Dear St. Thomas More,
Since the early days of the Church, burial of the dead on the parish grounds near the church has been desirable as it is symbolic of the cycle of life within the church. As pagans practiced cremation, believing that all life for that person had ceased, the early church fathers forbade cremation as a means of affirming our belief in the resurrection of the body. On May 8, 1963, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose the extraordinary choice for cremation, while still recommending the practice of burying the bodies of the faithful. Cremated remains were allowed into the church for the funeral Mass beginning in 1998, however, the Church prefers that the Funeral Mass or the Funeral Liturgy Outside Mass be celebrated in the presence of the body of the deceased prior to its cremation.
Given the sacred dignity of the body, the Church recommends that the custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed to await the Resurrection. As stated above, the extraordinary choice of cremation is now permitted, but it does not enjoy the same value as the burial of the body of the deceased.
The St. Thomas More columbarium is located between the existing church and the new Parish Center. A location near the church for the deceased has been a powerful symbol of our faith since the early church. It is a statement of our ultimate goal to live this life in Christ so that one day, through death, we can share in eternal life with God. It is customary to take the remains of the dead immediately to the place of rest after the funeral Mass for interment. Similarly, the location of the columbarium permits procession immediately following the funeral Mass with the cremains to the columbarium for interment.
Below you will find information regarding the Columbarium here at St. Thomas More. Should you have any questions please contact the parish office.
Rev. Scott E. McCue, Pastor