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The Symbolism of the Catholic Funeral Mass

If you attend a Catholic funeral service in San Jose, you may have some questions about the elements of the Mass. A Catholic funeral mass is an important part of the faith and is generally the most formal part of the entire Catholic funeral tradition, which also includes a vigil service and cemetery service.

During a Catholic Funeral Mass, the casket or urn is first sprinkled with holy water and draped with a pall before entering the church, both of which recall the rite of baptism. The remains are then escorted to the front of the church. In some cases, a bible or crucifix may be placed on the casket before the mass begins. The Paschal candle is lit to show the light of Christ. A traditional mass, including the liturgies of the word and the Eucharist, is held. The priest will deliver a final commendation while incensing the deceased in honor of the Holy Spirit. Generally, eulogies are not part of a Catholic Funeral Mass. These are generally delivered at the vigil, though some churches are increasingly allowing them to be incorporated into the Funeral Mass.


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