Jewish People With Catholic Spouses: Here Are Your Options When Choosing A Final Resting Place


If you practice Judaism and your spouse is Catholic, both of your religions have certain ceremonies that are expected to be followed in times of celebration and in times of sorrow. You've likely had to come up with some creative solutions to keep the whole family happy on holidays or special occasions, such as births in the family.  At some point in time, though, you'll be faced with another obstacle -- where you and your spouse will be laid to rest when your time on Earth comes to an end. Read this article to learn about some of the options you'll want to consider. 

Interfaith Sections Of Jewish Cemeteries

While traditionally the Jewish religion prohibits the burial of all non-Jewish persons on their sacred cemetery grounds, the recent rise in interfaith marriages has changed that. Now, many Jewish cemeteries have certain sections in which people of Jewish faith can be laid to rest next to their non-Jewish partners. An interfaith section of a Jewish cemetery will appear similar to the rest of the cemetery it's located in, but it will be partitioned off with fences or paths. The fences or paths are usually worked into the landscape to create the appearance of unity between the interfaith section of the cemetery and the rest of the cemetery.

If you choose this route, though, you should know that your spouse may be restricted to having only Jewish symbols placed on their gravestones; many Jewish cemeteries prohibit any symbols of non-Jewish faith. Any funeral service for a non-Jewish person being buried in an interfaith section of a Jewish cemetery will need to occur at a location separate from the cemetery, but a priest may arrive at the cemetery to perform the burial service and bless the grave.

Catholic Cemeteries

Most Catholic cemeteries do allow the burial of non-Catholic individuals on their ground, as long as that person is a family member of a practicing Catholic. There are no special sections for interfaith couples in Catholic cemeteries. Non-Catholic spouses of Catholic individuals may be given mass (funeral services that are held at a Catholic church) if they so wished upon their passing, and non-Catholic friends and family of the deceased may attend the mass.

Many Catholic cemeteries will require you to have a symbol of Catholic faith on your gravestone, but you may also have the Star of David on it. While the Star of David is a strong identifying mark of the Jewish people, it was also used to decorate Christian churches in the past.

Public Cemeteries

Public cemeteries are owned by towns, cities, or municipalities. As such, these resting places allow the burial of all religions. If you choose for you and your spouse to be buried in a public cemetery where most types of ceremonies and services are permitted, you'll have maximum control over how your burials will play out. You may opt for each of you to stay true to the burial practices of your own religions, or you can create a burial plan that incorporates some of your religious beliefs and some of your spouse's. 

In a public cemetery, your and your spouse's funeral services can take place on-premises or off, and they can be conducted by a rabbi, minister, or anybody else of your choosing. Whoever is in charge of your funeral arrangements (sometimes people purchase their cemetery plots before their death and sometimes others must do it for them after their passing) can have their choice of any open plots; you and your spouse will not need to be buried in a particular section of the cemetery.

As an individual in an interfaith marriage, you've got some important decisions to make concerning how and where you and your spouse will be laid to rest when you pass. Start planning now by weighing the options discussed above. For more information, contact local cemeteries or funeral homes like Memorial Mortuaries


18 May 2016

Decorating a Funeral Venue

My beloved paternal grandmother passed away almost 4 years ago. Before her death, this special woman suffered many months due to a fatal lung disease. After her passing, her large extended family wanted to celebrate her unique life with an elaborate funeral service. They chose to work with the funeral home staff to decorate the funeral venue with things she loved. Because she enjoyed fishing, a large floral arrangement in the shape of a fish was purchased. Also, the family bought a floral cross to illustrate her devotion to her faith. On this blog, you will discover how to work with a funeral home staff on decorations at the funeral service venue.