for Catholics in Florida
as for me, I know that my vindicator lives,
and from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost
being is consumed with longing.” (Job 19:
Q: Does the church allow cremation of the
Catholics may choose cremation,
provided it in no way expresses a denial of
the Catholic teaching of the dignity of the
body, created by Almighty God to be a temple
of the Holy Spirit and destined to share
fully in the Resurrection of the just on the
Although the church understands that certain
circumstances and preferences may exist for
individuals or relatives to seek cremation,
she maintains as a first preference the
funeral rites with the body present and its
immediate burial in a cemetery.
Q: What is the first step in considering
Catholic faithful are encouraged
to seek the counsel of their pastor before
Q: If cremation is chosen, when should
the body be cremated?
The church recommends that the
body be cremated after the funeral, thus
allowing for the presence of the body at the
funeral Mass. When pastoral circumstances
require it, however, cremation and committal
may take place even before the funeral
Pastors in Florida can grant permission on
an individual basis for cremated remains to
be present at the funeral Mass.
Q: How should the final disposition of
the cremated remains be handled?
The final disposition of cremated
remains should always reflect the Christian
belief in the bodily resurrection and the
respect afforded to the human body, even
Q: What is the proper method for final
disposition of the cremated remains?
The church recommends that the
burial or entombment of the cremated remains
occur without delay, once the cremation
process is completed.
Cremated remains are to be placed in an urn
(or other suitable container) and either
buried in the ground or at sea, or entombed
in a columbarium.
Catholics are strongly encouraged to be
buried or entombed in a Catholic cemetery or
the Catholic section of a non-Catholic
Q: What practices for handling cremated
remains are to be avoided?
The practice of scattering
cremated remains on the sea, from the air,
or on the ground, or keeping cremated
remains in the home of a relative or friend
of the deceased are not the reverent
disposition the church requires. Such
methods of disposing of cremated remains are
inconsistent with the due respect and honor
that the church wants to preserve for her
The practice of a common grave, ground or
niche where the cremated remains of several
persons are scattered, poured, buried or
combined without individual urns is to be
completely avoided in Catholic cemeteries.
Catholics should not select this practice
for the final disposition of their mortal,
Q: Can cremated remains be divided or
combined with those of others?
Each urn is to contain the
cremated remains of only one person. The
cremated remains of one person are not to be
divided but rather are always kept in the
Q: Can cremated remains be buried at sea?
The cremated remains of the body
may be properly buried at sea in the urn,
coffin or other container in which they have
been carried to the place of committal.
The answers provided here are excerpted
from the Statement and Policy on Cremation,
approved by the Bishops of Florida, Dec. 4,
2006. For a complete text of this policy,
please contact your pastor or visit
www.dosafl.com and click on the tab at
the bottom for diocesan policies and