View Full Version : Catholics and Crematoriums.

03-10-2011, 12:17 PM
I've been called on having a Catholic priest as the duty priest at a crematorium in a short story. I was told this would not be possible as it is not correct RC practice.

I based the RC priest at the crematorium is on my personal experience, having recently attended two British crematorium funerals where Catholic priests presided. After being told it could not happen I checked here in NZ and, yes, in NZ Catholic priests are on the crematorium rosta.

I cannot find the source but I am told by my vicar friend that she believes it was Vatican II in 1963 where the Pope lifted the ban on cremation.

Anyone here clarify for me please? Is it perhaps that some countries do allow RC cremation and some do not?

03-10-2011, 01:17 PM
RC priests certainly do crematorium services in the UK.

03-10-2011, 01:34 PM
When my RC grandmother died, there was a funeral mass at the church, followed by a brief service at the crematorium. The RC priest didn't preside at the crematorium, the resident vicar (?) spoke, as did my grandmother's rabidly Catholic sister-in-law who got up and told the biggest bunch of lies I've ever heard in a semi-sacred place. :Wha:

03-10-2011, 02:22 PM
Thank you both. Perhaps there is an element of choice in it for the priest?

03-10-2011, 05:50 PM
Perhaps there is an element of choice in it for the priest?

That, and their congregation. When I was a child in the 1970s, cremation was no longer banned but had a distinctive, well, Protestant feel to it. Older priests might well have felt extremely unhappy about holding cremation services. But finances and changing fashion mean many Catholic families do choose cremation, and most priests will go along with it, especially as they probably don't have access to their own Catholic burial grounds.

03-10-2011, 06:20 PM
It can absolutely happen. One of my best friends was also my parish priest. When he died, his body was taken for cremation after the funeral Mass. Some of his fellow priests went along to preside.

03-10-2011, 06:38 PM
Very old school - not relevant now.