scattering. An appropriate and worthy container, heavy enough to be sent to its final resting place, maybe dropped into the sea (See Order of Christian Funerals, #406.4). Local government should be consulted for environmental regulations.
IV. Why Does the Church Consider the BODY so Important? “This is the body once washed in Baptism, anointed with the oil of salvation, and fed with the Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation. This is the body whose hands clothed the poor, fed the hungry, and embraced the sorrowing. Thus, the Church’s reverence and care for the body grows out of the reverence and concern for the person whom the Church now commends to the care of God. However, when circumstances prevent the presence of the body at the funeral liturgy…it is appropriate that the cremated remains of the body be present for the full course of the funeral rites, including the Vigil for the Deceased, the Funeral Liturgy, and the Rite of Committal. The funeral liturgy should always be celebrated in a church” (Reflections on the Body, Cremation, and Catholic Funeral Rites, Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy).