cemetery

[cemetery of Saint Callistus] (Greek: keimai, lie down)

A park-like enclosure reserved especially as a burial place. The blessing of cemeteries may be performed either solemnly or simply. The solemn blessing is contained in the Roman Pontifical and can be imparted only by the ordinary of the diocese. The simple blessing is contained in the Roman Ritual and may be imparted by the bishop himself or a delegated priest. If the cemetery belongs to exempt religious, the superior or his delegated priest may perform the blessing. It is not necessary that each grave be blessed at the time of burying a corpse therein. The blessing may only be lost by desecrating. Thus, should a homicide, or bloodshed, or grave profanity be committed, or an infidel or excororounicated person be buried in the cemetery, it is thereby desecrated, and a reblessing is required and performed by the competent authorities (canons 1205, 1207).

New Catholic Dictionary

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