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The Church and Cremation


As a Catholic may I be cremated?
Yes. In 1963, the Vatican’s Holy Office (today the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose cremation. This permission was incorporated into the revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 (Canon #1176), as well as into the Order of Christian Funerals. It is now the standard practice to celebrate the funeral liturgies with the body and then take it to the crematorium. Most recently the bishops of the United States and the Vatican have authorized the celebration of a Catholic funeral liturgy with the cremated remains when the body is cremated before the funeral.

Do I need to ask permission to be cremated?
No, but it is recommended you discuss this matter with your pastor or other parish minister.

Cremation
Careful Handling and Proper Interment of Cremated Remains
Pre-Death Instructions
The Funeral Rituals
Prayers After Death
Gathering in the Presence of the Body
Vigil for the Deceased
Funeral Mass
Rite of Committal

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