All Saints, All Souls, and Cemetery Sunday: What are the differences?

While many of us “cradle Catholics” have grown up with the expectation of attending Mass the day after Halloween in observance of All Saints Day, I’m sure that there are some of us, myself included, that never really stopped to ask why All Saints Day was a holy day of obligation. Even more so, I was never aware that there are two other major Catholic observances in the month of November: All Souls Day and Cemetery Sunday. While all related, these three days are actually quite different, and each offers its own special intention. Keep reading to learn more about these three holy days, how they’re different, and how you can celebrate them.

 

cemetery sunday

 

All Saints Day (November 1st)

As I mentioned, All Saints Day (officially named Solemnity of All Saints) is the most well-known of the three November observances. All Saints Day is meant to be a celebration of the souls that are currently in Heaven. These souls include both known saints recognized by the church, and those that are unknown. Being a Holy Day of Obligation, All Saints Day is celebrated with a special Mass.

All Souls Day (November 2nd)

Not to be confused with All Saints Day, All Souls Day is a day dedicated to souls who are not in Heaven. This day is a chance for those of us here on Earth to offer prayers and intentions for those souls in purgatory– that they may find eternal peace and rest in the Kingdom of Heaven. While not a holy day of obligation, All Souls Day is an opportunity for all Catholics to pray for our departed brothers and sisters.

Cemetery Sunday (First Sunday in November)

Cemetery Sunday, while closely related to All Saints and All Souls Day, is rather unique. Proposed by the National Catholic Cemetery Conference in 1978, the day focuses on the physical location where souls are laid to rest: the cemetery. Catholic cemeteries are sacred ground, as they are blessed upon their founding, and they are treated as an extension of the Church itself. Therefore, Cemetery Sunday is a day dedicated to those buried in a Catholic cemetery. The day is normally celebrated with a special Mass on cemetery grounds. Cemetery Sunday is a spiritual way to honor family members who have passed, and provides families with a special opportunity to visit the graves of their dearly departed loved ones.

The Catholic Cemeteries Association will be celebrating Cemetery Sunday on November 5th, 2017.  Mass will be said at the following locations at 3pm:

Cemetery Mass Location Celebrant
All Saints, Northfield Nativity Mausoleum Rev. Luigi Miola
All Souls, Chardon Service Building Rev. Dave Woost
Calvary, Cleveland Main Office Rev. Thomas O’Donnell
Calvary, Lorain Our Lady of Guadalupe Mausoleum Rev. Robert J. Glepko
Holy Cross, Akron Sacred Heart of Jesus Mausoleum Rev. Thomas McCann
Holy Cross, Brook Park Service Building Rev. Michael Troha
St. Joseph, Avon St. Joseph Mausoleum Rev. Gerald Keller
St. Mary, Cuyahoga Hts. Service Building Rev. Andrew Panek

 

For more information, please email Rhonda Abrams at rabrams@clecem.org

Visit our event page on Facebook here.

Post written by Katie Karpinski

Preplanning: What it is, Why it’s important, and how you can get started!

No one enjoys thinking about their own death. In fact, many people go to great lengths to avoid the subject entirely, choosing to ignore the matter of death altogether. While this may ease some worry in the short-term, in the long-term avoiding the topic of death, especially your own, can be unhealthy and lead to added stress, emotional turmoil, and financial struggles. As Catholics we realize that death is only the transition into a world that is much greater than we can even imagine. Instead of ignoring death or trying to outsmart it, embracing your mortality and planning ahead will actually bring you more peace of mind. The Catholic Cemeteries Association is here to provide our Catholic community with the knowledge and resources they need to preplan their final arrangements. Keep reading to learn more about preplanning: what it is, why it’s important, and how you can get started.

 

 What is it?

Preplanning is the process of planning your burial arrangements in advance. This process normally includes selecting your place of burial, what type of burial you prefer (traditional or cremation), memorials and monuments, and basic principles and guidelines regarding your burial to leave your loved ones following your death. Preplanning is all done with the help of a knowledgeable and compassionate Family Service Representative, who will assist you through each stage of the process.

 

Why is it important?

Preplanning is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones. Losing someone close to you is a traumatic experience, leaving family members distraught, confused, and unbelievably stressed. By planning your burial arrangements in advance, you save your loved ones the stress of making quick decisions regarding your final resting place. It is also a good way to save your family from the financial stress of burying a loved one. Another major advantage to preplanning is that it assures your final wishes will be carried out according to your own specific preferences. By starting early, you have time to research all of your options and come to the decision that best suits you and your specific situation.

How can you get started? 

Begin preplanning today by calling 855-85-2PLAN, or by visiting https://www.clecem.org/Information/BeginPrePlanning.aspx. One of our Family Service Representatives will be waiting for your call!

3 things you should know about Catholic cemeteries

When it comes to making a burial decision, the amount of options can be overwhelming. Not only are you expected to decide how you’d like to be buried, what type of service you prefer, and other personal arrangement preferences; but you also must decide where you want to buried. These are all topics you should discuss while preplanning your funeral and burial arrangements. (For more information about preplanning, please visit our previous blog post Preplanning: What is it?).  As a Catholic, it’s very important that you consider burial in a Catholic cemetery. There are differences between Catholic and non-Catholic cemeteries that you need to know before making your decision. Below are 3 things you should know about Catholic cemeteries that can help you make an educated decision on your final resting place.

 

cemetery pic

 

1.Catholic cemeteries are BLESSED 

Unlike secular cemeteries, Catholic cemeteries are considered to be an extension of the Church itself and are therefore considered consecrated grounds. By being buried in a Catholic cemetery, you are assuring that your body or cremated remains will eternally rest on blessed land.

 

2. Catholic cemeteries are MERCIFUL  

As one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, Catholic cemeteries offer prayers for the deceased members of the Catholic community. Catholic cemeteries also celebrate Mass on the grounds as a form of prayer and worship to offer intentions for the dearly departed.

 

3. Catholic cemeteries are FORGIVING  

It is the belief of the Catholic church that reconciliation and forgiveness can be achieved after death, providing all members of the Catholic family the opportunity to be buried on sacred ground.

To learn more about your local Catholic cemeteries and how you can start planning, please visit clecem.org or call 855-852-PLAN(7526).

 

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski

 

 

Preplanning: What is it?

Death is not something anyone enjoys thinking about. It is a very somber and difficult experience to lose a loved one, or think about one’s own mortality. However, as Catholics we know that death is not the final destination, but rather a transition into God’s eternal kingdom. Therefore, death should not be seen as a permanent condition, but rather a necessary evolution on our journey to come home to Christ. Like any other sacred tradition, such as a marriage or a baptism, one’s burial also requires planning and consideration to assure that it follows the teachings of the Catholic Church and the preferences of the individual.

This article addresses some common questions regarding preplanning, Catholic teaching, and how you can get started!

preplanning

1. What is preplanning?

ANSWER: Preplanning is the process and careful deliberation of your end of life arrangements. Preplanning can include anything from your funeral arrangements to your burial preferences. Preplanning is very helpful, and can prevent families from experiencing added emotional and financial stress following the death of a loved one. Normally, preplanning involves the help of a Family Service Representative who will walk you through the process and explain difference choices you have for your burial arrangements.

2. Who needs preplanning?

ANSWER: Nearly everyone can benefit from preplanning, especially those who are reaching middle age and wish to ensure that their final arrangements are taken care of before death. It is never too early to begin preplanning!

3. What are the benefits of preplanning?

ANSWER: There are several benefits to preplanning your final arrangements. First, preplanning your arrangements will prevent your family from experiencing additional stress. Often when a loved one passes away without having their arrangements taken care of in advance, family members are left to make quick and difficult decisions regarding their loved one’s burial. Not only does preplanning prevent this added stress on your family, but it also assures that your wishes are carried out to the fullest extent. Another benefit of preplanning is that you can save you and your family money by purchasing your cemetery products and services such as grave, vault, crypt opening and desired memorial at today’s prices.

4. How is the Catholic faith incorporated into preplanning?

ANSWER: Preplanning your final arrangements guarantees that your burial will be carried out following the teachings of the Catholic church. Also, by preplanning and securing a cemetery plot in a Catholic cemetery, you are reserving a final resting place that is on sacred ground, something secular cemeteries do not offer.

5. How can I start preplanning?

ANSWER: You can get started today by reaching out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate, and experienced Family Service Representatives at 855-85-2PLAN (7526) or by visiting the Catholic Cemeteries Association website at https://www.clecem.org/Information/BeginPrePlanning.aspx

 

Don’t forget to follow the Catholic Cemeteries Association on Facebook!

Post written by Katie Karpinski

Myths & Realities: Catholic Cemeteries Will Not Bury Non-Catholics

Over the past several weeks various myths have been debunked concerning Catholic cemeteries. Continuing the conversation the focus turns to the myth that “non-Catholic family members, former Catholics, and non-practicing Catholics may not be buried in Catholic cemeteries.”

While Catholic cemeteries are intended for the burial of Catholics, the importance of family is recognized. Family members who may not be Catholic (spouses, children, parents, etc.) can be buried in Catholic cemeteries in order to maintain family unity even in death.

Reconciliation is the hope of the Church even in death. A former Catholic may be buried in a Catholic cemetery as long as there is no public scandal or controversy involved. An inactive or non-practicing Catholic may be buried in a Catholic cemetery with the same caution.

Myths & Realities: All Cemeteries Provide Prayers for the Deceased

Another popular myth often heard is “all cemeteries provide prayers for the deceased buried there.”

The reality is secular cemeteries may permit individual religious services at the time of burial.

However, a unique feature of Catholic cemeteries is that, in addition to the graveside service at burial, Mass is offered regularly for those buried in our Catholic cemeteries. Mass is also celebrated at most Catholic cemeteries on Memorial Day, Cemetery Sunday (the first Sunday in November) in conjunction with the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, and for other special occasions throughout the year. The Bishops and some of the priests closely associated with the Catholic Cemeteries Association are the celebrants of these special Masses.

In addition to the Masses offered regularly at our cemeteries, the Rosary is prayed several times each month at our cemeteries. This beautiful and traditional prayer is truly an uplifting experience that offers peace and healing to those who are grieving. Finally, our cemeteries offer monthly prayer services where prayer and reflection continue the healing process.

For more information visit www.clevelandcatholiccemeteries.org.

Myths & Realities: All Cemeteries Are Blessed Ground

A common misconception people have is that all cemeteries are blessed grounds. While all cemeteries and burial places are meant to be places of reverence, not all cemeteries are blessed ground.

In a unique way, the Catholic Church sets aside in perpetuity and solemnly blesses or “consecrates” the land of Catholic cemeteries and mausoleums.

A Catholic cemetery is considered an extension of the parish church, and like a parish church, is solemnly blessed or “consecrated” by the Bishop. A Catholic cemetery is to be a prayerful place, a permanent memorial for those who have died and a reliquary of saints.

Myths & Realities

From the earliest days of the Church, Catholic cemeteries have been the final resting places of baptized Catholics and their families. Because the Church teaches that death is not an end, but the beginning of eternal life, these cemeteries serve as reminders that we must all one day pass from this earthly life to a better one. Catholic burial is an honor and a privilege, as well as a right of baptized Catholics and their families. It is also the last reaffirmation of our faith.

Over the next several weeks we will dispel some of the myths concerning Catholic cemeteries, and point out the many advantages in choosing Catholic cemeteries over commercial cemeteries.

What is the Memorial Option?

Did you know Catholic cemeteries allow families to convert existing flush markers to above ground monuments?

For over 160 years the Catholic Cemeteries Association has served the Catholic community of the greater Cleveland area. Throughout this history the Association has grown in size to its present day configuration of 18 cemeteries across 7 counties. With this as background, each cemetery had to comply with the zoning regulations of its township or municipality. As a result, some of the Association’s cemeteries offered graves accommodating upright memorials while others – due to zoning regulations – offered only flush marker graves.
Graves that could accommodate an upright memorial require more upkeep and maintenance over the generations that follow that memorial’s placement. Again, this involves labor, equipment, and materials. As such, the Association assessed a premium price for these graves. As zoning regulations have changed over the past decade, the CCA has had to adapt as well. Families in those cemeteries previously restricted to flush memorials could place larger upright memorials under the new zoning regulations. To allow families to do this, and in consideration of the increased upkeep and maintenance required for future generations, the CCA established the Memorial Option as a way to upgrade the flush marker grave to a level on par with a premium monument grave in other Association cemeteries.
To learn more visit our website at www.clevelandcatholiccemeteries.org or email us at info@clevelandcatholiccemeteries.org.