Since death is a natural part of life, it is only fitting that the Catholic Church be present at the time of death.
When we are baptized, we are brought to a sacred place, a Catholic church, and baptized into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection – thus giving us the promise of eternal life. When one of our loved ones die, we take them to another sacred place, a Catholic cemetery, for burial in sacred ground while they await the resurrection of the dead and the promise of eternal life.
In the Preface of the Funeral Mass the words ‘…for your faithful people O Lord, life has changed not ended’ are prayed. Death as seen through the eyes of a Christian is not the end, it is simply a natural passageway to a changed life with God. Burial in a Catholic cemetery is a statement of continued belief in that everlasting life, even in death.
Cemeteries hold the earthly remains of our family members and friends who have shared their love, fellowship and faith with us. Although a grave in a cemetery evokes sadness, a grave in a Catholic cemetery is also a sign of hope in God and His promise of everlasting life.
In a complex and busy world, the desire to do things well, spiritually as well as sensibly, is often complicated by practical matters like time, money and knowledge. Nothing ever seems quite as easy to do as it first appears. This is as true of planning a family burial place as it is of anything else. It is probably made more complex by the fact that many people only do it once in a lifetime.
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