Catholic Funeral Services

As in the Church of England, the service takes a basic form set out in the Order of Christian Funerals. This can be adapted to the wishes of the family or deceased, but arrangements should be discussed with the priest. The undertaker usually liaises with the priest on practical arrangement.

There are three parts of a Catholic funeral: the Vigil for the Deceased, the service or Funeral Mass, and the Rite of Committal.

Vigil for the deceased

It is usual for there to be a special service the day before the funeral, called the Vigil for the Deceased. This is normally held at the deceased home, or in the church.

the funeral service

A Roman Catholic funeral can be conducted with or without Mass. Although burial was the usual last rite for Catholics, nowadays there is the choice between both burial and cremation.

The coffin is usually led down the aisle behind the priest, before it is sprinkled with holy water.

Similar to the Church of England, there are readings from the Bible, including a Psalm, and a non-theological sermon (similar to the 'tribute').

Holy communion is received, and the Eucharist read.

the rite of commital

During the committal, either by the grave or just before the cremation, prayers are said.

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