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Who can be buried in a Catholic cemetery?
Any baptized Catholic can purchase burial space in a Catholic cemetery. Rights to burial space purchased by a baptized Catholic may be passed on to others, according to New York State law, regardless of their beliefs or religious affiliations.
As Catholic cemeteries, Holy Sepulchre and Ascension Garden carry out the sacred religious function of burial and care of the resting places of the deceased members of our faith community. Those who choose burial in a Catholic cemetery are re-confirming their belief in the resurrection of the body and of eternal life with Christ. We ask all visitors to respect these Catholic principles and governing rules.
As a Catholic, may I be cremated?
Yes. In May 1963, the Vatican’s Holy Office (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose cremation. This permission was incorporated in the revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 (Canon #1176), as well as the Order of Christian Funerals.
When should cremation take place?
Traditionally, the Church preferred that the funeral ceremony take place with the full body. However, more recently, the bishops of the United States and the Holy See have authorized the celebration of the funeral liturgy with cremated remains.
What should become of cremated remains following the funeral?
The Church emphasizes that cremated remains must be given the same respect as the body. This includes a worthy container to hold the remains, and a proper Catholic burial—either above-ground (in a mausoleum or columbarium), or in-ground. The scattering of remains or keeping them in an urn for decorative purposes is not permitted by the Church.