Catholic Burial Tradition
The Catholic faith is rooted in the belief that God made us to enjoy eternal life with Him and that death is not the end of our existence. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter is the foretaste and promise of this immortal life.
We believe the body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. It is the repository of the soul that was washed in Baptism, anointed with the oil of salvation and nourished at the Eucharistic table. The human body is so inextricably associated with the human person that it is hard to think of a human person apart from his or her body. Catholic tradition insists that it be treated with respect, even in death.
Catholic cemeteries manifest the “now/not yet” status of the Kingdom of God. We are now a people of history, a people redeemed but still in pain and sorrow. This is why we pray as Jesus did, “Thy Kingdom come…”
We are a people who visit our cemeteries to be reminded of our history, our Catholic beliefs and practices, and our community in the various parishes of the Archdiocese of New York. We, as a community, profess our beliefs and value system … even in the silence of the grave.
In the Catholic cemeteries of the Archdiocese of New York our deceased relatives and friends are laid to rest among members of the same faith community who preceded them into eternal life, and professed the same sure conviction that one day the body will be reunited with the soul in glory to be with the Risen Lord. Then the kingdom of God will be fully realized.
Painful as it might be, family and friends are encouraged to return to the burial places to find there, in the presence of those mortal remains, people joined with the communion of saints. The church invites you to unite in prayer for their eternal rest. In the stillness of the cemetery, may you connect with that great prayer of the early Church, “Marana tha!” “Lord Jesus, come!”
Benefits of a Catholic Cemetery
- Sacred Grounds Consecrated by the Church
- Affirmation of Faith
- Daily Mass Intentions
- Religiously-appointed Interment Chapels and Community Mausoleums
- Chaplains Available for Committal Services
- Spiritual Themes Important to Our Catholic Beliefs
- Our Belief in the Sacredness and Respect for the Human Body
- Endowed Care Funds Provide for Future Care and Maintenance
- Our future Direction
- Community events