Catholic funeral

Catholics believe that death is the passing from the physical world to the afterlife, where the deceased’s soul will live in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. At the end of time, when Christ returns, many Catholics believe that the bodies of the dead will be resurrected.

We can arrange a Catholic funeral mass for you and make sure it has all the important elements, as well as the personal touches.

There are commonly three parts or types of rituals involved in a Catholic funeral: a vigil or wake, a mass, and the burial.

The Vigil

The vigil or wake is a ceremony where loved ones gather to pay respect to the dead and to surviving family members, and also to attend to the deceased's soul. It tends to be held in a funeral home or parish church or chapel, although it can also take place at a home. A priest will often lead a group prayer, or a quiet place is provided for those who wish to pray alone. The casket containing the body is usually present and may be displayed open or closed. Flowers commonly adorn the casket and the room, along with candles and a crucifix. Personal items and photographs may also be displayed.

Mass

The Catholic funeral service is a mass, generally held in church the day after the vigil. It consists of receiving the body at the church or opening rites, the liturgies of the word and Eucharist, and final committal or concluding rites. The traditional requiem mass is similar to other Catholic masses except that incense is not burned at the points usually designated, nor is the kiss of peace exchanged.

Mass cannot be held on certain days:

  • Holy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter)
  • Good Friday (the Friday before Easter)
  • Holy Saturday (the Saturday before Easter)
  • Easter Sunday
  • Sundays during Advent (the period starting on the fourth Sunday before 25 December through to 25 December)
  • Lent (the 40-day period before Easter)
  • Easter Season (the 50-day period after Easter)

A Funeral Mass may be held on Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), though ashes would not be distributed in the church.

We can make sure that your Catholic funeral is as personal and connected to God as you wish.