Mumbai: Ensure fewer mourners attend burials, says Cardinal Oswald Gracias

Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 08:36 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

Cardinal Oswald Gracias's office reiterates that Requiem Mass remains on hold till the global health crisis is over while clarifying the rules around Catholic burial

The civic body has asked the police and ward officials to impose the fin
The civic body has asked the police and ward officials to impose the fin

With several parishioners unclear about the ambiguous and ever-changing guidelines the BMC issues on Catholic funerals, the office of Archdiocese of Bombay Cardinal Oswald Gracias clarified that burial is allowed at all cemeteries, and once again asked the people to ensure fewer mourners attend the service.

In a notification on Sunday, his office said that the clergy has been "responding to funeral requests with care and compassion" ever since the city was locked down to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias
Cardinal Oswald Gracias

The office stated that the people are encouraged to pray for the deceased, but a public Requiem Mass won't be held until the pandemic comes to an end. "The body may be taken directly to the cemetery where all the funeral prayers can be said before the burial," read the notice. "Keep the number of mourners to the minimum, and please keep the police informed of the funeral... This is a moment of great sadness for the family of the deceased," the notice read. It added that the office assures "them that once the crisis is over, we will have a proper Requiem Mass in church with eulogy, etc. We will give directives about this later."

The Cardinal's office said the priests were informed on June 19 that the "BMC has permitted burials across all cemeteries in the city".

"It is to be noted that the BMC has changed its directives for COVID-19 burials from first insisting on cremation, then allowing burials in some cemeteries, to now permitting burials in all cemeteries," the notice stated, adding that the "Archdiocesan norms have been updated according to the revised municipal directives."

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