Catholic Funeral

With faith, hope, and love and the Catholic belief in the resurrection promised through Jesus Christ, Catholic funerals are when the Church seeks firstly to offer the Mass for the benefit of the soul of the deceased.

The Catholic Funeral Service

The Catholic Church offers distinct occasions for common prayer at the time of funerals. The Order of Christian Funerals contains three clusters of Rites:

  • The Vigil - a time to eulogize the deceased and pay any fraternal or civil tributes.
  • The Funeral Liturgy, and Final Commendation and Farewell - a Mass or liturgy in commemoration for the deceased.
  • The Rite of Committal - prayer and blessing of the body and final resting place.

Consultation with your priest or parish minister can help determine your funeral selections.


The Rite of Committal is the Catholic interment service, at which the body is finally buried or interred. The Rite of Committal may take place at a gravesite, mausoleum crypt or tomb, or columbarium (in the event that the body was cremated). Family and friends gather together with a priest or deacon to pray over the body one last time. In order to make the burial or interment site a sacred place for the deceased, the priest or deacon will bless the place before the body or remains are placed inside. After the site has been blessed, the body or remains will be committed to the earth. The priest or deacon will then recite more prayers, and then everyone will join in to say the Lord's Prayer.

Where to Hold a Catholic Funeral

Catholic funerals may be held in your Catholic parish, though they may also be held in the approved chapels of Catholic assisted living or care facilities. No Mass can be held at the cemetery or funeral home.

Specific Catholic Funeral Arrangements

Throughout the service, no matter who is leading, laypeople may participate as readers, musicians, pallbearers, ushers, and in other usual roles. The music played at the Funeral Mass should be appropriate church music; popular or non-religious music is not appropriate. However, the family of the person who died may coordinate with the priest to have special or especially meaningful hymns, psalms, or readings included in the Mass.