Cremation can be a confusing issue for Catholics.
In 1963 the church began to allow Catholics the
choice of being cremated. Catholics believe that we
are created in the image and likeness of God, and
that all Godís creation is sacred.
As Catholics, we believe that during baptism our
body was baptized into the Lord and His promise of
eternal life. Recognizing that the goal of our
lives is to spend eternal life with God, we prepare
for that with prayer, reception of the sacraments,
and caring for those around us. Preparation for
death is an essential part of life for a Christian.
In making decisions for the preparation for death,
the choice for cremation is becoming more common.
While the Church continues to prefer and encourage
the faithful to bury or entomb the bodies of their
departed loved ones, if cremation is chosen, the
Church wishes to support the faithful in honoring
the life and memory of the departed and will allow
the cremated remains to be buried or entombed.
Christians respect and honor the bodies of the dead
and the places they rest. The scattering of
cremated remains or keeping them at home, or
dividing them among various family members is not
the reverent disposition the Church believes is
appropriate. The cremated remains of the body should
be treated with the same respect as the whole body
would be treated. Scattering of cremated remains
does not allow for families who would like to visit
the final resting place of their loved one.
Generations of families still return to the site of
the grave or crypt of a loved one and share memories
and prayers in our legacy of faith.
In the Diocese of Santa Rosa, our Catholic
Cemeteries have Urn Gardens for in-ground burial,
niches for inurnment, and under certain conditions,
cremated remains may be placed in a grave or crypt
with a loved one already interred at the cemetery.
This allows for visitation, memorialization and
prayers. Our staff can explain the options and
limitations to consider.