Question from John on 2/21/2008:
Hello I am going to be purchasing a grave site and as a Catholic was wondering if there is a requirement to be buried in a Catholic Cementary or if a non denominational one would be alright. Would the gave have to be blessed if in a non Catholic cementary? If so my concern is with the shortage of priests in our area they often have deacons presiding at funerals, Can they bless the ground? Thank you.
Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 3/13/2008:
You are permitted to be buried in the cemetery of your choice.
In the case of a Catholic cemetery, the ground is consecrated.
In the case of a non-Catholic cemetery, the individual burial plot is blessed at the time of the burial, provided that the Rite of Christian Funerals is followed by the priest or minister, including a deacon. So yes, deacons can bless the ground.