Catholic Burial Beliefs
- As people of faith our cemetery has a special place in our beliefs, in our hearts and in our minds. These grounds are sacred places, held sacred by the Catholic Church and the faithful.
- For a Catholic, burial in a Catholic cemetery is a final act of faith, a public witness to one’s membership in a community of faith; to one’s belief in the resurrection of the body and everlasting life.
- Death as seen through the eyes of a Catholic is not the end. It is simply a natural passageway to everlasting life. Burial in a Catholic cemetery is a statement of continued belief in that everlasting life, even death, and a statement of our all-pervading respect for life.
- Catholic cemeteries bear silent witness to the final resurrection. They are symbols of our faith, which tells us that life, while changed, does go on; it is not ended.
- Catholic cemeteries are a sacred place set aside by the Church for burial of our faithful loved ones, and non-Catholic members of our families. The bodies of those buried there rest under the watchful eye of the Bishop as well as the pastor of Holy Trinity until the last day.
- Those buried there share a common belief in the sacredness of the body and the Resurrection of the dead. Catholic cemeteries are on sacred and consecrated ground.
- For those reasons, we encourage Catholics and their families to pre-arrange for burial in a Catholic cemetery.
- Catholic cemeteries are committed to serving Catholics and their families in providing a sacred place for the burial and honor of loved ones.
Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery Burial Information
- Holy Trinity cemetery is operated, as a not-for-profit organization, by the staff of Holy Trinity Catholic Church under the umbrella of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- For a Catholic, burial in a Catholic cemetery is a final act of faith, a public witness to one’s membership in a community of faith, to one’s belief in the resurrection of the body and everlasting life. The Catholic cemetery is a sacred place set aside by the Church for the burial of the faithful and it reflects the Church’s teaching and traditions. The Catholic cemetery is an extension of the parish community where those who have worshipped together in life now rest together in peace, awaiting Christ’s return in glory.
- Our Catholic cemetery is dedicated to perpetual care and maintenance of its properties. A percentage of funds from all purchases are set aside strictly for perpetual care.
- What is cremation?
Cremation is the reduction of the body of a deceased person to recoverable bone fragments through a process that combines intense heat and evaporation. After cooling, the fragments are pulverized. These fragments usually weigh four to 10 pounds.
- Is it necessary to obtain permission from my priest in order to be cremated?
No, it is not a requirement, but it may be helpful to discuss your questions and decisions with your priest or parish counselor. Catholics may be cremated as long as doing so does not reflect a denial of the Church’s teaching on the resurrection of the body.
- Can Catholics be cremated?
Current Church Law allows Catholics to be cremated. However, Catholic traditions earnestly recommend the custom burial in the ground, in a mausoleum or columbarium. (Code of Canon Law, #1176).
- What should be done with the cremated remains?
The Catholic Church teaches that the cremated remains should be treated with the same respect as the body of a dead person. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the remains as well as the manner in which they are handled and their final burial in the ground, mausoleum or placement in a special place for cremated remains called a “Columbarium”. (Order of Christian Funerals # 416)
It is recommended that cremation take place after the funeral liturgy. This allows for traditional viewing and leave taking for family and friends as well as the presence of the body at the wake and the funeral liturgy. However, the Catholic funeral liturgy may take place in the presence of the cremated remains.
- What about scattering the cremated remains or keeping them at home?
The practice of scattering the cremated remains, or keeping the cremated remains or keeping the cremated remains in the home or other place is not in accord with the reverence shown to the dead in the constant tradition and teaching of the Catholic Church.
- Are there places for the proper burial of cremated remains in Holy Trinity Cemetery?
The cremated remains can be buried in the ground at a regular grave site. Identification of the deceased person and the placing of a memorial is allowed.
Who May Be Buried at Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery?
- Non-Catholic spouses or relatives of Catholics who have already purchased the right of burial in our Catholic cemetery can also be buried there. Catholic cemeteries have a long tradition of dedicated service to the Catholic community including non-Catholic’s spouses, children, parents and other relatives.
- Can someone who committed suicide be buried in our Catholic cemetery?
Yes, it is recognized that those who die from the act of suicide deserve understanding and compassion. The deceased may have been suffering from a serious psychological issue or overwhelming fear and confusion. Therefore, the Church offers funeral and burial rites for those who have died as a result of suicide. The American edition of the Catholic ritual includes prayers for this specific situation.
Availability of Space
- Our Catholic cemetery has a limited space available, therefore graves are assigned by the administration.
- Can more than one person be buried in a single grave?
We will bury one full-body and two cremations, or up to three cremations in a single grave. There is a fee for each additional burial.
- Only Holy Trinity parishioners may purchase a grave site; however, non-parishioners may be buried on a family grave site.
- Sites are sold in 2’s or 4’s; however, a limited number of single grave sites are available.
- As of March 16, 2022, the cost of each site is $500 which includes $100 of perpetual care. Perpetual care on a cemetery plot is included in the purchase price to cover the care fee for maintenance and grounds keeping.
- Monuments must be placed on 4 site graves. 2 site graves are only allowed a slant stone or foot stone.
- Planting is not allowed on a grave site (i.e. bushes, flowers).
- All decorations on the grave site must be movable – due to mowing constraints.
- The cemetery is closed during some of the winter months when the sexton deems it dangerous to walk. This closing is communicated in the bulletin.
- Spring cleanup of all graves site should be done by Memorial Weekend.
- Grave layout (normal layout for couples is wife on right side of grave and husband on left)