Fourth Synod Compiled Acts, Declarations and Statutes


134. The art of dying in God’s grace is the key to everlasting happiness in eternal life. The Christian faithful die to sin through the saving waters of Baptism. By dying to their selfish desires through acts of mortification and self-sacrifice, the Christian faithful grow in love of God and neighbor. The whole Christian life aims at reaching this goal of everlasting happiness in eternal life by turning from sin and growing in virtue through God’s grace. 135. It is the right of the faithful to choose the church and the cemetery for their funeral and burial, provided the church designated is one entitled to hold funeral services. This choice may be made by the person himself or by one to whom he had given a lawful mandate. 136. All Catholics must be given ecclesiastical burial unless they are expressly deprived of it in accord with canon law. If there be a doubt as to the right of anyone to ecclesiastical burial, the decision is to be made by the local Ordinary. 92 137. If a parish has its own cemetery, the faithful departed from that parish are to be interred in that parish’s cemetery unless another cemetery has been legitimately chosen either by the departed person or by those who are responsible to arrange for his or her interment. 93 The faithful may choose a non-Catholic cemetery for burial for a compelling reason, such as burial with other close family members or in an official military cemetery, in which case the grave is to be blessed in accord with the liturgical books. 138. Non-Catholic members of Catholic families may be buried in a family lot in a Catholic cemetery. Priests and deacons are permitted to conduct appropriate services in the home, funeral parlor and cemetery for the funeral of the non- Catholic member of a Catholic family provided there is no other religious service. 139. Non-Christian religious services, including Masonic rites, are not permitted in a Catholic cemetery without a dispensation from the local Ordinary for the spiritual good of a Catholic party, such as the Catholic spouse of the non- Christian deceased. Non-Catholic Christian religious services are permitted in a

92 Cf. cc. 1184-1185.

93 Cf. c. 1180.


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