OCF 206: What Committal Expresses

So, what is this committal? How important is it? And how has my family missed a spiritual and liturgical opportunity by keeping Dad’s ashes somewhere in my brother’s house?

206. In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection. The rite of committal is an expression of the communion that exists between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven: the deceased passes with the farewell prayers of the community of believers into the welcoming company of those who need faith no longer but see God face to face.

This is one of those important catechetical pieces provided in the rite. A pastoral minister would do well to know these few and be prepared to use them as part of the explanation to mourners or the formation of the local faith community.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to OCF 206: What Committal Expresses

  1. Liam says:

    Ah, yes. A housemate of mine kept his father’s ashes and urn in a closet for a couple of years while waiting for the family to assemble to commit them back to somewhere. When the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004, he joked that he heard Dad In A Box churning. Still, it was too weird for words.

  2. Anne says:

    I was given a tour of a friend’s condo. She pointed to the box. “That’s where Mama will rest until I die and we will be buried together.” Her parish priest told her it was fine to hold onto the ashes. Same guy who permits private Baptisms..

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