Since it's Lent and we're not supposed to run around doing the happy dance, I thought this is as good a time as any to talk about what we do with our ashes when they become ashes and our dust is dust again.
Recently my husband and I were discussing the topic of non Catholics being buried in Catholic cemeteries.Is it allowed? I am a convert to the Catholic Church and our children are Catholic. My husband is a non practicing Protestant who comes to church with us occasionally (Christmas and Easter). I want to all be buried together ...after the Lord calls us home....in a Catholic cemetery, which hubby has no objection to if it is allowed. Which brings up a few other questions about the end. Yes, the rest of your family can stay with you, almost no matter what was going on with them. Unless one of your daughters or sons is a famous heretic, they can join you. Technically, even if they weren't famous and they were a heretic, they couldn't come along. I'm just imagining that unless they were famous for being a heretic, how would anyone really know they were a heretic? How can we account for someone's private heretical thoughts? We can't. I digress. Catholic cemeteries are sacred ground, blessed by the Bishop. There are cases that have to be approved by the Bishop, but generally, we like to keep families together. So while we're on the subject let's talk about a couple of other things that tend to come up. 1. You can be cremated. But your ashes have to be buried, not scattered. Or interred. They have to go in an above ground mausoleum or a below ground in a grave. Your choice. But you can't be in a pendant around someone's neck, flung out to sea, shot into space, or sitting on top of the TV with the St. Clare statue. 2. Once you are a corpse your dead remains have to be treated with respect. They have to be buried or interred, cremated or not. They can't be stuffed and perched on your favorite horse who is also stuffed, as Dale Evans once threatened to do with Roy Rogers. (In the end, Trigger was stuffed, but Roy was not.) Or kept in the basement to scare ladies that stay at your motel. 3. It's a great idea to be buried in a Catholic cemetery. The ground is blessed, the other people visiting the grave sites are all on the same page. We're all family here. Canon law dictates that we always preserve the respect for the dead. 4. And finally, people who commit suicide can be buried in a Catholic cemetery. We don't know what is in someone's heart so we can't judge someone who has taken their own life. Unless the person was also a heretic. I hope that covers everything. It's important that your mortal remains are respected and left undisturbed. Unless you are a saint, ironically. If you're up for canonization, we're going to dig you up to make sure it's really you. Either way, we'll bring flowers.