Urns should not be kept in homes, Catholics reminded

Image via Manila PIO and Pixabay
  • Urns containing ashes of loved ones should not be kept in homes
  • This was the reminder of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo as the number of cremations in the country continues to rise due to COVID-19
  • A Rite of Blessing for the Dead will be held every Sunday until November 8 for COVID-19 fatalities

Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo reminded the Catholic faithful not to keep the ashes of cremated loved ones in their homes.

Image via PNA | Severino Samonte

“I would like to remind everyone that it is not allowed for us to keep the urns containing the ashes in our homes permanently,” he said, citing the pastoral instruction issued recently amid the increasing number of cremations due to COVID-19.

He said that urns should instead be kept in columbaria in cemeteries or churches.

The Manila Archdiocese also announced that it will conduct a Rite of Blessing for the Dead for COVID fatalities every Sunday until November 8.

“We will be having the Rite of Blessing of cremated remains. The family may bring the urn and a picture of their beloved dead, and we will celebrate a worthy liturgical blessing for them,” the archdiocese said, adding that they did this in response to Bishop Pabillo’s call to make the churches “welcome places of prayer and consolation, especially for families who lost a loved one during this pandemic.”

Image via Unsplash

Bishop Pabillo explained that there is a “great danger” that the remains might be desecrated in the future “especially when we are no longer around to look after and care for these ashes.”

This will also give others the chance to visit their remains.

In 2016, the Vatican said that Catholics should not keep the ashes at home, scatter them, divide them among family members, or turn them into mementos.

“We come from the earth and we shall return to the earth. The church continues to incessantly recommend that the bodies of the dead be buried either in cemeteries or in other sacred ground,” Cardinal Gerhard Müller said.