The Fall clean-up at Calvary Cemetery will be Nov 4-Nov 23. Here is a reminder of some guidelines:
· All wreaths and flowers, real or artificial, will be removed from the graves during the spring and fall clean up. Winter decorations, grave blankets and wreaths are allowed after the fall clean up until the spring cleanup.
· Grave decorations such as edging, borders, fencing, glass or ceramic containers/vases, standup decorations with legs, solar lights, stones/rocks, marble chips, ornaments,
figurines or other similar articles are discouraged. The cemetery will not be responsible for these decorations and reserves the right to remove them when it appears cluttered and interferes with the cemetery operation and maintenance. Please call if you have any questions.
The whole month of November has a particular focus on both the spiritual work of mercy of praying for the dead and the corporal work of mercy of burying the dead. I thought this would be a good time to address some commonly asked questions/confusions regarding cremation. Is the practice okay? What should we do or not do with the cremains of our loved ones? I have the cremains of one or several family members in my house years after they have passed away—what should I do with them?
To answer the first question, cremation is okay. The Church still gives preference to full body burial, but it is okay to be cremated. Much confusion comes from the fact that for a time the Church didn’t allow cremation. That restriction came from a time period when people were choosing cremation as a sign of their unbelief in the resurrection. Thus, to uphold the aspects of the faith, the Church didn’t allow it. Cremation is no longer tied to that reasoning, and so the Church has removed that restriction.
The more important questions to answer regard what we do with the cremated ashes of our loved ones. Many things have become common place—scattering of the ashes in any
manner of places and ways, being left on the mantel or in a closet, split up between family members, put into capsules or jewelry, put into ammunition that is then shot while hunting, etc.
There is a lot of confusion regarding these practices. To address the confusion the Vatican released guidelines regarding cremation in 2016:
The short document is well worth reading for its reflection on the meaning and value of Christian burial in general, and then how those beliefs impact the practice of cremation. To sum them up it is easiest to say it this way: we should always treat cremains in the exact same way as we treat the body of our loved ones. That means being buried in one place without being split up or put into other things. Not only do some of the above mentioned practices not show the proper respect and dignity due the deceased, there is the practical reality of what often happens to cremains that have been made into mementos. They can be lost, forgotten, or broken and then easily end up in the trash.
Let us know if we can help you in anyway with particular questions or situations.
Fr. Todd Koenigsknecht