CATHOLIC Funerals and Burial by aqy18218


									             To perform the Corporal Work of
             Mercy of burying the dead and to care
             for their resting places; to preserve,
             promote and protect the Church’s
             teachings on death and resurrection;
             and to console the bereaved.

Funerals and Burial
                            by Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl

O    ur Catholic faith calls us to a
     belief in life after death. “I
am the resurrection and the life,”                            How appropriate it is then to be brought at the end
Jesus says, “whoever believes in                           of our life down the aisle of the same parish church
me though he should die, will                              in order that the Christian family, which is manifest-
come to life” (Jn. 11:26). The                             ed in the parish, might join our family and friends in
pledge of everlasting life is a part                       bidding us farewell and in asking God’s mercy on us
of our heritage. Christian belief                          as we pass through the doors of death into what we
asserts that there is a resurrection                       pray will be a realm of eternal light, rest and peace.
of the body as well as the soul. As the prayer for the       As the body is brought to the entrance of the
Mass for the dead relates: “When the body of our           church, the priest greets the family and mourners
earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting      and sprinkles the coffin with holy water as a sign and
dwelling place in heaven.”                                 reminder of our baptism into Christ's death and res-
  It is precisely because of our faith in the life to      urrection. A pall is placed over the coffin as a sign of
come and because our human body is a temple of             the new life we have put on in Christ and as a pledge
God’s Holy Spirit, that we take special care with          that we would one day be clothed in glory.
what have so reverently been called “the bodily               The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us:
remains” after the soul has left the body.                 “The church who, as Mother, has borne the
  As part of a tradition going back to the earliest        Christian sacramentally in her womb during his
days of the church, we bring deceased loved ones to        earthly pilgrimage, accompanies him at his journey’s
the parish church for the celebration of the Eucharist     end, in order to surrender him ‘into the Father’s
and the final farewell. Most fittingly, this takes place   hands.’ She offers to the Father, in Christ, the child
in the parish church because it is there that the fol-     of His grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope,
lower of Christ received baptism into new life, was        the seed of the body that will rise in glory. This
confirmed in the gifts of the Spirit, and was daily,       offering is fully celebrated in the Eucharistic sacri-
weekly or regularly nourished with the body and            fice; the blessings before and after Mass are sacra-
blood of Christ at the Eucharist. It is in the parish      mentals” (1683).
church that we seek absolution, are married, cele- I am often struck by how calm, reflective and
brate first Communion and mark with our families peaceful the family and mourners become as the
the great events of our lives.                   Eucharistic liturgy begins. The holy sacrifice of the
                                                        Mass calls us beyond ourselves out of our
                               INSIDE THIS ISSUE        own grief and loss into the sacramental and
  The Catholic Funeral Plan, page 3                    transcendent presence of God—the God
  Development Projects, pages 4-5                      who wipes away every tear and makes all
  Maintenance Miracles, page 6                         things new.
  911 and Sacred Places, page 7                                                                 (continued on page 2)

  Memorial Prayer Service, page 8
    Catholic Funerals and Burial (continued)
                                                                                                    For example, in pack-       PRE-PLANNING
                                                                                                 aged funeral arrange-
       The ritual for the burial of the dead                                                      ments sometimes made          A Journey of Faith
    reminds us that the homily is to provide an                                                   long in advance of a per-
    instruction on our faith in the resurrection.                                                 son’s death, no provision
    More and more I am convinced of the wis-
    dom of this instruction. There is a temptation
                                                                                                 is made for transportation
                                                                                               to and from the church for       T   he Catholic Cemeteries Association has just
                                                                                                                                    introduced a new booklet entitled “Journey
                                                                                                                                of Faith.” This helpful booklet discusses
                                                                                                                                                                                            Association president, Matthew Cahalan, said, “In
                                                                                                                                                                                                   the five years that we have been promoting the
                                                                                                                                                                                                           plan thousands have affirmed the
    to use this time to present a eulogy—a summa-                                             a funeral Mass.
    ry of the person’s life in praise and recognition of                                                                        new and important advance planning                                            importance of Catholic funeral tra-
    his or her accomplishments. Given the number of                                       We need to make sure that             options for Catholics who want to                                               ditions in their lives and they want
    people present who are less aware of the teaching                                   when we make arrangements for           plan their funeral and burial in the                                            to ensure that these traditions are
    of the faith they profess than they are of the                                      our own death or that of a loved        Catholic tradition.                                                             included in their plans.” He also
    accomplishments of the deceased, the importance                                     one, a funeral Mass in church                                                                                         stated, “While there were some mis-
                                                                                        and burial in a Catholic ceme-             Over the past 50 years, The Catholic                                   understandings about the plan early on,
    of using this time to explain what is happening in                                                                          Cemeteries Association has been a trusted
    the context of our faith is all the more evident.                                tery are included.                                                                                          now that people are receiving the benefits of the
                                                                                                                                friend in helping families deal with arrangements at        plan at the time of death there is a clearer picture of
       Pastorally, it serves the interest of everyone                            Clearly burial of the bodily remains is        the time of a death and before need.                        how the plan works, not only with the general public
    involved to use the time reserved at the end of Mass                      the preferred manner of caring for the                                                                        but also among funeral directors.” This past fall the
                                                                              dead. However, the church permits cre-              Some of the topics of the new booklet include:
    after the final prayer but before the final commenda-                                                                                                                                   Pennsylvania Department of State also provided
    tion for those remarks, reflections and remembrances                       mation as long as it does not symbolize              •The importance of our faith in the planning process    some clarification about the plan.
    that speak to us of the great gift that the deceased has                      or demonstrate a denial of faith in
                                                                                      the resurrection of the body                  •Why preplanning is preferred                              After a thorough review, the Pennsylvania
    been and of the value of his or her life. In this way,
    both the human and faith dimensions of the believ-                                  (CCC 2301).                                 •The benefits of preplanning                            Department of State affirmed that the Catholic
    er are properly celebrated.                                                                                                                                                             Funeral PlanSM is a faith-based, funeral planning
                                                                                      The origin of the objection to               Nearly 87% of all people recently contacted by a         alternative designed specifically for the benefit of
                                                               cremation was its use by some groups as a way of                 major polling group agree that preplanning for one’s        Catholic families, and it does not constitute the dis-
      At the conclusion of the Mass the priest sprinkles
                                                               publicly proclaiming their rejection not only of                 final arrangements makes good sense, but many put           cussion or sale of funeral arrangements, the practice
    the body with holy water and incenses it because it
                                                               Christian belief in the life to come but also Christian          off the decision until it is too late.                      of funeral directing, or acting as a funeral director
    has been a temple of the Holy Spirit and will be
    called to bodily resurrection on the last day.             faith itself. In such instances, cremation was viewed                                                                        under Pennsylvania Law. The plan had been criti-
                                                                                                                                   Preplanning puts the family in control of the
                                                               as the alternate response to death—a denial of the                                                                           cized in the past by some as being in violation of the
                                                                                                                                arrangements and the cost of the arrangements at the
       Finally, the body is taken to the grave site for        resurrection. Where there is no such denial, crema-                                                                          laws regulating the sale of funeral services. This affir-
                                                                                                                                time of death, and removes the financial and emo-
    interment. The church’s preference is always for           tion, while not preferred, is acceptable. Surely the                                                                         mation of the plan resolves those issues.
                                                                                                                                tional burden from one’s family.
    burial. “The bodies of the dead must be treated with       God who can restore the body from dust can also
    respect and charity, in faith and hope of the resurrec-    raise it up from ashes.                                            The booklet and the planning guide offered by                The plan exists to preserve, promote and protect
    tion” (CCC 2300).                                                                                                           The Catholic Cemeteries Association can be invalu-          Catholic funeral and burial traditions. The Catholic
                                                                 Liturgically, the body of the dead person even if it                                                                       Funeral PlanSM addresses concerns which are unique
                                                                                                                                able tools for getting your thoughts organized and
      Catholic cemeteries exist to receive the remains         has been cremated is blessed and is to be interred.                                                                          to Catholics and are typically not the focus of tradi-
                                                                                                                                recording your preferences for the future.
    for burial either interment (in the ground) or in a        There is no provision ritually in the church for the                                                                         tional funeral planning, including a person’s prefer-
    mausoleum to await the resurrection of the body            scattering of ashes. The cremated remains of a body                For a free copy of the booklet and the options            ence for a funeral in the Catholic tradition. The plan
    on the last day. The ritual also makes provision for       should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mau-                available to you call toll free at 1-877-886-7526.          also provides consumers with protection from higher
    burial at sea.                                             soleum or columbarium (Order of Christian                                                                                    future funeral costs and allows them to make changes
                                                               Funerals, Appendix 2: Cremation, 417). The norms                                                                             to their plan without penalty should their funeral
       Catholic cemeteries continue to provide a ministry      of the Diocese of Pittsburgh reflect this liturgical                                                                         preferences or the city in which they live change.
    in the church that recognizes the uniquely Christian       law. “The burial of the dead is a corporal work of                                                                           Under the plan the family maintains complete con-
    understanding of death. They also provide us with          mercy; it honors the children of God who are tem-
    holy ground where we can with some regularity,             ples of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2300).
                                                                                                                                CATHOLIC FUNERAL PLAN                                       trol of the funds until such time as the funeral servic-
                                                                                                                                                                                                          es and merchandise have been provided.
    such as Memorial Day or All Souls Day, remember
    our dead, recall their goodness to us and ask God’s           The death of the Christian is a sacred moment.
                                                                                                                                Celebrates 5th Anniversary                                                Only then is the funeral provider paid.
    blessing on them. We pray for the dead with the full       Catholic funeral and burial rites are an integral aspect                   Plan Receives State of Pennsylvania Affirmation
                                                                                                                                                                                              At the time of death, CFSA personnel provide the
    awareness that we too shall follow in their steps.         of our faith response to the mystery of life and death.                                                                      family with assistance and guidance prior to their
                                                               How we treat the body of a deceased member of our
      Any reflection on Christian funerals causes us to
    look at some more recent trends in our country.
                                                               faith community mirrors our deep conviction that it
                                                               is Christ who gives meaning to each of us individual-
                                                                                                                                F    ebruary of 2004 marked the fifth anniversary of
                                                                                                                                     the introduction of the Catholic Funeral PlanSM
                                                                                                                                to the faithful of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The plan
                                                                                                                                                                                            making final arrangements with the funeral home.
                                                                                                                                                                                            The family is fully informed about the wishes of the
                                                                                                                                                                                            deceased, Catholic funeral and burial rites, and the
    Currently as funerals become part of an ever increas-      ly both in life and in death.                                    is offered through The Catholic Family Security                                                 (continued on page 8)
    ing conglomerate business activity, the relationship
                                                                                                                                Association (CFSA), an affiliate of the Catholic
    of ones death, funeral and burial to one’s faith life      [This article first appeared as an editorial in the Pittsburgh
                                                                                                                                Cemeteries Association. Catholic Family Security
2   and church become more tenuous.                            Catholic.]                                                                                                                                                                               3
    DEVELOPMENT                                                                                                                                                  Site development for Mary,
                                                                                                                                                                 Mother of the Church Chapel
    Projects                                                                                       Construction on St. Matthew
                                                                                                                                                                 Mausoleum, Queen of Heaven
                                                                                                                                                                 Cemetery, Peters Township, is
                                                                                                   Garden Mausoleum, Good                                        scheduled to begin later this
                                                                                                   Shepherd Cemetery,                                            year. When completed, it will

     T    his year The Catholic Cemeteries Association opened
          three new in-ground sections for burials. A new section
     opened in St. Mary Cemetery, Lawrenceville, dedicated to
                                                                                                   Monroeville, is now complete.
                                                                                                   Dedication will be scheduled
                                                                                                   for mid summer. The maus-
                                                                                                   oleum includes 384 garden
                                                                                                                                                                 have a total of 3,548 crypt
                                                                                                                                                                 spaces to accommodate the
                                                                                                                                                                 above-ground burial needs of
                                                                                                                                                                 Catholics in southern Allegheny
     the Blessed Mother under the title of the “Immaculate                                         crypts and 96 niches for cre-                                 and Washington counties.
                                                                                                   mated remains.
     Conception.” A total of 354 in-ground spaces were added                                                                          Mary, Mother of the Church Chapel Mausoleum
     to inventory.                                                        St. Matthew Garden Mausoleum
       A second new section opened at Christ Our Redeemer                                                                                                        Our Lady of Hope Chapel
     Cemetery in Ross Township dedicated to the “Assumption of                                                                                                   Mausoleum will be located in
     the Blessed Virgin Mary.” This new section provides a total of                                                                                              Our Lady of Hope Cemetery,
                                                                                                                                                                 Tarentum. Currently in the pre-
     1473 new grave spaces to the cemetery.                                                                                                                      construction phase, it will con-
                                                                                                                                                                 tain an impressive chapel and
       Calvary Cemetery in Hazelwood received an additional 1600                                                                                                 679 crypt spaces when
     grave spaces in a new section dedicated to Christ’s agony in the                              On April 27, 2003, Bishop                                     completed.
                                                                                                   David A. Zubik presided over
     “Garden of Gethsemene.”                                                                       the groundbreaking for Holy
                                                                                                   Savior Chapel Mausoleum in
        In two of these new sections, a beautiful columbarium for                                  Holy Savior Cemetery, Pine         Our Lady of Hope Chapel Mausoleum
                                                                                                   /Richland townships. Site
     cremated remains will be installed with a very impressive reli-                               development was complete in
     gious feature towering over the section. The two features will                                the fall of 2003, and construc-
     depict Mary’s Assumption into heaven and Christ’s Agony in                                    tion is now well underway.
     the Garden. Call these cemetery offices if you would like addi-                                                                                             On June 29, 2003, Bishop
                                                                          Holy Savior Chapel Mausoleum                                                           Donald W. Wuerl presided over
     tional information about these beautiful new developments.                                                                                                  the groundbreaking for a new
                                                                                                                                                                 chapel mausoleum in Calvary
       Following is an update on our current mausoleum projects.                                                                                                 Cemetery, Pittsburgh. Site
                                                                                                                                                                 development and preliminary
                                                                                                                                                                 foundation work were complet-
                                                                                                                                                                 ed in late 2003. Actual con-
                                                                                                                                                                 struction began in March of
                                         Located in Resurrection                                                                                                 this year.
                                         Cemetery, Moon Township,                                  On March 23, 2003, Holy
                                         Holy Angels Chapel                                        Family Chapel Mausoleum in         Calvary Chapel Mausoleum
                                         Mausoleum was completed in                                St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Shaler,
                                         2002 and dedicated by Bishop                              was dedicated by Bishop David
                                         Donald W. Wuerl on August                                 A. Zubik. This beautiful maus-
                                         20, 2002. There are 2,607                                 oleum provides 690 indoor
                                         spaces, including indoor                                  chapel crypts and outdoor
                                                                                                                                                                 This elegant chapel is in Our
                                         chapel crypts and outdoor                                 garden crypts.
                                                                                                                                                                 Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel
                                         patio crypts.                                                                                                           Mausoleum, Mt. Carmel
                                                                                                                                                                 Cemetery, Penn Hills. Many of
            Holy Angels Chapel Mausoleum                                                                                                                         these new crypts have already
                                                                          Holy Family Chapel Mausoleum
                                                                                                                                                                 been selected. Discussions for
                                                                                                                                                                 Phase II of this project are
                                                                                                                                                                 already well underway.

                                         The Blessed Virgin Mary
                                         Garden Mausoleum in All                                                                      Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel Mausoleum
                                         Saints Catholic Cemetery was
                                         blessed on April 6, 2003.                                 Mary, Mother of Christ Chapel
                                         Together with a twin building                             Mausoleum, St. Joseph
                                         dedicated to the Sacred Heart,                            Cemetery, North Versailles, is
                                         these projects provide 796                                currently being offered to
                                                                                                   Catholic families on a pre-                                   The recently completed Sacred
                                         new crypts at this cemetery.
                                                                                                   construction basis. It will                                   Heart Chapel Mausoleum in
                                                                                                   include a beautiful chapel and                                Sacred Heart Cemetery,
                                                                                                   a total of 1,944 crypts.                                      Monongahela, has 276 interior
            Blessed Virgin Mary Garden Mausoleum                                                                                                                 chapel crypts and 408 exterior
                                                                                                                                                                 patio crypts. It was dedicated
                                                                                                                                                                 on September 10, 2002.
                                                                          Mary, Mother of Christ Chapel Mausoleum

                                                                                                                                      Sacred Heart Chapel Mausoleum
4                                                                                                                                                                                                   5
    MAINTENANCE                                                                                                        911
    Miracles                                                                                                           For Parish Cemeteries
    W     ith over 3,900 burials and entomb-
          ments a year and more than 700
    acres of developed cemetery property,
                                                                                                                       T    hose who have relatives buried in parish ceme-
                                                                                                                            teries may be interested to know what The
                                                                                                                       Catholic Cemeteries Association is doing to assist the
                                                                                                                                                                                    Office Records and Procedures Seminars for
                                                                                                                                                                                 parish cemetery staffs were begun in 1994 on a small
                                                                                                                                                                                 scale for two or three parishes; and in 1996 and 1997,
                                                                                                     Left to right:
    the labor required to bury the deceased                                                          Tom O’Connor,     parishes with the operation of their cemeteries. In       they were conducted for the entire diocese. Seminars
    and care for their resting places can be                                                         Rand Kovarik      February 1990 Bishop Donald Wuerl appointed The           for priests and business managers were also conduct-
    daunting. In addition to the 61 full-time                                                        & Bill McIntyre   Catholic Cemeteries Association (CCA) “as the cen-        ed in 1996 and 1997 geared to explaining various
    cemetery workers employed by The                                                                                   tral administrative office to supervise and monitor all   cemetery legal issues. Seminars continue to be con-
    Catholic Cemeteries Association, an                                                                                the parish cemeteries throughout the diocese.” This       ducted at the request of pastors with the responsibil-
    additional 65 seasonal workers are hired to cut and        Tom O’Connor is the newest member of the                decision was the result of a diocesan committee’s         ity of a parish cemetery.
    trim the grass in our diocesan cemeteries. Their        Central Maintenance staff. He comes with impres-           examination and assessment of all aspects of parish
    work requires appropriate equipment to extend their     sive formal training in airframe and aircraft engines,     cemetery operations.                                         Another major project involved the calculation of
    power and productivity.                                 having graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of                                                                    adequate Perpetual Care Fund levels for each parish
                                                            Aeronautics. Tom has an FAA license that certifies            In October 1990, the CCA established the office of     cemetery. This project was begun in 1993 and com-
       Equipment in terms of motorized vehicles alone is    him to inspect all aircraft. His 16 years experience       Parish Cemetery Services, a department that is            pleted in 1999. The calculations are being updated
    most impressive. Because our work is spread over 15     includes 11 years working on aircraft.                     unique in the country as attested to by our observa-      for 2004. Perpetual care is only one of the complexi-
    cemetery properties, our equipment needs are multi-                                                                tions at the Catholic Cemetery Conference conven-         ties involved in cemetery operations. The depart-
    plied. The association requires 16 industrial back-        The commitment of this crew to their profession is      tions. Also unique are the major projects that have       ment of Parish Cemetery Services provides an essen-
    hoes, 15 dump trucks, 27 pickup trucks, 11 utility      manifested by their ongoing investment in their own        been completed for the 116 parish cemeteries of our       tial service to the diocese by lending administrative
    vehicles, 10 automobiles, and 64 tractors. Additional   tools. While CCA provides significant tools and            diocese, which are affiliated with 82 parishes. One of    support to the 82 parishes that are responsible for our
    equipment includes trailers, mower decks, pull-         equipment for maintenance, professional mechanics          the most beneficial projects to parish staffs has been    116 parish cemeteries.
    behind mowers, casket lifts, soil shredder, chipper,    typically purchase their own personal hand tools.          the completion of the four-inch thick Parish
    and stump grinder. All of this equipment requires a     This is a process that usually begins when they            Cemetery Procedures Manual, which took over ten
    formidable maintenance capability to keep every-        decide to embark on such a career. Bill still has his      years to develop. This manual has been purchased by
    thing in reliable and safe operating condition. The     first tool—a 1/2 inch ratchet that he acquired when        ten other dioceses as well as numerous individual
    maintenance of our backhoes is managed through a        he was 17. The money spent on their personal tools         parishes outside of our diocese.
    third-party contractor who specializes in mainte-       is quite an investment. The total spent on tools by
    nance of heavy equipment. All other equipment           the three members of the Central Maintenance staff
    maintenance is the responsibility of our Central        totals about fifty thousand dollars.                                                                                                             Canon Law (the law of
    Maintenance Department, where we have a staff of                                                                                                                                                       the Church) specifically
                                                               The Catholic Cemeteries Association is most for-        SACRED PLACES                                                                       identifies two places in this
    three highly skilled mechanics with a combined total    tunate to have this competent and committed main-
                                                                                                                       Did You Know?
    of over 75 years experience in their profession.                                                                                                                                                       world as “sacred”—places
                                                            tenance crew. Even though their work is performed                                                                                              where the faithful worship
      Rand Kovarik, the foreman, has been with the          mostly behind the scenes, it is critical to the safe                                                                                           (our churches), and places
                                                            and professional maintenance of the diocesan ceme-
    Association since 1995. His 25 years experience
    includes his position as a foreman with National
    School Bus where he was responsible for the mainte-
                                                            tery properties.                                           I  n the Diocese of Pittsburgh there are 16 diocesan
                                                                                                                          cemeteries and 116 parish cemeteries. It is one of
                                                                                                                       the largest Catholic cemetery systems in the country.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           where the faithful are
                                                                                                                                                                                                           buried (our cemeteries).
                                                                                                                                                                                                           (Canon 1205)
    nance of 200 buses and vans. At CCA, having a
    Pennsylvania inspection license, Rand personally                                                                     The 16 diocesan cemeteries are owned and operat-                                    Our Catholic cemetery
    performs the required annual safety inspections on                                                                 ed by The Catholic Cemeteries Association—a non-          properties are sacred places not only because they
    more than 50 vehicles and equipment trailers.                                                                      profit corporation established in 1952 to assist the      have been specially set apart by a blessing or conse-
                                                                                                                       diocesan bishop with his responsibility to provide        cration, but also because of the holy activity that
      Bill McIntyre’s 35 years of experience began by                                                                  sacred resting places for the faithful. The 116 parish    takes place there. Our cemeteries hold the earthly
    working on heavy industrial tractors when he was in                                                                cemeteries are owned and operated by the individual       remains of the deceased, once temples of the Holy
    high school. He has been an operator and mechanic                                                                  parishes to which they are attached.                      Spirit, until Christ returns on the last day. It is a
    on large backhoes, dozers, scrapers and off road                                                                                                                             sacred place because prayers are offered and liturgies
    dump trucks. Bill even had a brief stint as an opera-                                                                 Typically, the diocesan cemetery properties are        are celebrated there.
    tor of a tractor/trailer. In addition to his                                                                       much larger than parish cemeteries because they
    extensive mechanical capabilities, his skill                                                                       were established to serve the burial needs of numer-         Our Catholic cemeteries are an extension of the
    set includes sophistication in welding and                                                                         ous parishes, while the parish cemeteries were estab-     parish community—a community of believers that is
    fabricating that are put to good use in                                                                            lished to serve the needs of one or two specific parish   unbroken by death. The Catholic cemetery is a con-
    our cemeteries and maintenance shop.                                                                               communities.                                              stant reminder to us that we are citizens of two
6                                                                                                                                                                                worlds—this world and the world to come.                  7
   Memorial Prayer Services
   I   t is a long tradition in the Church that we pray for
       the dead.
                                                                            where their loved one was buried and remember
                                                                            them in prayer.
    Avid readers of the Pittsburgh Catholic will notice                        These prayer services are coordinated by Sister
  in the Calendar of Events section of the paper that                       Patricia M. Buranosky OSF, Pastoral Consultant for
  THE CATHOLIC CEMETERIES ASSOCIA-                                          The Catholic Cemeteries Association. The prayer
  TION sponsors a Memorial Prayer Service at one of                         services are led by pastoral ministers and deacons
  our diocesan cemetery chapels on almost every                             from the local parishes and sometimes a guest priest.
  Sunday afternoon.
                                                                              These memorial prayer services have been a source
    Letters are sent out to the families of those recent-                   of great consolation and peace to the hundreds of
  ly deceased inviting them to come to the cemetery                         families who have participated in the last few years.
                                                                               Anyone who wishes to attend any of these services
                                                                            is welcome. Just watch the schedule published week-
                                                                            ly in the Pittsburgh Catholic.
LIGHT FOR THE          The Church’s special liturgical rites following
                       the death of a loved one provide the oppor-
JOURNEY                tunity to gather in prayer for the deceased
                       and for ourselves, and to receive the consola-       Catholic Funeral Plan Celebrates 5th Anniversary
               tion of our faith. There are three “stations” along          (continued from page 3)
               this journey of faith.
                                                                            funds available. Any funds in the plan
       Vigil for the Deceased                                               that exceed the cost of the funeral are
                                                                            paid to the family.
               The Vigil for the Deceased is “the principal rite cele-
               brated by the Christian community in the time fol-
               lowing death and before the funeral liturgy.” (Order
                                                                              Enrollment in The Catholic Funeral PlanSM contin-
               of Christian Funerals [OCF], 54) The community               ues to grow since its introduction five years ago. In
               gathers to “keep watch with the family in prayer to          that time it has proven to be an invaluable resource
               the God of mercy.” (OCF, 56) The vigil has the form          for hundreds of families whose loved ones were pro-
               of a liturgy of the word, with prayers, biblical read-
               ings, and selected songs. It is led by a priest or dea-
                                                                            tected by the plan at the time of death. Mr. Cahalan
               con or, in some cases, by a specially delegated              noted, “Nearly every week we receive some sort of
               layperson. The vigil places our hearts in touch with         card or note from an appreciative Catholic family
               the memory of the deceased and prepares us for the           who has received the benefits of the plan. This plan
               unique purpose of the funeral liturgy.
                                                                            was designed for the benefit of Catholic families and
       The Funeral Liturgy                                                  we are pleased to provide that benefit.” Through the
               This is the central liturgical celebration for the
                                                                            provision of the Catholic Funeral PlanSM CFSA has
               deceased. Whenever possible, this rite includes the          accomplished its mission of preserving, promoting
               celebration of the Mass. Ideally, we bring the body          and protecting Catholic funeral and burial traditions.
               of our deceased brother or sister to the parish              A number of other dioceses around the country are
               church. With marks of tenderness and solidarity, we
               honor that body as God’s creation and the baptized
                                                                            now also implementing The Catholic Funeral PlanSM
               temple of the Holy Spirit. We then carry the body to         following its successful implementation in the
               its final place of rest, where it will await the resur-      Diocese of Pittsburgh.
               rection on the last day.
                                                                              For more information about the Catholic Funeral
       Rite of Committal                                                    PlanSM call toll free at 1-877-866-7526.
               This is “the final act of the community of faith in car-
               ing for the body of its deceased member.”
               (OCF, 204) The rite is celebrated at the place             CATHOLIC CEMETERIES ASSOCIATION
               of burial or entombment, and with prayer
               and song, the family and the community of faith let                         718 Hazelwood Avenue
               go of the earthly remains of the departed. The
               funeral journey, begun at the time of death, comes
                                                                                       Pittsburgh, PA 15217.2807
               to its completion. We take solace in our faith, which                                412.521.9133
               proclaims that the grave or tomb has been trans-
               formed by Christ into a sign of hope and promise.                                                                     8

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