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St. Paul Catholic Church

Plainfield, WI

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Funeral Planning
Catholic Funerals
Planning a traditional Catholic funeral

A Catholic funeral, like all funerals, is a time of sadness and mourning. However, in the Catholic faith there's joy in the belief that a funeral represents the passing of the beloved into eternal life. The Catholic Church has many traditions concerning funerals and funeral preparation.


At Time of Death


At the time of death, the church parish may be contacted before a funeral home is called. Some Catholics will opt out of conventional funeral home services in favor of Roman Catholic services. You can be sure that the Roman Catholic Church will handle the funeral with utmost respect for the deceased and the grieving family. A priest and other church figures will minister to the grieving friends and family in whatever ways are needed.


Commonly asked questions about Catholic funerals:


Why do we celebrate the funeral rites?


In the funeral rites we pray for the deceased, entrusting them to God's mercy and care.We honor the body.We comfort the living in their grief.We celebrate the funeral rites not only for the dead but also for the living.


What rites can be used for a suicide victim?

This person is entrusted to God's love and mercy and is therefore entitled to the usual Funeral Rites.

What is done for a lapsed Catholic?

By virtue of Baptism this person is entitled to the prayers of the Church including the Funeral Rites.

What is the proper place for the Funeral Rites?

The Vigil service is celebrated in the presence of the body either in the funeral home or our Parish Church the night before.The Funeral Mass is always celebrated in the Church.The Committal Rite is preferably celebrated at the grave.

Why do we recommend viewing in the Church before the funeral?

Gathering at the Church before the Funeral Mass begins allows family and friends a time to console one another, to say final goodbyes, and to enter into the spirit of prayer. The Vigil

The Catholic vigil is a prayer service, usually held the evening before the funeral. The community of friends and family will gather for a service at the funeral home or the church. The vigil includes prayer for both the deceased and the grieving family. Also, a eulogy may be read at the vigil instead of at the funeral service.

The Catholic Funeral Liturgy


Where can I find the text for the prayers of the funeral service?

The Order of Christian Funerals is the text of all Catholic funeral rites approved for use in the United States of America.It has been in mandatory use in all Latin rite Catholic parishes of the United States since All Souls Day, Nov. 2, 1989.During the Funeral Liturgy Planning Session, Deacon Bob loans the funeral text to the family of the deceased loved one so that the family may choose its Scripture proclamations for the upcoming liturgies.

The core of the Catholic funeral celebration will likely consist of several elements. The Eucharist is almost always performed. This is the ceremony at the center of the Catholic faith - the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Prayer also plays a prominent role in the Catholic funeral service, along with songs, hymns and a brief message. However, almost any aspect of the service can be left out, if it is the wish of the family.































 Rite of Committal


What is the Rite of Committal?

The Rite of Committal is the third station of the Catholic funeral liturgy, after the Vigil (usually the day or night before the funeral) and the Funeral Mass 9of Funeral Liturgy outside Mass).It is normally celebrated at the site of burial.

Why is the grave the preferred site for the Rite of Committal?

The grave is preferred because the prayers from the ritual express clearly the loving closure of placing the body or cremains in the ground.In the Catholic faith, there is a great respect for the body. Catholics believe that the body is ‘the temple of the Lord' and that at the End of Days, there will be a resurrection of the body.




Is cremation permitted by the Catholic Church?

Since 1963, the Church has permitted cremation as long as the Church's teaching on the resurrection of the body is upheld.


How are the rites celebrated for someone who chooses cremation?

The Church prefers that the body be present for the Funeral Liturgy and cremated following the Final Commendation of the Liturgy.If there is a serious reason, it may be possible to celebrate the Funeral Liturgy in the presence of cremated remains.

Code of Canon Law (1176. 3) now reads, “The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless this is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching.”

If there is a cremation, it will almost always take place after the funeral service.







Order of Christian Funerals


THE ORDER OF CHRISTIAN FUNERALS has three principal parts:

the Vigil for the Deceased; the Funeral Mass or the Funeral Liturgy outside Mass;

and the Rite of committal.



             Greeting; Opening Song; Invitation to Prayer; Opening Prayer


           Scripture Readings with Responsorial Psalm; Homily


            Family members and friends may eulogize and share stories and remembrances of the

            deceased loved one.



            The Lord's Prayer; Concluding Prayer (A family member or friend may speak in remembrance

            of thedeceased.)


             Blessing; Song and/or a few minutes of silent prayer



            Greeting & Sprinkling with Holy Water; Placing of the Pall ( and Christian Symbols);

            Entrance Procession;Song; Opening Prayer


            Scripture Readings with Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation; Homily;

            General Intercessions


            Preparation of the Altar and the Gifts; Eucharistic Prayer; Communion Rite


            Invitation to Prayer; Song of Farewell and Incense if desired; Prayer of Commendation


            Invitation; Scripture Verse; Prayer over the Place of Committal; Committal; Intercessions;

            The Lord's Prayer


          Concluding Prayer

             Prayer over the People