When you lose a loved one, be it a friend or family, the emotions that come with the experience are incomprehensible.
And if you’re bestowed with the responsibility of planning their final arrangements, the added stress and grief can be overwhelming. This is completely normal, however, as making decisions regarding your loved one’s final wishes while still processing the loss, is difficult.
Holding a funeral is an act of worship to God for the gift of the life of the person who has passed. It’s also a way to seek consolation and hope for those who were left behind. It’s advisable to seek the help of a professional funeral service provider for any assistance when organizing Catholic cremation services as there are specific guidelines to follow through.
Since the Catholic Church has specific guidelines for the handling of remains, Catholic cremation services are different from traditional funeral services. For instance, according to the Catholic Church, cremated remains must be handled with respect and dignity and are not to be scattered or retained in private residences.
This blog post will guide you through the process of a Catholic cremation service in a way that would honor the life of your loved one.
1. Inform your local priest
Once you have already taken the first steps to inform the nearest and dearest of your loved one’s passing, the next step would be consulting your loved one’s most trusted priest. A priest will be able to offer advice regarding the specific requirements of the Catholic Church for cremation services.
The Catholic Church accepts cremation, but some rules must be adhered to in order to treat the deceased with respect and dignity. The priest can, therefore, offer advice on how to proceed with the plans and provide any clarifications you need.
2. Choose an appropriate urn
When undergoing the process of cremation, an important element of the service that must be decided is the correct urn. When choosing an urn for the remains of your loved one, it’s important to select one that’s appropriate for Catholic cremation services.
Preferable are urns made up of material that lasts longer such as metal or even stone marble. The urn should be in its simplest form without any decoration on it. Once the Catholic cremation service has taken place, the urn is usually placed in a cemetery.
3. Pick between a funeral mass and a memorial service
Our one goal when planning a funeral arrangement for a loved one is to honor and celebrate their life in a way that’s meaningful and fitting for them. During Catholic cremation services, including a funeral Mass or a memorial service can provide an element of closure and comfort for the family while grieving.
The funeral Mass, which can be celebrated before or after the cremation, is a liturgical celebration of life and faith. A memorial service can happen at any time following the cremation and may include music, prayers, and a eulogy—much like a traditional funeral service.
4. Pray for the deceased
It’s traditional to pray for a deceased loved one both during and after the funeral service since Catholics place a high value on prayer. The Vigil for the Deceased and the Rite of Committal are the two primary prayers and memorial services offered by the Catholic Church for the departed.
The Vigil for the Deceased is when family and friends gather around the casket to offer their condolences and prayers in the name of the loved one who has passed, while the Rite of Committal happens at the final resting place of the deceased in which the priest conducts a final prayer service.
5. Select a final resting place or interment
Even though the Catholic Church permits the process of cremation, they also prefer that the remains of the deceased are laid to rest in a cemetery. Placing the final remains in an interment would also be a fitting way to honor the deceased and carry on their legacy.
Some cemeteries have designated areas such as columbariums for loved ones to visit and pay their respects. This allows a place for family and friends to visit, making their grieving process somewhat easier.
Hire a professional funeral home to assist you when organizing Catholic cremation services
Organizing a Catholic cremation service requires a lot of preparation and attention. Organizing a Catholic funeral amid the grieving process, however, would be a stressful task. It’s best to hire professionals who have the knowledge and expertise on how to conduct this type of service in a way that’s fitting and suitable for your loved one.