What Happens at a Catholic Funeral?

A Catholic funeral is a unique and meaningful experience to attend for loved ones of any religion. This special funeral service incorporates a traditional three-part process as family members and friends say their final goodbyes. Keep reading for an overview of what happens at a traditional Catholic funeral.

Vigil Service

Commonly referred to as a Wake, the vigil for the recently deceased takes place between the time of death and the Funeral Liturgy. It is generally held the day or night before the Funeral Liturgy, and can take place at a family home, a church, or a funeral home. During this rite of a Catholic funeral, prayers, songs, psalms, and reflection accompany readings from the Sacred Scripture. Eulogies on the life of the deceased are an integral part of this vigil.

Funeral Liturgy

The Funeral Liturgy typically occurs the day of, or evening before the Rite of Committal. It is generally celebrated at a church or at a funeral home. During this rite, the deceased’s casket is sprinkled with holy water and the pall is placed by loved ones or family members. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated at this time, which includes the Presentation Song, the Preparation of the Gifts, and the Communion Song.

Rite of Committal

The committal is the final rite in a Catholic funeral service. This is the portion of a Catholic funeral that takes place beside the burial site. In the case of in-ground burials, the Rite of Committal will occur beside the open grave in the cemetery. For burials in mausoleums, the ceremony will usually take place adjacent to the place of interment. The deceased’s casket is lowered into the burial plot. This is the most brief, but most somber element of a Catholic funeral as loved ones and friends bid the deceased farewell as he or she returns to God.

If you are planning a Catholic funeral in Oahu, HI, consider Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. Our trustworthy and supportive staff can help you with every aspect of Catholic funeral services. Call us today at (808) 239-8811 to discuss how we can be of assistance.