Catholic Funeral: Rites

Catholic Funeral Directors Sydney, Catholic Funerals Service Sydney, Catholic Funeral Homes Sydney

 

The information listed here is a guide only, your are urged to discuss matters of the church, faith and funerals with the Parish Priest.

Once you have arranged the funeral with your Chris Timmins Funerals Sydney personal funeral arranger it is important that you then contact the parish Priest in order to plan the  Catholic funeral service. Each Priest will have particular requirements for the conduct of Catholic Funeral Rites. It is important that you meet the Priest early in the funeral planning process. Chris Timmins Funerals Parramatta has specialist funeral arrangers for the provision of Catholic funerals, each with years of experience in the requirements of Catholic Funerals Services.

There are generally three parts to a Catholic funeral:

  • The Night before 

 

  • The funeral liturgy

 

  • Commital at the cemetery or crematorium

 

In Australia the service or Vigil the night before the funeral is optional, although many cultures, particularly Italians and Europeans adhere to the requirement.

The Night before the Funeral 

The night before the funeral offers an important opportunity for people to mourn. Being less public, it frees people to express their grief with family and friends.

Different cultures have different customs for the night before the funeral. One custom is to visit the home of the close relatives of the person who died, to sit with them, to share their grief. Some people choose to go to the Sydney funeral home. There they will view the body and pray for a short time. Some parishes have the custom of praying the rosary at the church. The rosary may also be recited in the funeral home Sydney.

Each of these alternatives provides an opportunity for others to express their sorrow and for you to express both your grief and your hope in the resurrection. This is a less formal setting and offers families the opportunity to conduct many of their own personal celebrations.

Others might choose to have a vigil at the church. The church provides a ritual or service for this purpose. It consists of prayers, reading of the Word of God, prayers of intercession. You might like to include the sharing of memories.

 

The Funeral Service

The funeral service is usually celebrated with a Mass of Christian Burial with prayers for the deceased. This is primarily an expression of our belief in the resurrection. As a Christian Catholic funeral, we praise God and give to him our dead relative, commending him or her to God's love.

Preparing a Mass of Christian Burial

When you discuss the funeral Mass with the Priest, you are likely to find that it enables you to express your love for the person in a unique way. You might choose to make a special booklet, although it is not absolutely necessary. Your personal Chris Timmins  funerals Parramatta,  arranger can assist you with this if required.

The Readings

The first thing that you may think about is your choice of readings. Through them you can provide an opportunity for your family and friends to hear God speak. It is usually possible to choose a reading from each of the Old and New testaments and a Gospel reading. The priest may invite you to choose these from the Lectionary (the Book of readings used at Mass). 

The Prayers of the Faithful

The Prayers of the Faithful (also called the General Intercessions) provide another opportunity to personalise the celebration of the deceased person's life and to enable family members to participate. 

The priest may suggest that you use intercessions already written. Alternatively, he may invite you to write your own intercessions. If you choose to write your own intercessions, you might choose to pray for the deceased person, for those who are mourning the death of the one they loved, for those who cared for the person particularly prior to death, for other deceased members of the family, for all who have died recently. 

The Prayers of the Faithful (also called the General Intercessions) provide another opportunity to personalise the celebration of the deceased person's life and to enable family members to participate. The priest may suggest that you use intercessions already written. Alternatively, he may invite you to write your own intercessions. If you choose to write your own intercessions, you might choose to pray for the deceased person, for those who are mourning the death of the one they loved, for those who cared for the person particularly prior to death, for other deceased members of the family, for all who have died recently. 

Introductory Rites

During the introductory rites, the community welcomes the body into the church. It may also be a time of welcome to the community who have gathered those who have come to pray in support of the family and to honour the dead person. 

The Priest may sprinkle the coffin with holy water. Holy water is a reminder of our baptism. Baptism is the beginning of our life in Christ. This sprinkling is a symbol of a new life in Christ. Some parishes have a pall - a large white cloth that is placed on the coffin by family members. The pall is a reminder of the white garment received in baptism. The tender, graceful covering of the coffin is a respectful caring for the dead person, clothing the deceased person in a white garment for the last time. Other family members may place on the coffin Christian symbols - a Bible, a missal, rosary beads, and a medal. 

The priest may invite a close family member - one person only - to speak some words by way of welcome and remembrance to the assembled group. This is an opportunity to recall respectfully and lovingly, in a very few minutes, a little of the deceases life. Because this can be an emotional time, it is a very good idea if the words are written.

At the end of the Mass the Priest will offer final prayers at the coffin granting absolution to the deceased. At this time the coffin is sprinkled with Holy Water and Incensed. As the body is carried out of church, the Priest will recite the following ("May the angels lead you into paradise: may the martyrs receive you at your coming, and lead you into the holy city, Jerusalem. May the choir of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have everlasting rest.")

 

At the Graveside or Crematorium

These prayers are brief. They are an expression of the final taking leave, of letting go and of acknowledging our grief and our need for the comfort and support of others. 

The church offers a final ritual, the rite of committal, to be used at the graveside. It begins with the priest inviting the assembled family and friends to commit the persons' body to the earth and to support each other in our sorrow. This is followed by a brief reading of the Word of God. Then the coffin is lowered into the ground. The priest or another person prays intercessions and all join in the Lord's Prayer. The priest concludes with a final prayer and a blessing. 

My grandfather wants to be cremated. Is this allowed?

The Catholic Church does allow a person to be cremated. Preferably the cremation should take place after the funeral liturgy. The symbolism of the liturgy, the sprinkling with water, the clothing with the pall, is more meaningful if the body is present. The Church urges us to treat the cremated remains with respect. If possible, we should inter the remains in a grave, mausoleum or columbarium.

Catholic Funerals Sydney and Parramatta

Only those who are baptised can have a Catholic burial. The last rites performed by the Catholic Church are generally deemed a sign of respect and they might be denied to those the church views as undeserving. Most of the groups the church would deny last rites to are historically situated and might not apply to modern situations. For example, those who die in a duel are not deserving of a Catholic burial, but modern life has seen that tradition fall by the wayside, so it doesn’t generally apply. The particulars of who can and cannot have a Catholic burial are ultimately up to your local parish and you should seek guidance from the parish Priest in relation to individual circumstances.

 

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