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Catherine wrote:

Hi, guys —

The priest who buried my late aunt has now kindly offered to return to the cemetery to bless her gravestone when it's installed. It's not a Catholic cemetery and our family plot isn't all Catholic, although I don't think that had anything to do with his offer.

  • Is this something that priests do as a matter of course, or is this just a nice touch from this particular priest?
  • Also, what is a gravestone blessing like?
    • Is it formal or casual?
    • Is it something I would schedule and invite extended family to or could it just be me, maybe a nearby sibling or two, and the priest?
    • Could I take the time to read a meaningful poem or something?

Catherine

  { Is blessing a gravestone when it's installed something that priests do for a non-Catholic cemetery? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Catherine,

This is something nice the priest has offered you.

There are no set blessings . . . however our books give suggestions.

You can turn this into something bigger but usually it is a small, low-key event.

You should certainly talk to the priest, ask what he usually does, and see how open he is to doing it just right for you and your family.

Fr. Jonathan

Catherine replied:

Thank you Mike! . . . and thank Fr. Jonathan for me.

This certainly is a very kind priest, considering I'm not much of a churchgoer and I just met him back in March after my aunt died and I needed a priest to bury her.

There is a long story behind this but we had to leave the home family parish and bring her remains up to the city where I live. We are fortunate to have a family plot.

This is a very popular priest but he agreed to do it and even offered to give her a funeral. I had to decline according to my aunt's wishes and limited funds. He also wouldn't take any fee for his services. I hope he's good for his very kind offer.

Thank you again. This is a great resource.

Catherine

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