Sing Alleluia to Our God!: Loretto Natural Burial Practices
Gain souls, draw souls, court souls, shelter souls.I Am the Way, the Constitutions of the Sisters of Loretto,p. 2
What is a green, or natural, burial?
A green or “natural” burial conserves natural resources, preserves the environment and honors the full cycle of life, which includes dying. There is no vault, and everything used for the burial, including shrouds, caskets or urns, must be non-toxic and biodegradable. In many respects, a natural burial is very similar to how burials were handled before embalming and more ornate coffins became the norm in the 20th century.
Loretto serves as a steward to almost 800 acres of land at our Motherhouse in Kentucky. With over 300 acres of woods, there is ample room for the six-acre Nature Preserve Cemetery, which has been designated as sacred space.
Honored remains are sheltered in this sacred space just as they are in the original Motherhouse cemetery. It is Loretto’s joy and responsibility to honor each member with a funeral celebration that carries out their last wishes. Some members choose a natural burial, some choose a traditional burial or cremation.
I Am the Way, the Constitutions of the Sisters of Loretto, reminds us in article 51, “In our prayer, we remember with gratitude those members of the community who have gone before us in faith.”
Join us as we remember All Souls Day and All Saints Day throughout the month of November. All those saints and souls that we keep in our hearts, be they famous or not, are the people that God gave us and that we have sent back to God. Pray to them to ask for their intercession, for they now know God in a deeper way. Sing an Alleluia to them. They will hear you.