Catholic Funeral Masses And Ceremonies

All You Need to Know About Catholic Funerals

When you’re planning a funeral for a Catholic loved one, you will be eager to honor their religion’s rituals.

But where to start organizing an event steeped in tradition?

That’s where our guide to Catholic funerals and what to expect comes in. We take you through how Catholic funerals in America work and what you need to plan one.

What Are the Features of a Catholic Funeral?

There are three main parts to a Catholic funeral: the prayer vigil the evening before, the service itself, and the committal of the body. Let’s look at each one in more detail.

The Prayer Vigil

Photo credit: Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

At the prayer vigil, mourners gather in the church where the funeral will be held or at home to pay their respects around the coffin. Participants say prayers and, have readings and share their memories.

The Funeral Service

The funeral service usually takes place in the deceased’s parish church. It may be a requiem mass where holy communion is offered or a “funeral outside mass” without communion.

If the coffin is not already in church, it is brought in by coffin bearers, made up of the deceased’s close family and friends. The priest walks ahead, and the coffin is brought before the altar and covered with a white cloth (“a pall”).

The service includes readings from the Bible, with the priest reflecting on the life of the deceased. Prayers are offered.

Holy communion takes place, if chosen. A family member or friend may then speak about their departed loved one.

To finish the ceremony, closing prayers and a hymn are offered. The priest sprinkles the coffin with holy water again and burns incense over it.

The Committal

If the deceased is being buried, the next stage takes place at the graveside for the Rite of Committal. Prayers are read, and a hymn is sung before the coffin is lowered into the grave.

Photo credit: Ellie Burgin on Pexels

If the body is being cremated, a short service takes place at the crematorium chapel. Once the ashes are returned to the family, they must be buried in accordance with Catholic practices.

After the committal, you may want to organize a reception at home to gather the mourners together and round off the day.

Practical Steps for Your Loved One’s Funeral

You will need to make lots of decisions inas preparation offor your loved one’s funeral. Here’s a checklist of the main steps to take:

  • Appoint a funeral director.
  • Make contact with the deceased’s local priest to discuss details of the service.
  • Fix a date and communicate it to mourners.
  • Order flowers for the church and reception venue.
  • Order stationery for the funeral. This includes Catholic prayer cardsfor the funeral, funeral programs, and memorial postersto display at the funeral or reception.
  • Organize the reception.

Let Us Help Relieve the Burden

There’s a lot to do when organizing a funeral for your Catholic loved one, that honors their memory.

Check out our range of funeral stationery to help relieve the burden. Simply select the product you require, and click on one of our prayer cards, memorial posters, or funeral programs templates to design a personalized item that reflects your loved one’s life.

If you need it, help is at hand from our staff designers.

Once you’ve added the personal touches, leave print and delivery to us.

We print and ship the same day Monday-Friday when ordered by 3 p.m. EST, so there’s no waiting around to receive your order.

Any questions? Contact our customer service team to learnknow more about our personalized funeral stationery.
Create Custom Funeral Programs!