Catholic Funeral Tradition

In the Catholic Tradition, a funeral enables family and friends to join together in a celebration of faith to remember the life of a loved one who has passed. With the promise of everlasting life and the hope of Resurrection in Christ, a Catholic funeral commemorates the journey of the individual from baptism to redemption. A funeral is a time to share the memories of a loved one and support family and friends.

To plan a funeral for a deceased loved on please call the Parish Office for an appointment.

Three distinct rites are provided at the time of the funeral. Each rite serves an important purpose in guiding our family and friends through loss, grief and the journey of healing. While all Catholic funerals share a similar format, the celebration of remembrance of the loved one is unique and personal to the individual’s life.

Vigil & Visitation

The Vigil is often the first time family, friends and community members gather for prayer and support, in remembrance of a treasured life. The service is held at a parish church or funeral home. Through prayer, scripture, song, and stories, the decreased is remembered and celebrated. It is a time to give strength to the grieving and faith to trust in the promise of eternal life.

Funeral Liturgy

The Funeral Mass is the principle celebration of the Catholic funeral, where family and friends join to reaffirm that life has not ended. It is the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice, and is a reminder that we are one with Christ in life, death and Resurrection. The mass is celebrated in the Church with the body present.

At the funeral liturgy the community gathers with the family and friends of the deceased to give praise and thanks to God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion and to seek strength in the proclamation of the paschal mystery

Committal

The Committal is the final service and time of interment. With a short invitation, scripture verse and prayer, family and friends are guided in the challenging process of letting go. Through the comfort and promise of everlasting life, the deceased are left in their peaceful resting place.

Funeral Music

“Music is integral to the funeral rites. It allows the community to express
convictions and feelings that words alone may fail to convey. It has the power
to console and uplift the mourners and to strengthen the unity of the assembly in
faith and love.” 
(Order of Christian Funerals, 30)

An instrumentalist, song leader, and choir if possible, will be present to assist and support the assembly in singing the hymns, responses and acclamations for the Rites of Christian Funerals.

The parish will provide the Worship Aid so that the community assembled can participate. If the family chooses to provide their own Memory Program with pictures and poems, the Parish Worship Aid will be inserted into the Memory Program.

Getting Started (pdf)

 Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services (Diocese of Oakland)