Catholic Funeral Rites The Order of Christian Funerals and Cremation
The Direction of Intention My God, give me the grace to perform this action with youand through love for you.In advance, I offer to you all the good that I will do and accept all the difficulty I may meet therein. St. Ann, Pray for us. St. Francis de Sales, Pray for us
Overview • Anointing of the Sick (Last Rites) • The Funeral Home • Overview of a Catholic Funeral Rites • Cremation • Planning the Funeral Mass • Mass or no Mass? • Committal – The Cemetery • How to let you family know of your plans?
Sacrament of the Sick • What ever happened to Last Rites? • Sacrament of the Sick • Given to all who are ill, about to undergo surgery, recovering for illness, advanced in age • Last Rites was a Hollywood invention • Extreme Unction – The final Anointing • Today – Sacrament of the Sick • One should not wait until a person is unconscious to call the priest! • Sacraments work best when a person is awake!
The Funeral Home • Once a loved one has died… • Contact funeral home of choice, inform them you are Catholic and which church you are registered. Some parishes will NOT provide a funeral Mass for non-parishioners • Contacting the parish first to begin funeral arrangements often adds a layer of confusion • Funeral Director will contact parish to set up day and time with priest • Please DO NOT set a day and time without speaking to parish priest.
Meeting with Priest / Parish Staff • Following Meeting with Funeral Director • Call to meet with priest or parish staff • What happens in this meeting • Comfort and sympathy from parish • Begin the process of planning the Funeral Rites • Discuss options for Rites, Readings and Participation of Family members, Music selection
Vigil for the Deceased • Wake or Visitation • In home of deceased (in the absence of a body) funeral home, or in Church • Can be led by priest, deacon, layperson • Helps those mourning to express their sorrow and to find strength and consolation through faith in Christ and his resurrection • The Rosary, Evening Prayer • Prepared (written) eulogies of the deceased are to be done during this service.
Vigil for the Deceased Structure of the Vigil: • Greeting • Opening Prayer • Liturgy of the Word • Gospel • Homily – Reflections – eulogies • Prayer of Intercession • Lord’s Prayer • Concluding Prayer • Blessing
Mass of Christian Burial/Funeral Liturgy outside Mass • Community gathers with family and friends of deceased: • To give praise and thanks for Christ’s victory over sin and death • To commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion • To find strength in the proclamation of the Paschal mystery
Mass of Christian Burial/Funeral Liturgy outside Mass • What the Funeral Mass is NOT • Time for poetry readings, secular music, lengthy eulogies, reading of condolence cards, family singers or testimonials, or military honors
Mass of Christian Burial/Funeral Liturgy outside Mass Introductory Rites: • Greeting • Sprinkling with Holy Water • Placing of the Pall • Entrance Procession • Placing of Christian Symbols • Opening Prayer
Mass of Christian Burial/Funeral Liturgy outside Mass Liturgy of the Word: • Readings, Homily, General Intercessions Liturgy of the Eucharist (Mass only) Final Commendation • Invitation to Prayer • Silence • Song of Farewell • Prayer of Commendation • Procession to the Place of Committal
Mass of Christian Burial/Funeral Liturgy outside Mass “In peace, let us take our brother/sister to his/her place of rest.”
Rite of Committal In committing the body to its resting place: -Community expresses hope that, with all those who have gone before marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the Resurrection -Expresses the communion that exists between the Church on Earth and the Church in Heaven • - A place for the community to remember, pray and wait in hope
Rite of Committal -Invitation and Scripture Verse -Prayer Over the Place of Committal -Committal -Intercessions -The Lord’s Prayer -Concluding Prayer -Prayer Over the People
The Question of Cremation -Symbols used in Funeral Mass with Body remind faithful of the substantial connection with the deceased’s baptism. -Catholics have a strong belief in the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit as well as a belief in the Resurrection of the Body -From early Church, cremation was viewed as a pagan practice and was forbidden until 1963 -In the Code of Canon Law in 1983, “The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed; it does not, however, forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching” (Canon 1176).
The Question of Cremation • Since 1997, the Church has permitted Funeral masses with cremated remains present. • -In this decision the Church acknowledged that cremated remains bear the imprint of the first creation fashioned from dust. • “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
The Question of Cremation • Families who choose cremation are strongly encouraged to schedule the cremation of the body after the funeral liturgy. • Why? So as not to lose the powerful symbolism! • Funeral homes now provide families with a service by which they may rent the casket in which the body will be honored before its cremation.
The Question of Cremation • If cremation is chosen: • The cremains should be placed in a worthy vessel. • The cremains are placed near the Baptismal Font during the Funeral Liturgy. • The paschal candle should be placed in a prominent position as it is whenthe body is present for a funeral. • The cremains may be incensed out of respect for the cremated body. • The cremains may be sprinkled with holy water. • The cremains are taken to their place of rest following the Funeral Liturgy.
The Question of Cremation • -The practice of scattering ashes over the sea, on the ground, or from the air is not permitted for Catholics and is not considered to be the reverent disposition of the cremated remains. • -The cremated remains may be buried at sea as long as they are placed in a worthy vessel that will carry the remains to the bottom of the sea bed. • -Catholics should not retain the cremated remains in their homes, places of work, etc. Neither should Catholics divide and share the cremated remains of the deceased. The Catholic Church considers these practices mistreatment and disrespect of human remains.The Church requires that the cremated remains be buried or placed in a recognized area of reverence. • -Burial should take place immediate after Funeral Liturgy.
Planning your Funeral Rites • Wake, Funeral Mass, Committal • Taking time to select readings and music • Who should be involved • Making sure your Parish and Family know your plans. • Place funeral arrangements with other important documents. • Share information with family members