One of the most common questions asked of Catholic cemeteries relates to cremation. The Catholic Church does permit cremation, and Racine Catholic Cemeteries provides beautiful columbaria for the final disposition of cremated remains.
The Church’s revised Code of Canon Law (1983) places a strong emphasis on traditional burial, but it does provide for cremation, “unless this is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching.”
Cremation cannot be chosen if in any way it denies faith in the Resurrection of the body, or is done out of attachment to non-Christian (secular or religious) beliefs. Cremation must be the choice of the individual before death and cannot be specified for them after death.
The Church has always expressed a preference for full-body burial, whether above ground or in-ground. We are created in the image and likeness of God, and our living bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are joined as part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Christians through the ages have gone to great lengths to secure the bodies of the faithful for burial. It is a testament to respect for the body.
Catholics can choose cremation based on financial, ecological or space considerations, for transfer of remains from a distant place, or based on ethnic customs – as long as the choice maintains faith in the Resurrection of the body.
The mausoleums at Calvary Cemetery and Holy Cross Cemetery have special sections called niches for the inurnment of cremated remains. Contact our staff for complete information on niche costs and options.