Embryo Remains Burial

Matthew 27:59-60. “And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.”

On August 11th 2020, SHG was honored to provide Christian burial for 11 deceased embryonic children. The embryos were laid to rest at Epiphany Catholic Cemetery (Coon Rapids, MN) next to the burial site of the 52 embryos who were buried on May 5th 2020. The grave marker reads, “In God’s Care,” and the August date will be inscribed on it next month. Father Andrew Jaspers, SHG’s Chaplain, celebrated the Rite of Committal with Final Commendation at the grave site and offered Mass for the repose of the embryos’ souls later that day. Since its first burial in 2018, SHG has provided simple yet dignified Christian burials for 231 embryonic children who would otherwise have been discarded as medical waste.

The Rite of Committal with Final Commendation

From iBreviary, sections 204-206. http://www.ibreviary.com/m2/preghiere.php?tipo=Rito&id=417.

The rite of committal, the conclusion of the funeral rites, is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member. It may be celebrated at the grave, tomb, or crematorium and may be used for burial at sea. Whenever possible, the rite of committal is to be celebrated at the site of committal, that is, beside the open grave or place of internment, rather than at a cemetery chapel. Two forms of the rite of committal are provided here: “Rite of Committal” and “Rite of Committal with Final Commendation.” The first form is used when the final commendation is celebrated as part of the conclusion of the funeral liturgy. The second form is used when the final commendation does not take place during the funeral liturgy or when no funeral liturgy precedes the committal rite. In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection. The rite of committal is an expression of the communion that exists between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven: the deceased passes with the farewell prayers of the community of believers into the welcoming company of those who need faith no longer but see God face to face.

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