Tuesday, January 29, 2019


It is the perfect storm, nones and creamation. This leads those who are in charge of your funeral arrangements many different options. Unless you have arrangments spelled out and backed by legal counsel, the nones in your family with give you a special kind of funeral--NONE!

I read obituaries. And more and more I am seeing words like this, code words: Funeral arrangments will be announced at a later date. What does this mean? There will not be a funeral. How can this be? Because cremation is used and you can dispose of the ashes in any way you wish. Many simply let the funeral director decide or the place of cremation can decide what to do with the ashes.

But get this, if you read some obituaries and I just read one this morning, the nones are becoming even more emboldened. At the end of one obituary I read it said this. THERE WILL BE NO FUNERAL.

In my nearly 40 years of ordination, it has only been recently, within the last four years or so, that I have seen Catholics who are not being given funerals by their families nor are any Masses being scheduled for the happy repose of their souls.

I have even had parishioners who have died that weren't even given an obituary in the newspaper and no one knew the person had died except by word of mouth.

What to do; what to do; oh what are we to do?


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I encourage the faithful to make plans now for the eventuality of death. I have presented my "Planning for Death" seminar a number of times and will do so again in our parish in a few months.

One of the parts of the preparations is planning the liturgy - choosing music readings, readers, etc. Once this is all in place we keep in on file and, when the time comes, we put those plans into action.

When these things are written down, most folks are fine with implementing them.

Rood Screen said...

Faithful Catholics should add to their will an expectation of full funeral rites, and make sure your attorney knows to disperse nothing to survivors unless you first receive all the rites.

TJM said...

Another Vatican Disaster II triumph! Maybe they are not planning funerals for the deceased because they are non-believers. If you think the Catholic Churches are empty now, wait another 10 years. Kumbaya My Lord, Kumbaya

rcg said...

There is a practical response to this sitation. The person can leave instructions in various forms with a lawyer that will see to it. There are relativly small insurance policies to cover a proper burial. The parish might invite someone to give a talk about it and one of the parish groups, Altar Rosary or Knights of Columbus ,e.g.,can coordinate and assist.

Dan said...

Let's blame the nones on the faithless shepherds who are more worried about being "offensive" than the truth. Of course, it's hard to even know what's true with a guy like Francis.

All I gather from him is that it's best to profess nothing so as not to be a hypocrite, or something.

Funny how Francis stays out of "politics" whenever a word from him might reduce misery... i.e. Venezuela, Ireland, and yet makes faithful Catholics feel miserable from constant criticism.

Dan said...

Anyway, I'm becoming extraordinarily sympathetic to the "nones" after seeing how the clergy (in high places) treat the Faith and give positions to predators.

Gene said...

The religious population sees Catholicism as the epitome of hypocrisy and denial. The Catholic Church has become just one of many denominational choices, and pretty far down on many people's list. So, she continues her errors by trying to become more and more protestant. But, guess what, the protestants do that best and everyone knows it. Until the Church re-immerses herself in the Mystery and the rituals of the traditional Liturgy, she will remain a stumbling Methodism.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Dan, an atheist should respect the Catholicism of their parents or those Catholics they have a responsibility to bury and according to the wishes of the deceased.

And as I Catholic, I hope you were taught that no matter how corrupt the clergy may be or how depraved, that when that priest offers Mass according to the mind of the Church, that Mass is valid and efficacious for the one the Mass is being offered, especially for the happy repose of the Faithful Departed.

TJM said...


I went to an EF this weekend. I was the oldest person there. There must have been over 200 children under the age of 12. A certain "priest" posting here would have a coronary

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

This is the legacy of the Baby Boomers who thought they didn't need religion and could be "good people" without it. And remember the "my kids should be able to choose their own religion when they grow up" b.s. they spouted? What a big surprise their kids chose practical paganism when they grew up. And so now that their parents are dying, the kids act like pagans. What a huge surprise.

I have been very disappointed that not a few people who were daily communicants at the nursing home where I volunteer (Little Sisters of the Poor) have had no funeral services at all, or just "private" funeral services, which means cremation and scattering. And no obituary. These were lovely faith-filled people who loved God very much, but those in charge of their final arrangements took no consideration of that and who knows what they did with them.

I have had masses said for some of them I was particularly close to, and of course the Sisters have masses for them, and I do keep them in my prayers, but it's so sad that they have not have a Catholic funeral. It would mean so much to those survivors who knew them at the nursing home - caretakers, nurses, volunteers and other residents. But instead they just "disappear" and sometimes you don't even know they passed away until maybe you ask about them. (The excuse for not letting everyone know they died is HIPAA laws (which is b.s.). So if you don't hear it though the grapevine you might not know for months.)

So heartbreaking.

God bless.

So sad.

rcg said...

I will channel Pope Francis for a bit and ‘blame’ the deceased for their plight. The ‘failure’ of the dearly departed is assuming othe people, even their own children, can read their minds and will dig in their pockets and calendars to produce a a funeral for them that suits their desires. Luck favors the prepared, not the dead. If we have not communicated our standards to our children, loved ones, or commrades sufficiently that they know how dear they are to us then they cannot be expected to estimate them for us. They might think to bury me with my favorite Brassie or incinerate me in my best hat but they won’t call the local TLM parish for a Mass unless they associate me strongly with it. There is the additional step of placing a barrier to alternatives in post mortem instructions and a will that forces even the most errant son to accomplish a task if he wants the money.

So now that we know this, what do we do? Not for oursleves only, but for the old man who has not been to Mass in our parish for several years but attended the chapel in his nursing home until someone thought to call our priest to visit his death bed? It we a good death, I am told. The Altar Rosary is providing food and a place to gather after the Mass despite our frigid temps (-5). We have to search for the remnants. Like those in the womb many of them cannot speak for themselves.

TJM said...


What you are doing is commendable. God Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Disturbing tend indeed...I notice in the Atlanta paper, a lot of obits are something like a gathering at the country club or a restaurant...but no service! Guess that just as church weddings are in serious decline, so are funerals......