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Catholic Funeral Rites 

Following the passing of a Catholic Church member, there are three primary funeral rituals to consider. You have the freedom to select one from the alternatives below.

Liturgical Norms

Catholic funerals, whether Requiem Mass or Funeral Service, are prayers for the deceased and their family, following guidelines from the Pope and bishops. They provide support to mourners and uphold the prayerful essence of the Church. The priest ensures the funeral aligns with local and universal Church requirements.

Funeral rituals alternatives

1. Vigil for the Deceased

The Vigil is typically held prior to the Funeral Mass or Funeral Liturgy and provides an opportunity for family, friends, and community members to gather and offer their condolences and support to the grieving family.


During the Catholic Vigil for the Deceased, prayers are offered, scripture readings are proclaimed, and hymns may be sung. The focus of the Vigil is to commend the soul of the deceased to God's mercy and to provide comfort and solace to the bereaved.

2. Requiem Mass or Funeral Service

In the Catholic Church, there are two types of funeral services to choose from. The most common is the Requiem (Funeral) Mass, which reenacts Christ's death and resurrection. Alternatively, a Funeral Service without Holy Communion is an option for those less familiar with Catholic liturgy.


When planning either service with a priest, you can select readings, prayers, and hymns that reflect the Catholic understanding of death and eternal life.

3. Rite of Committal 

Following the funeral proceedings, the concluding ritual is known as the Rite of Committal. This solemn ceremony occurs at the burial site, which can be a grave, tomb, or crematorium.


During this rite, the priest assumes the role of guiding the attendees in a sequence of prayers while offering blessings upon the designated place of burial or internment.

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