Buddhist funeral

Question from Mary on 4/10/2008:

I am the RCIA director for my parish and a young man with a Buddhist background recently entered the catechumenate. His paternal grandmother recently passed away, and his father wanted him to be one of the Buddhist monks for her funeral. He came to me to see if there were any prohibitions against doing this. My search really didn't find any prohibitions, but the question was not specifically asked as I just did. Please give any advice on this matter.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 4/10/2008:

While your catechumen may certainly attend the funeral and participate in any non-religious duties (e.g., seating guests, carrying the casket), I cannot recommend that someone preparing to become Catholic take part in non-Christian religious rituals. Perhaps you could suggest to him that at the funeral he silently pray Christian prayers for the repose of his grandmother's soul (e.g., the Hail Mary, the Divine Mercy chaplet prayers). He can also arrange with your parish or with a religious order for Masses to be said for his grandmother.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers

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