Ministry to the Dying & Funeral

Anointing the Dying with the Sacrament of the Sick

The proper time for receiving this holy anointing has certainly arrived when the believer begins to be in danger of death. In the Anointing of the Sick, the Holy Spirit: unites the sick to the Passion of Christ for their good and that of the Church; prepares them for passage to eternal life; grants forgiveness of sins if the person is unable to receive the Sacrament of Penance; restores heal if this be Godís will.

Funeral Rites of the Church

Immediately following death, the family, usually with the assistance of the funeral director, makes arrangements for the funeral. The following Funeral Rites are usually conducted by the parish priest.

  • VIGIL FOR THE DECEASED is the principal rite celebrated by the Christian community in the time following death and before the Funeral Mass. It is usually celebrated in the funeral home when family and friends gather around the coffin.
  • FUNERAL MASS is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased.
  • RITE OF COMMITTAL is the final prayer of the community of faith. It may be celebrated at the grave, tomb, or niche and used for burial at sea. Planning for the Catholic Funeral Rites should be made directly with the parish.

Does the catholic church allow cremation?

Yes, the Funeral Rites of the Church may be held in the presence of the cremated remains of the deceased. The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried and their final disposition. Cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium.

The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping the remains at home of the deceased are not the reverend disposition that the Church requires.

Are catholic cemeteries the only places where a catholic may be buried, entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium?

No, but there is spiritual reason to consider the Catholic Cemeteries. Throughout the year, each of the Archdiocese of Miamiís two cemeteries has a regularly scheduled Mass to remember and pray for all who are buried in our Cemeteries. In addition, our bishops celebrate Mass at the Catholic Cemeteries on All Souls Day and Memorial Day.