Thank you for considering our Columbarium here at St. John Neumann.
We are striving to offer a reverent resting place for the cremated remains of loved ones. A columbarium is a consecrated space utilized for the housing of a deceased’s cremated remains.
The columbarium becomes a contemporary setting for the old-time church cemetery, reminding us that the church ministers to the spiritual needs of its members – from baptism through life to death.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." ~Revelation 21:4
The word “columbarium” comes from Latin and translates as a compartmentalized house for doves, the gentle birds mentioned in Holy Scripture and recognized as symbols of peace.
The presence of a columbarium is a further witness of our faith in the resurrection, the life everlasting and the church triumphant - an appropriate resting place for the earthly remains of those who in life loved the church. This method of burial is not for everyone, but the meditative garden and beauty of the structure is for all. The setting allows for ease of visitation and for meditation and prayer.
Understanding Cremation in the Catholic Church
"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his." ~Romans 6:5
The Catholic Church permits cremation unless it is evident that cremation was chosen for anti-Christian motives.
The cremated remains of the body, due the same respect as the remains of the body, must be buried in a cemetery, entombed in a columbarium or mausoleum, or buried at sea in a suitable container. Cremated remains are not to be scattered.
When cremation is chosen, one of the options below is used.
Funeral Liturgy in the presence of the Cremated Remains
- The Holy See authorized the bishops of the United States to allow the celebration of a Funeral Liturgy in the presence of the cremated remains of the human body. The cremated remains of the body are to be treated with the same respect given to the human body. Prior to the Funeral Mass or as part of the entrance procession of the Mass, a worthy vessel, containing the cremated remains, is carried with reverence into the church. The cremated remains are placed on a suitable stand or table in the place normally occupied by the coffin. The Funeral Mass begins with the sprinkling of holy water; however, a pall is not placed over the cremated remains. The Funeral Mass and the Rite of Commendation are then celebrated in the usual way.
Cremation and Committal prior to the Funeral Liturgy
- When the body is cremated and committed soon after death, the rites of Final Commendation and Committal are used at the appropriate time, even though occurring prior to the Funeral Liturgy. Following the Committal, the family and friends of the deceased join the community in celebrating the Funeral Liturgy in the usual way. After the Communion, the blessing is given and the people are dismissed. This method is discouraged, and used only when no other options are possible due to extreme circumstances.
Cremation after the Funeral Liturgy
- Even when cremation is chosen, the Church recommends that the body of the deceased be present for the Funeral Rites. The presence of the human body better expresses the values that the Church affirms in the Funeral Rites. After the Funeral Liturgy, the body is cremated and a private commendation is celebrated at the final place of committal. This is the preferred celebration method.
If you have additional questions or concerns please contact the church.