With cremation becoming such an accepted and popular choice for so many people, Beinhauer funeral directors are often asked questions about the cremation services that we provide. Today, we’d like to discuss cremations for those of the Catholic faith.
Cremation Is an Accepted Practice for Catholics
Western Pennsylvania’s large Catholic population means that we often answer questions about Catholic cremations. Mostly, people ask if there are any restrictions for Catholics who would like to be cremated instead of having a traditional burial.
In the 1960s, the ban on cremation was lifted for Catholics, and it has become a clear choice for many, especially in Western states. (Seattle’s archdiocese reports that about 40 percent of their Catholics are choosing cremation.) While the Catholic Church prefers full-body burial, cremation is allowed as long as it is reconciled with Church teaching. The Church asks that:
- The option for cremation is chosen by the individual before their passing.
- Anyone who must arrange for far-away transportation of remains can ask for cremation.
- All Catholic funeral and burial rites should be followed, including the Vigil Service, the Funeral Mass celebration, and the Rite of Final Commendation.
- Cremains must be buried in a cemetery or placed in a columbarium.
Why is Cremation a Good Choice?
Since Catholic funeral and burial standards must be followed, you can:
- Arrange a funeral service and cremation. This choice is quite similar to a traditional burial. You can first have a funeral viewing and funeral, with the body of the deceased present, and then have the remains cremated.
- Arrange a cremation with a memorial service at a later time. Memorial services are like funeral services, except that there is no body present. You can display the urn that the cremains have been placed in when you hold the memorial service.
- Following either a traditional funeral service or a memorial service, the cremains can be buried in a cemetery or placed in a columbarium, where people will have a place to visit as they remember their loved ones.
Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes performs cremations for those of the Catholic faith, fully keeping with the Catholic’s Church’s view of this practice. If you have any questions about Pittsburgh Catholic cremations, please call us so that we can answer any questions you may have. We are happy to help you.