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.

What to Expect at a Catholic Funeral?

At Valley of the Temples, we are experienced at planning Catholic funerals. What sets a Catholic funeral apart from other funeral services? Here is a closer look at Catholic funeral traditions.

Catholic Funeral on Oahu - Valley of the Temples

Vigil

The vigil, which is also sometimes called a wake, is a time for family and friends to gather before the funeral. During the vigil, people pay respects to the departed loved one and offer support to surviving family members. Usually, there is a group prayer led by a priest during the vigil as well as an area for people to pray alone. The casket is usually at the vigil, either open or closed. A vigil can be held for a single night or may be held over the course of a few nights at the funeral home.

Mass

The mass is the central part of Catholic funerals. During the mass, the casket is received at the church and the priest leads opening rites, the liturgy of the word, the liturgy of the Eucharist, and the final committal. Catholic funeral masses are similar to other Catholic masses. However, there is no kiss of peace and no burning of the incense. Although eulogies were excluded from Catholic funerals in the past, churches are now welcoming them as part of the mass, usually after communion.

Burial

Cremation is growing in popularity among Catholic families, but burial is still part of many Catholic funeral services. Before the burial takes place, the priest leads a final prayer at the graveside and blesses the grave and the coffin with holy water.

Valley of the Temples is committed to ensuring every family that chooses our funeral home is able to honor their customs and traditions. We can help at all stages of funeral planning, from tribute videos to grief services. To learn more about our funeral home, please call (808) 206-7610.