Fourth Synod Compiled Acts, Declarations and Statutes

Catholic cemetery in accord with the Ecumenical Guidelines of the Province of Chicago.

140. A priest or deacon shall always accompany the body to the place of burial in a Catholic cemetery.

141. Although cremation is now permitted by the Church, it does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body. The care taken to prepare the bodies of the deceased befits their dignity in expectation of their final resurrection in the Lord. When extraordinary circumstances make the cremation of a body the only feasible choice, the cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. A worthy vessel should be used to contain the ashes and the cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires. 94


142. All approved confessors are hereby delegated to dispense individual penitents for a reasonable cause from the general law of fasting, abstaining and observance of feast days; they may exercise this faculty also outside the confessional. For a just cause and according to the precepts of the Diocesan Bishop, pastors possess the faculty by the law itself to grant in individual cases a dispensation from the obligation of observing a feast day or a day of penance or a commutation of the obligation into other pious works. 95

94 Cf., Order of Christian Funerals: Appendix – Cremation, with Reflections on the Body, Cremation, and Catholic Funeral Rites by the Committee on the Liturgy , United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1997, nos. 411-438.

95 Cf. c. 1245.


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