Funeral Order of Service

When you lose a loved one, it can feel like your whole world has fallen apart.

During this time, emotions will be running high and you may find it difficult to come to terms with your loss. You and your family may be tasked with planning the funeral of your loved one and this can be especially challenging if you have never done something like this before.

Catholic funerals are very common in the United States, but if you haven’t arranged one before, it can be a bit difficult to follow through with the process. If your loved one was a devout Catholic in life, you must give them a funeral that’s in line with their beliefs.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the Catholic funeral order of service to help you and your family navigate it during this difficult time.

The Funeral Order of Services

The following is the order of services for a Catholic funeral:

1. The Wake

The first part of a Catholic funeral is the wake, also called the vigil, which is normally held before the funeral and is done with the remains of your loved one present.

During the wake, mourners will share stories of your loved one, pray for them, sing hymns, and give tributes. The vigil allows you, your friends, and your family to give each other support and celebrate the life of the deceased before laying them to rest.

The wake can be done at the home of your loved one, their affiliated church, or even at a funeral home. The wake is normally led by a priest or deacon, so make sure to contact the church of your loved one and give them the dates for the wake and funeral.

2. Funeral Liturgy

This is the central part of a Catholic funeral order of service. This can take place as a funeral mass or a funeral liturgy without a mass.

The funeral mass is usually carried out while the remains of the deceased are present. A funeral liturgy without a mass, however, is normally held when the body of the deceased is not present; for example, if the remains were cremated.

The funeral liturgy begins with the introductory rite. During this part of the funeral, priests will greet the attendees and sprinkle holy water on the casket. After this, the Liturgy of the Word takes place where a priest will recite verses from the Bible.

The priest will also give a homily, which focuses on the Catholic belief of resurrection and also gives comfort to you and your family.

Finally, the Liturgy of the Eucharist takes place if there’s a funeral mass. During this part of the funeral, communion is given to the faithful.

3. The Final Condemnation

During this part, the priest will sprinkle holy water on either side of the casket and offer a final prayer for your loved one, asking God to accept your loved one into heaven.

The casket will then be carried to the burial site. The priest will then bless the burial site before the casket is lowered into the ground. There will also be prayers at the end of the graveside ceremony to comfort the mourners.

4. Cremation

Cremation is accepted by the Catholic Church, but the scattering of ashes is not. The ashes must be kept in an urn and buried or placed in a mausoleum.

How could a funeral home help with funeral services?

Navigating a Catholic funeral arrangement can be challenging for anyone who is grieving. Fortunately, you can always call a funeral home to help you. Here’s what they can do for you and your family:

1. Funeral Arrangement

The funeral home will help you plan out every aspect of a Catholic funeral order of service. This includes scheduling the different parts of the funeral, like the Funeral Liturgy.

They will also coordinate with the priest to ensure that the rites are carried out according to Catholic tradition.

2. Funeral Services

Funeral homes can offer a range of funeral services, such as preparing the body of the deceased, choosing a casket, and making arrangements for the viewing. They can also offer a selection of funeral urns if you choose to cremate your loved one.

They will also arrange the transport of your loved one’s remains from their place of death and during the funeral service.

3. Financial Consideration

If you’re struggling with your budget, don’t worry, reputable funeral homes will take into account your budget and will recommend funeral services that you will find affordable.

Some funeral homes may offer funeral services that are more affordable than others but still promise a high-quality service.

4. Emotional Support

89.2% of funeral homes are owned by families—they know how difficult it is to lose someone close to you.

To help you come to terms with your loss, some funeral homes may offer resources that may help you and your family come to terms with your loss. This can include books and also emotional support groups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about the funeral order of services:

1. Can I hold a Catholic funeral service if my loved one wasn’t religious?

You may be able to do this, but you should contact the priest in your local church to get confirmation from them.

2. Can the funeral be held on a Sunday?

Yes, it can. However, churches normally hold regular services on Sundays. You will need to speak to the priest about which days are most suitable for the funeral to be held.

3. How long is a Catholic funeral?

The length of the funeral depends on several factors, like the number of services you want to include. Normally, a Catholic funeral service lasts an hour.

Learn more about the funeral order of service for a Catholic funeral

Even if you are of the Catholic faith, you may not always be aware of how the funerals are carried out, and this is nothing to be ashamed of. When you’re grieving, doing something like planning a funeral can be an uphill battle but don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Funeral homes not only offer professional funeral services but they can also help you understand the aspects of a Catholic funeral service so that you can give your loved one a meaningful send-off that reflects their beliefs.

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