Does Anyone Have the Words to the Catholic Burial Service:greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
My sister died about two years ago and was cremated. Her husband (who was more like a brother to us than in-law) died on the 8th of this month. He was also cremated. It was their wishes that their ashes be scattered on my farm since they planned to retire here had not Joanne suffered a massive stroke.
Anyway, Joanne was Catholic and Lloyd Baptist. I have arranged for a Baptist minister to attend to say words for Lloyd. However, the area Catholic priest said he would do a service if the urn was being interred, but not if they are scattered. Since he won't, I will, but I need the words to the ...ashes to ashes, dust to dust... service.
Does anyone have them?
-- Ken Scharabok (email@example.com), January 25, 2002
There is no such Catholic service..Traditionally, the Catholic Church did not allow cremation, as cremation was considered disrespectful to the body, which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and which will rise again at the end of the world, but in a glorified form. In recent years, the Church has loosened its restrictions on cremation, but it is not really the favored way to be buried. And burial is required, not the scattering of ashes.
-- Christina (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 25, 2002.
I obtained the words from another forum. They are out of the Book of Common Prayer and are based on Genesis 3:19 as follows:
In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother
; and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth; ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him and give him peace.
Comments there indicate it is apparently the decision of the local priest. One mentioned she had attended several funeral masses, followed by a procession to where the ashes would be scattered, with the priest doing a reading there also. Someone also mentioned the option of taking the ashes to the area church before hand to have them blessed there.
Joanne received last rites and a funeral mass. I just believe she would have like to have had words said at the time of scattering also.
Personally I don't see the difference between interment and scattering. It would be acceptable for the ashes to be buried in a cardboard or wood box, which would quickly rot, exposing the ashes to soil critters. If scattered they will also be returned to the ground through the actions of earthworms, etc. Surely God has the power to find them all, whether buried or scattered.
The ashes will be scattered from a bluff overlooking a meadow and stream. It was Joanne's favorite place on the farm. She and Lloyd are together in Heaven, so will their ashes be together.
-- Ken Scharabok (email@example.com), January 26, 2002.
Your sister was a Catholic. You should respect her soul which is still alive. She sees what you are doing. If she knew the Church teaching she probably would have abided by it so you must do that for her. Catholics are to be obedient to the teachings of their faith or why bother being in any group that has guidelines if you don't follow the rules. This is not a situation of undue hardship that would warrent rule breaking.
-- Mike H. (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 26, 2002.
Thanks for your courageous (and correct) response, Mike!
I agree with the second part of your reply to Ken, but not the first part. You wrote: "Traditionally, the Catholic Church did not allow cremation, as cremation was considered disrespectful to the body, which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and which will rise again at the end of the world, but in a glorified form."
Actually, cremation was permitted (though not preferred) for most of Christian history. Then permission was withdrawn -- but not because it "was considered disrespectful to the body." Rather, the reason was that certain atheistic groups publicly began to advocate cremation (over burial) as a fitting expression of disbelief in the resurrection of the body. So as not to appear in alignment with those poor dopes, the Church decided to disallow cremation except in special circumstances (e.g., contagious disease, major natural disasters, etc.) in which burial would be unwise or extremely difficult.
Here is how an EWTN expert (Bill Bilton) explains it: "At the time of the Enlightenment in the 18th century, some skeptics considered the Christian doctrine of Resurrection of the Dead to be an absurdity. To emphasize their point, they willed their bodies to be cremated, challenging God -- as it were -- to put a body together from those ashes on the last day. Cremation -- for them--was the final and lasting mockery of the Christian Faith."
The ashes of JFK, Jr. were scattered over the ocean, as OK'd by a priest who disobeyed Church law (unless he got undisclosed permission from the pope [very unlikely]).
God bless you.
-- (email@example.com), January 26, 2002.
> "Rather, the reason was that certain atheistic groups publicly began to advocate cremation (over burial) as a fitting expression of disbelief in the resurrection of the body."
Kinda of a warped understanding (disbelief) of God, considering our belief promotes that God made the entire universe from nothing! Souls themselves are made from nothing. Maybe "nothing" is a strange expression after all the soul creation comes from the infinitely fantastic mind of God.
-- G Vink (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 28, 2002.