Vatican Guidance on Cremation
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- Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning. The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed but not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven”. By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. In our own day also, the Church is called to proclaim her faith in the resurrection: “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live.”
- Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased by buried in cemeteries or other sacred places. When cremation of the body has been chosen, the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place.
- The Church cannot condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the “prison” of the body.
- The conservation of ashes of the departed in a domestic residence is not permitted.
- The ashes may not be divided among various family members.
- In order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects.
Why burial in a Catholic Cemetery?
The Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church defines only two places as being sacred: the Church Building where Jesus resides in the tabernacle, and the Catholic Cemetery which is an expression of faith and extension of the parish community.
Ever since the sacred body of Jesus Christ was reverently laid in a tomb, the Catholic Church has respected the profound goodness and loving mercy derived from the interment of the deceased. The Catholic Church has always taught that burial of the deceased is a Corporal Work of Mercy, seeing it necessary to dedicate solemnly, consecrated ground for this holy purpose. Catholic Cemeteries serve this purpose of burying the faithful departed to bear witness to Christ and to await the resurrection of the body into life everlasting.
The area or land that a Catholic Cemetery rests on is considered "Holy Ground." This land has been blessed by the bishop, and the deceased are interred or entombed in a holy and spiritual environment. Loved ones and family members are encouraged to come and pray for the souls of the deceased, knowing that they too will be together with them, one day, in the presence of Almighty God. Once the deceased is laid to rest, one can have the reassurance and knowledge that their loved one is truly blessed from this sanctifying gift. Being buried in a Catholic Cemetery is truly a Holy Privilege.
In an effort to adhere to these fundamental beliefs of the Catholic Church, St. Bernard Church has worked diligently to maintain the dignity and beauty of its cemetery, which also serves the area Catholic Churches.
Why own a "pre-need" plot at St. Bernard Cemetery?
Many Catholics purchase their plot in advance for estate planning purposes and their family’s piece-of-mind. Today, over half the purchases of burial space made in Catholic Cemeteries are made in advance of death (pre-need). This shows both a sense of thoughtful planning and a sense of economic prudence. The decisions made now will be your own which gives you peace of mind now, and your loved ones peace of mind later. A pre-need burial selection may be made today calmly, responsibly, economically and prudently with a low down payment and interest-free monthly payments.
We have just completed a major project digitizing and updating St. Bernard Cemetery maps and files to assist families in locating plots, easily view available plots, and conduct genealogy research. Our staff is here to assist you locate a suitable plot at a convenient time. Please call the office for an appointment at 860-875-0753 X 105, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note the following for purchasing a plot at St. Bernard Cemetery:
- For the new sections (P-V), if you decide to not use your St. Bernard Cemetery plot in the future, we will repurchase your plot at the original price.
- The funds from part of each plot purchase are set aside in a Perpetual Care Fund for future maintenance of the grounds so you can be assured your resting place will always be cared for.
- At least one member of the family to be interred must be Catholic.
Location - Rules - Fees
Saint Bernard Cemetery is located on Tolland and Kingsbury Avenues and has served the parish for over 100 years. The cemetery is open from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm and closed from dusk to dawn.
The cemetery staff works with families who are in need of a burial plot immediately and helps families to plan for the future. The staff also assists with burials and maintains the grounds year round.
Contact the Rectory at:
860-875-0753 X 100 for more information
Office hours 9:00 am-3:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Driving Directions from I 84 East or West
1. Take Exit 67 Mile Hill Road
2a. Coming from the West (Hartford), make a left at the end of the ramp onto Route 31
2b. Coming from the East (Boston), make a right at the end of the ramp onto Route 31.
3. Follow Route 31 through two lights to Route 74. Turn right on Route 74.
4. Continue on Route 74 until you see the entrance to St. Bernard Cemetery on your right.
The Cemetery has just completed a major map upgrade project to make plot location, expansion planning, and family research easier.
The map file below has 17 digital maps of St. Bernard Cemetery. After you open the file, you will see tools you can use to zoom in or out of each map and navigate within each map. The first 3 maps are "overviews" of the entire cemetery followed by 12 maps of each of the Cemetery Sections (A-V) which show the Plot Number and Row within each Section. Cemetery Sections A-N are known as the "Old Section" with access from Tolland Avenue. Sections O-V are known as the "New Section" with access from Kingsbury Avenue. The last 2 maps show the work of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in the older Sections A and K where we are working to find burials in areas with missing headstones and/or records.
St. Bernard Cemetery Map
The St. Bernard Cemetery files below by LAST NAME and PLOT are updated through 2008. We are now working on making our files current from our card files and Town of Vernon records, so visit this page often. To research a family name:
- Click here to find your family LAST NAME and locate the PLOT. The PLOT is the SECTION, PLOT NUMBER and ROW within the Cemetery. A Plot may have one grave, two graves, three graves, etc. REVISED 8-3-18.
- Once you have identified your PLOT, click here to find all persons buried within that PLOT. Note that a PLOT may have more than one LAST NAME. REVISED 8-3-18.
- Then, click here to find the PLOT location with the Cemetery from our digital maps. You must have Adobe Reader to open the maps. Note that you can move up and down in the 17 maps by using the up or down arrows at the bottom of your screen and you can also zoom in and out by using the + and - symbols.
- If you want to view a headstone photo, click here to go the St. Bernard Cemetery page on findagrave.com, a volunteer website that has just completed photos of headstones at St. Bernard Cemetery and provides the capability to contact other family members also doing genealogy research.
- NEW Veterans Interred at St. Bernard Cemetery, REVISED 7-20-18. Click here for the list by Section, click here for the list by Last Name.