On October 25, 2016, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document entitled Ad resurgendum cum Christo (To Rise with Christ) “regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation.” The document has become necessary as cremation is increasingly used around the world, along with a rise in beliefs and practices that are contrary to Catholic doctrine on death, burial, and the afterlife.
We arrive as pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, and make our way through the first security checkpoint. Then another. Then another still. Swiss guards, resplendent in their livery, examine our invitation and direct us higher.
We reach the landing area where in less than an hour the Pope will speak. Papal ushers, or sediari, lead us to our seats. Mine is better than I’d dared hope. When the Holy Father arrives to address the faithful, I will be directly to his left, about 20 feet from him, with no one in between.
In light of the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII this weekend, the Vatican has announced an official prayer to each of these two new saints.
The beautiful, simple prayers were released in Italian, but the Catholic News Service provided the following translations: