- 4500 CATHOLIC CEMETERIES AND BURIAL
- 4510 INTRODUCTION
- 4520 Christian Burial Regulations
- 4530 Guidelines
- 4531 Wake Service
- 4532 The Funeral Rite
- 4533 The Place of Burial and the Burial Rite
- 4534 Cremation
- 4540 Guidelines on Procedure
- 4550 Pastoral Recommendations
4500 CATHOLIC CEMETERIES AND BURIAL #
4510 INTRODUCTION #
The Catholic Cemetery Department has responsibility for the burial and care of the burial places of the deceased members of the Catholic community of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The Cemetery staff is also committed to serving the many pastoral needs of our people at the time of a death in their family. Anyone needing assistance or information relative to death or burial is encouraged to contact a Catholic Cemetery office.
The following regulations have been promulgated by the Archdiocese of San Francisco as guidelines for matters pertaining to Christian burial.
4520 Christian Burial Regulations #
From the very beginning of the Church to the present time, Christian Burial has been an important and integral part of Catholic life. The Catholic dogmas and doctrines relating to death and resurrection have been clearly and dramatically demonstrated and practiced in all aspects of the death and burial of the faithful. The Catholic’s belief in death as the entrance into eternity, his hope in a resurrection, his recognition of the value of prayer for the deceased, his reverence for the body which remains, his sense of the mystery and sacredness which surround death -all of these realities should be reflected in the atmosphere and ceremonies which are part of our response to death and our care of the deceased.
The Christian response to death must stand as symbol and sermon of the central and pivotal Christian beliefs of man’s life here and hereafter. The private and liturgical prayers, the meditation and reflection, and the ceremonies and rites connected with the funeral and committal unite us to the great paschal mystery with its hope of eternal union with Almighty God.
The events which surround death also call for a community response. The immediate family must bear the principal burden of sorrow. The community of relatives, friends and parishioners comes together to provide their prayerful support. The whole Christian community through the Church and its liturgy offers its prayers for God’s mercy for the deceased and His strength for the bereaved.
When possible, those who were part of the Catholic community in life are buried together in death in a Catholic Cemetery.’ The Catholic Cemetery is a sacred place, blessed by the Church and protected by its Canon Law where the bodily remains of the deceased are laid to rest in a manner and surroundings which reflect the Catholic dogmas and customs pertaining to death and resurrection. The Catholic Cemetery is also a place of prayer, liturgy and meditation for the living; a community within a community; a holy place of deep religious and spiritual significance.
Because of these vital realities of Catholic life, Christian Burial is a rite which the Church provides for her faithful departed and as a source of strength, hope and encouragement for the bereaved family and friends. This rite consists of three principal parts: The wake, the funeral rite and the committal in a blessed burial place. Each part has its distinct role and each must reflect the realities of the circumstances of both the deceased and the mourners.
The Church authority has the obligation and responsibility to determine what parts of the burial rite a person has a right to and what form these rites will take. The following guidelines and regulations for Christian Burial have their foundation in the general law of the Church and the liturgical decrees.
The revised funeral ritual with the adaptations of the American National Conference of Catholic Bishops is effective and mandatory after November 1, 1971. All funeral and burial services conducted in the Archdiocese of San Francisco must comply with the directives and rites presented in this revised ritual.
At the time of death there is a great need for effective, sensitive pastoral care on the part of the priest. The parish clergy will be expected not only to offer support and consolation, but will be the ones responsible for determining, in accordance with the guidelines here presented, the rights of the deceased for Christian Burial and will have the obligation of conducting services for the wake, funeral and/or
committal. It is essential that the priest exercise his responsibilities in these matters conscientiously and in keeping with the directives of the Church.
4530 Guidelines #
The following guidelines are presented as the Christian Burial policies of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
4531 Wake Service #
It is customary for a brief period prior to burial to have a gathering of the family and friends of the deceased. At this time the body may be viewed, the family and friends have the opportunity to pray privately and as a group while offering to one another strength and encouragement in their grief and loss.
On at least one occasion during this wake period, a service should be offered in which the community of those in attendance might join their prayers for the repose of the soul of the deceased while providing consolation and reflective thought for the mourners. The wake service should be conduct