Remarriage and burial

My mother passed about a year ago. My parents, both catholic, have a columbarium niche with a double urn. My father (83) has just announced that he will be marrying my cousin (not catholic -62) in a civil union. Will he still be able to be put to rest with my mother?

I feel like I must be missing something. Are you saying that he’s marrying his own niece?

Is the columbarium niche controlled by the Church? Are you asking what his civil estate executor can actually accomplish in this modern secular world or are you asking what the Catholic Church would prefer happens?

What country are you in? What dioscese? Some places are real sticklers for the rules. Others are more mellow and don’t sweat the details.

I guess that will be up to his new wife, assuming she lives longer than he does…

But seriously, do you think the local church will refuse? Or more likely, the new wife will? (Or is one of your siblings, or the new wife’s children, going to have a different idea?) I can’t see any reason why the church would object, if they were legitimately married and did not divorce during their marriage. Widowers getting married (to the opposite sex) is not unheard of, or even frowned upon by the church, as far as I know.

One of my grandpas remarried, and was buried by his first wife. His second wife was buried in a different state (I think with her previous husband).

IANA expert, but as a lapsed Catholic for many years, the only things I can think of that MIGHT disqualify someone for burial in a Catholic cemetery are these.

  1. Civil marriage (as opposed to church marriage) with the second wife. At one time this was forbidden.

  2. Marriage to his niece. If that’s really the relationship, that might be forbidden due to consanguinity rules.

(Suicide was a mortal sin and used to be a disqualification, but I understand the rationale now is that suicides are all mentally disturbed and God is merciful, so Catholic burial is okay.)

My brother hadn’t been a practicing Catholic for many years, and was in fact the organist at a Protestant church, and sang and played at other churches and temples. When he died a few years ago, he directed he be cremated. Many years before, my whole family had bought crypts in a mausoleum at a Catholic cemetery (Chicago). I delivered his urn there and watched the staff place it in the crypt. Nobody asked any questions about his beliefs or practices.

Whether a priest would agree to perform some Catholic liturgical burial service for your father in church or at the columbarium is a separate question. Some might, with no questions asked. Others might be more particular.

A month before Roger Ebert died, he wrote in his column that he believed in Catholicism except that he didn’t believe in God! His wife was Catholic, and Roger’s funeral was in Holy Name Cathedral, with a Mass and everything. I didn’t see any reports of a deathbed conversion, so I’m somewhat surprised that he got this funeral. Maybe the rules have been relaxed a lot more than I know.

Skipping the religious stuff (I’m not Catholic, though married to a tenuous one–I’m nominally Orthodox), I imagine it would be largely up to his wishes. Which he should flesh out and write down ASAP if it’s important to him.

I do know that the Catholic church is much more lax about things than I expected. My FIL passed last year, and we arranged a cremation–his wishes, but still had a priest preside over his funeral before his urn was interred with the family crypt.

Agree overall with your decomposition of the issues. I checked with my resident lapsed Catholic and it seems that not that many years ago (like well within grandpa’s lifetime) the Catholic Church was against cremation. Apparently doctrine had it that the body had to remain intact so God could resurrect it at the End Times. They’ve since recognized the you can’t make a crematory fire so big that He can’t put the parts back together if He wanted to. Silly Catholics.

But your point I quoted here raises an interesting side question.

If an 83 year old man marries a 62 year old woman, there’s not much logical real-world concern about them having children. So the generic *cultural *incest taboo is fully addressed by their ages, not by them being sufficiently unrelated.

The question is whether any organized religions today or in the past have any codified policies on this? e.g. “No marrying first cousins unless they’re both over 60.”

Or nephew.

I know that in years of historical/genealogical research, I’ve seen an awful lot of double grave markers with one side blank, long past the time the spouse should have died and been buried there. Kind of sad, really.

Just to note that the cousin could well be from his mother’s side.

After my father died, my mother remarried to his brother (my uncle). When she died, he buried her next to my father, as per his wishes.

One of my grandfather’s cousins married his aunt-by-marriage after she was widowed by the death of his uncle, so I know this has happened at least once.

Nothing illegal about it, but it’s still weird.

Lots of family trees get turned into tangled webs when multiple generations get together for a wedding or a funeral.

In her later years my widowed MIL attended the wedding of one of her blood nieces (her sister’s child). There she met the father of the groom. Who she later married.

At which point from the niece’s POV, her aunt by blood also became her MIL by marriage. And the younger woman was simultaneously the blood niece and the daughter in law of the older woman.

You can end up as your own grandpa.

Or you can end up like my family, with my paternal grandmother married to my maternal grandfather.

We’re all having fun but it’s now a day and a half after the OP posted his one-hit wonder. I begin to doubt we’ll ever hear from him (?) again.

a man in my extended family was married at 20 and had two wonderful children. His wife died after 25 years, and he later, a few years on, married a divorced woman who had two grown children and one preteen. Another 30 years pass, there are no more children. The first family and the second wife’s family are on excellent terms. The man dies at 80+, and is buried in the town where he lived, not next to his first wife, 60 miles away…chaos reigned thereafter, with the first family very upset that their father wasn’t with first wife. Because one granddaughter remained friends with the second wife, she was taken out of her father and mother’s will.
The moral, I suppose, is if you want to preserve peace on earth, don’t leave it. Both sides of this shared very similar religious beliefs, no one had a bad word to say about another prior to the man dying.

You think this is fun, wait til they start arguing over who inherits the money…