Wednesday, October 26, 2016
GRIEF MAKES PEOPLE DO DUMB THINGS! WHAT A CATHOLIC PRIEST CAN AND CANNOT CONTROL IN THIS REGARD!
As a pastor, I have strict guidelines on what can and can't be sung at a funeral Mass and that in my parish, the propers will be chanted even if other approved religious songs are chosen. I can mandate that and I do and I follow through.
I do not allow non Catholics or non practicing Catholics to plan the funeral rites of the deceased nor in any way have a formal participation such as lector or gift bearer. I can mandate that.
I also have mandated that funeral eulogies after Holy Communion are not allowed but there can be as many as the family wants after the Vigil for the Deceased at the funeral home or their residence.
However, I cannot mandate the burial of cremains. I emphasize that Church Law requires that these be interred with a proper Catholic prayers and at a place that can be visited. But once the body is cremated, the family has complete control over the cremains, unlike the dead body, which state law requires be interred and not brought home after the funeral rites!
So with an intact body, the state makes the decision about "disposal" which in the past has always been a burial or entombment. I have the state's backing. The Church is impotent to require this sort of thing if the state allows otherwise. With cremains, the state has no laws although the Church does--but these laws and those who implement are impotent!
I do not think it wise to deny a Catholic funeral to a person who has requested the family to keep the cremains or distribute or spread them.
What are your thoughts??????