I just received an email from the son of a longtime reader who just died. She left no burial instructions and her son didn’t know what to do, but he did know from her browser history that she was a devout Traditional Catholic. To his great credit, he emailed me after seeing this website in her browser, asking for advice as to what his mother would have wanted. I informed him that Traditional Catholic teaching (pre 1963) is that voluntary cremation is forbidden, that she should have a funeral Mass with the body present, and then she should be buried in a Catholic cemetery (in Catholic cemeteries the ground is consecrated!) with clergy present for the final blessing at the graveside.
Folks, if you don’t have WRITTEN instructions worked up and left with your family and/or executors, do it. The Antichurch is now pushing cremation and scattering and even keeping ashes in homes, so you cannot assume that the fact that you are Catholic will ensure a proper burial.
Someone dear to me died this past year, and was buried, unembalmed (undertakers will know your state’s burial laws), in a pine box with a muslin lining in a dirt hole – no cement vault. I found the elegant simplicity moving, and it speaks to the belief in the resurrection.
In your charity, please say an Ave for the repose of the soul of CF.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei,
requiescant in pace.
Simple pine casket with muslin lining. Dignified and inexpensive.