Parishioners will remember that during the period of Master Planning for our future, along with the priorities of new and expanding classrooms for our growing school and a desperately needed new gym, there was a strong interest in a Columbarium Garden for the inurnment of cremains. This project has been in the preparatory stage for quite some time and Our Lady of
Mercy will soon begin offering columbarium spaces. In the next few weeks, a lunch and learn will be announced to speak specifically about our proposed Columbarium Garden. We will answer questions regarding pricing, location, figuration of the garden, and clarify any issues concerning Church teachings on
In the early years of the Church, during periods of persecution, the bodies of Christians were burned as an insult to the
Christian belief of the resurrection of the body. For this reason, the Church for many centuries did not allow cremation since it was associated with disrespect and mockery of belief in the resurrection. Centuries later, this is no longer the case and people today no longer associate cremation with those ideas.
In May 1963, the Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose cremation. This permission to be cremated was incorporated into the
revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 (Canon No. 1176) as well as into the Order of Christian Funerals.
The Bishops of the United States and the Holy See have authorized the celebration of a Catholic funeral liturgy with the cremated remains present. The Church does not prohibit cremation.
In 1977, the bishops of the United States published a booklet called Reflections on the Body, Cremation, and Catholic Funeral Rites that presents pastoral guidelines for Catholics who choose cremation. In part the U.S. bishops say:
“The remains of cremated bodies should be treated with the same respect given to the corporal remains of a human body. This includes the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and their final disposition. The cremated remains of a body should be entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium; they may also be buried in a common grave in a cemetery. The practices of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground or keeping cremated remains on the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.”
A common practice is the entombment of the cremated remains in a “columbarium.” It is an arrangement of niches, either in a mausoleum, a room, or wall into which an urn or other worthy vessel is placed for permanent memorial.
The Mercy Columbarium will be known as the Garden of Peace. Please watch your bulletin for more details coming soon.