The following information is provided to guide you through the process of arranging
for the burial/entombment of cremated remains:
Since 1963, cremation has been allowed for Catholics as long as it was not chosen as a sign of denial of Christian teaching. Today, about 1 in 3 New Yorkers choose cremation, and this percentage is expected to continue to increase.
Because of the changing trends in funeral practice, the Bishops of New York have prepared this information to highlight the important elements of Church teaching concerning cremations. This teaching is rooted in the Church's belief in the sacredness of the human body, the dignity of the individual person, and the resurrection of the dead.
Although cremation is permitted, Catholic teaching continues to stress the preference for burial or entombment of the body of the deceased.
Families choosing cremation should avail themselves of the full course of the Order of Christian Funerals: the Vigil Service, the Funeral Liturgy, and the Rite of Committal.
The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body be present during the funeral rite and cremation take place following the Final Commendation and before the Rite of Committal.
The local Bishop may permit the cremated remains to be present for the Funeral Liturgy.
Cremated remains must be treated with the same respect given to casketed remains, including the manner in which they are carried and the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport.
In New York State, the act of cremation is considered final disposition of the body of the deceased, but Church teaching insists that cremated remains must be given the same respect as the body.
The cremated remains of a body are to be buried or entombed, preferably in a Catholic Cemetery.
Scattering cremated remains, dividing cremated remains, or keeping cremated remains in the home are not the reverent disposition the Church requires.
Combining cremated remains is unacceptable.
A worthy container, such as an urn, is required for cremated remains. Jewelry, dishes, statuary, and space capsules are unacceptable. It is also unacceptable to have cremated remains made into jewelry, dishes, or the like. If you are considering cremation, it is wise to discuss your choice with your family and parish priest. Peace be with those who have left us and have gone to God.
Prayer for the Dead and the Living
May they be at peace. May they be with God.
May they be with the living God.
May they be with the immortal God.
May they be in God's hands.
May they sleep in peace.
May they be where the name of God is great.
May they be with the living God, now and on the day of judgement.
May they live in eternal light.
May they live in in the peace of the Lord.
May they live forever in peace.
With God in peace.