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Ask the Register: could an acolyte be buried in an alb?

Q. Is it permissible for an installed lay acolyte to be buried wearing an alb and cincture?

A. That is a really good question. Thank you for asking it. The answer is yes.

I have personally celebrated the funerals of two men who were installed acolytes who were buried in their alb and cincture. They told me before they died that they were so honored to be able to assist at the altar, by preparing the elements for Mass and helping distribute the Eucharist, that they wished to be buried in the attire for that ministry. We had an excellent and heartfelt talk about their involvement in the Church and their plans for their funeral before their deaths.

Your question may bring to mind questions that others may have regarding proper attire for burial. Many people like to be dressed in their finest - a suit and tie for men and a dress or pantsuit for women. However, I have celebrated the funerals of people who chose to be buried in dress/casual clothes, even a couple of farmers who wanted to be buried in a new pair of overalls and a white long-sleeved shirt. As long as one’s attire is respectful and in keeping with our Catholic sensibilities one can largely choose what you wish to be buried in. If you want to make absolutely sure if something is appropriate feel free to talk to your parish priest about it.

Thank you for your service to the Church and for all Register readers who step up and offer their gifts of time and talent in stewardship to the Lord and His Church.

This question was answered by a priest of the Diocese of Lincoln. Write to Ask the Register using our online form, or write to 3700 Sheridan Blvd., Suite 10, Lincoln NE 68506-6100. All questions are subject to editing. Editors decide which questions to publish. Personal questions cannot be answered. People with such questions are urged to take them to their nearest Catholic priest.

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