As Catholics we have a great treasure in our funeral rites and committal rites. Here are some guidelines regarding what ought to be done:
- When a loved one has died you should work with a funeral home to make arrangements. We do not recommend working with groups like or similar to cremation society. While they may appear to be cheaper, they do not give you the service required to have a Catholic funeral.
- The Funeral home will help you:
- Select a date and time for the funeral and burial
- Help coordinate musicians
- Help coordinate any meals or refreshments offered
- Help coordinate burial plots and markers etc.
- Help coordinate any military rites to be included
- Help with putting together and coordinating the obituary release
- Help with arranging the body or cremains and facilitating their transfer.
- Help with arranging any kind of program or handouts
- The funeral home specializes in this. It is a service they provide. The Church does not do these things. If you ask us to do this, we will direct you to work with your funeral home.
- The Church will help you:
- Plan the funeral liturgy
- Celebrate a funeral Mass or funeral celebration outside of Mass
- Select readings, prepare readers and other ministers
- Celebrate the committal (burial)
- Provide location for the funeral and reception and visitation if desired
Realize that the funeral home and the Church have scheduled events that sometimes must be worked around. We want to serve you and help you, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. There are several variances on the type of service that could be celebrated. Here are some general guidelines when choosing what route to take.
- For a practicing Catholic, it is most appropriate to have a Mass of Christian Burial.
- For a non-practicing Catholic it would still be good to have a Mass unless they specifically declared their desire not to have a Mass.
- For a non-Catholic, we could do a funeral service outside of Mass
- Even if someone doesn’t want a funeral, we could do a committal service at the graveside, but the Church encourages a funeral whenever possible.
The funeral, whether it is a Mass or a service, should be a reflection upon Christ and how Christ is impacted the deceased. That is why we do not call funeral’s ‘Celebration of life’, because we are primarily celebrating what Christ has done. We are doing this on behalf of the person. This is why the Church asks that any remembrance or Eulogy this is offered should be a reflection on the person’s life in-light of their Christian Faith.
These directives are given to help you understand what the Church offers for those who have died.
See the links below for a selection of readings that are often chosen for funerals, and a special directive if a family chooses to do cremation rather than a full body burial.