Helpful Questions Regarding Our MT. Carmel Catholic Cemetery
“. . . Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven. . .”
(“Preface of Christian Death I,” in the Roman Missal.)
Why A Catholic Cemetery?
As people of faith, our cemeteries have a special place in our beliefs, in our hearts and in our minds. These grounds are sacred places, held sacred by the Catholic Church. The bodies of those buried there rest under the watchful eye of the local Church guided by the Bishops with his priests and deacons.
For a Catholic, burial in a Catholic cemetery is a final act of faith, a public witness to one’s membership in a community of faith. Catholic cemetery is then an extension of the parish community where those in earthy life have been sealed by baptism into the one Body of Christ, strengthened by the Oil of Anointment in Confirmation, and nourished by the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, now resting together in peace awaiting Christ our Lord’s returns in glory. Therefore, the desire to be laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery is an expression of one’s belief in the resurrection of the body and everlasting life.
Death, as seen through the eyes of a Catholic, is not the end. It is simply a natural passageway to everlasting life. Burial in a Catholic cemetery is a statement of continued belief in that everlasting life, even in death. It is also a statement of our all pervading respect for life: God created us a human being, a unity of both body and soul. Scriptures and Sacred Tradition of the Church teaches us that we should pray for the repose of the souls of our dead, and we should honor and respect the body of the deceased as well because the body is the “living temple of the Holy Spirit.” (1Cor 5:19)
In short, Catholic cemetery bears silent, but powerful witness to our faith. For this reason, we encourage Catholics and their families to pre-arrange for burial in a Catholic cemetery.
Is there a Catholic Cemetery to serve the people in Big Rapids and the cemetery surrounding area?
Yes. It is called Mt. Carmel Cemetery, located on the 17 miles Road, a couple of blocks away from St. Mary Catholic Church. Although the cemetery served the people of both Catholic parishes in Big Rapids, it is administered and cared for by St. Mary Parish. Inquiries should be directed toward the parish office 231 796 5202 and the appropriate person will respond.
If my relatives are non-Catholics, can they be buried at Mt. Carmel?
Certainly, as long as there is adherence to the rules and regulations set forth by the Diocese and our Cemetery Board. These norms and guidelines are there to safeguard the sacredness of the grounds and the nature of the cemetery bears witness to our Catholic faith.