When a family member, friend, or other loved one passes away, things are tough on you. Losing someone is hard because you know you will never see them again.
This stress is compounded when you are the one who must plan for the funeral and burial arrangements. If the dearly departed is a Catholic, and you are not, then there might be some confusion on how to go forward.
One question that might arise is whether every Catholic receives an official funeral. The answer is "no" based on situations in which some may not have access to a full, church-sanctioned funeral.
Historically, the Catholic Church denied sanctioned funerals to those who chose to have their bodies cremated upon death. This rule changed in 1997, and today, these Catholics have a right to a full funeral. According to doctrine, if granted, the survivors must follow the entire funeral proceedings as ordered by the regional bishop and then begin cremation services only after the funeral mass. Thus, anyone in charge of making final arrangements for a deceased Catholic, who requested cremation, needs to work with the funeral home and local priest to ensure compliance with church regulations.
Apostasy, Heresy or Schism
There is no funeral requirement for a Catholic in a state of apostasy, heresy or schism. These are members who have openly declared themselves in disagreement with some part of the church teachings, as pronounced in Catechism of the Catholic Church 2089. An apostate has renounced Christianity in total. A heretic is a baptised Catholic who cannot accept what the leaders perceive as fundamental truth. Schismatics are part of a collective, or group, who, for some reason, have decided to stop following the orders of the Pope.
Though rarely used, religious officials may deny a funeral mass if the deceased had been involved in a scandal. All Catholic funerals are public events. As such, someone whose life has captured too much negative publicity might mean a funeral that is more spectacle than religious function.
Find a Funeral Home to Handle the Proceedings
If put in charge of planning for the final resting place of a Catholic friend, loved or relative, then it is necessary for you to locate a trusted funeral home. The staff will understand the situation and be able to help you contact the necessary church officials to decide just how to proceed.
In the end, regardless of whether there is a full funeral mass, it is usually expected for there to be a quiet wake, in which mourners can view the body prior to cremation or burial. The funeral home will be able to host this occasion in a small chapel.
To learn more about cremation services, contact a company like J Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel.