Expert Answer Forum

Burying the Mason QUESTION from Joy October 27, 1998
Post #1: The husband of one of our parishioners died over the weekend. he was not a Catholic, but he was a member of the local Masonic Lodge. Our pastor is in charge of the services and, although they will only be at the graveyard, it is in the Catholic cemetery. Is this OK? joy†
Post #2 an update: Well, they burried the husband of my fellow parishioner, today. In the Catholic cemetery, with the minister (a lady) of the Episcopal church, and our pastor saying the prayers at the grave. I couldn't go, but they said the minister was dressed in vestments, but our pastor was in his blacks! ( I was glad to here he wore blacks, I wasn't sure he had them!) There was NO rep. from the Masonic Lodge, even tho they were listed in the obit.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on November 3, 1998
Dear Joy:
Sorry to take so long to get back to you.
From what you described I don't believe anything wrong was done. A funeral Mass was not done, but merely a priest praying for the deceased. We are called to pray for others, even those not in the Church.
Since the wife was Catholic, the presence of the Priest was to support her I imagine.
In terms of whether a non-Catholic can be buried in the cemetery, you will need to contact your local chancery. Particular regulations vary from country to country and diocese to diocese. But there does not appear to be any canon law, that I found at the moment, to universally prohibit it.
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