HE CONGREGATION FOR DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH (CDF) just issued a new document on Christian burial and cremation. The instruction, “Ad resurgendum cum Christo”, was published by the Vatican yesterday. Gerhard Cardinal Müller, the prefect of the CDF, attended the press conference and introduced the document. The English translation of the document can be found on the website of the Vatican Radio. This video below, from the Rome Reports, gives a pretty good summary of the new document:
N THE PAST FEW YEARS, I have experienced a few awkward funerals where the cremated remains of the deceased person was brought to the church. I have always had doubts about this practice since the funeral rite was meant to perform over the casket with the body of the faithful departed. And I was right:
In the absence of motives contrary to Christian doctrine, the Church, after the celebration of the funeral rite, accompanies the choice of cremation, providing the relevant liturgical and pastoral directives, and taking particular care to avoid every form of scandal or the appearance of religious indifferentism.
Please correct me if I am wrong. It seems to me that the above paragraph (no. 4) clearly stated that the funeral rite is to be held prior to the cremation. Therefore, a Mass for the Dead (Memorial Mass) should be celebrated in place of the Funeral Mass when the body of the deceased had already been cremated.
Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace. Amen.