Catholic Funeral Traditions

Catholic funeral rites are a rich part of Catholic Tradition and offer many benefits for those who have passed as well as for their loved ones. There are three rites that are part of the funeral tradition and they take place in stages and proceed in hope. At the Vigil Service (usually at the mortuary), prayers are offered for the dead and for the consolation of the grieving. At the Funeral Liturgy (which can be a Mass), the living offer God worship for the sake of the deceased. The Rite of Committal is the farewell act of loving care for the body of the deceased.

At the Vigil Service (usually at the funeral home), prayers are offered for the dead and for the consolation of the grieving. This can take many forms. You may choose a Service of the Word, with readings from the Bible. Another option is prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours, the Office for the Dead, or the Rosary. The Vigil Service is the ideal time for the presentation of eulogies.

At the Funeral Liturgy, the living offer God worship for the sake of the deceased. It is a time to remember God’s saving action in Jesus Christ — and to entrust the deceased to God’s grace and mercy. The Mass gives us assurance that, just as Jesus died and rose again, so shall our loved ones be raised up. For God’s faithful people, life is changed, not taken away.

The Rite of Committal is the farewell act of loving care for the body of the deceased. It is usually celebrated beside the open grave or at the mausoleum or other place of interment.

The funeral rites should reflect something of the faith and character of the deceased loved one. It can be a good time for family and friends to sing favorite hymns or recite prayers that have special significance.

While all Catholic funerals stay connected to the faith, each celebration of remembrance unique and personal. Take a look at the traditional burial and cremation choices we offer.