Jennifer Brinker is a reporter for the St. Louis Review and Catholic St. Louis.
Beats: Life issues, Young adult and youth ministries, liturgies and devotions
Geographic areas covered: Parishes and schools in the North City, North County, West County and St. Charles Deaneries.
Resurrection Cemetery in St. LouisPhoto Credit: Lisa JohnstonCatholic cemeteries aren’t just burial grounds — they’re an extraordinary reminder of our hope in the Resurrection and eternal life.
Our Christian belief regarding death offers the Church an opportunity to carry out her responsibilities toward the dead. The Catholic cemetery is a place where we are able to reflect on death as the gateway to eternal life, a reminder of the Resurrection and the second coming of our Lord.
A Catholic cemetery is consecrated, meaning that it is a holy ground that has been blessed. These sacred grounds are an extension of our Church, and place not only for burying the dead, but as a place of prayer. Indeed, the cemetery is a place where we reflect on the lives of the dead who are buried there, and to pray for their souls.
When we visit our loved ones at a cemetery, we also carry out one of the Corporal Works of Mercy, to bury the dead, which includes the upkeep of a grave.
A Catholic cemetery also is considered a sacramental, which the Church defines as “sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1667).
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