Planning a traditional Catholic funeral
A Catholic funeral, like all funerals, is a time of sadness and grief. 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, though some of these traditions are in dispute or are falling out of favor.At Time of Death
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 . 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
The core of the Catholic funeral celebration will likely consist of several elements. The Eucharist is 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 Mass, along with songs, hymns and a brief message.
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.
The Church does allow and accept cremation. If there is any dispute, the 1983 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.
Children and Burial
Children may not be able to deal with the burial. Before you bring a child to a burial, be sure they know what they're going to see. Explain it step by step and stop to ask them if they have any questions. If they raise objections, they may not be ready. You shouldn't force a child to attend a funeral if they strongly protest. It's possible that they'll regret missing it when they get older, but it's also possible that they know better what they're prepared for; you shouldn't push the issue too ardently.
You may find that your child wants to be involved in the funeral. It may help the child understand the loss of a loved one more clearly if they can participate in the process. Many kids just want to be included in the funeral in order to say goodbye to a loved one.
Funeral Music Guidelines
: The music you choose with the help of the parish Director of Music should reflect the dignity and sacredness of the Mass. Our Music Director, Clare Zeimetz, is happy to meet with you to discuss the music selections. We have listed here some of the more popular funeral hymns. This list it not all inclusive.
Amazing Grace, Be Not Afraid, Here I Am Lord, Hosea, I Have Loved You, Ave Maria, Gift of Finest Wheat, Hail Mary Gentle Woman, You are Near, Eye Has Not Seen, I Am the Bread of Life, The Lord is My Shepherd, Prayer of St. Francis, We Remember, You Are Mine, Battle Hymn of the Republic, On Eagle's Wings, Jesus Remember Me, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, All I Ask of You, An Irish Blessing, As the Deer Longs, Be With Me, Lord; Because the Lord Is My Shepherd, Come to Me