At the beginning of life, we are created by the love of God and at our end, our families and friends gather to farewell and commend us in God’s loving care.  The Catholic funeral celebrates the life of a person knowing that their life continues into the fullness of eternal life.  For us, life is changed not ended.  We hold our loved ones in the sure hope that we will be united in heaven, when God will be all in all.

There are three ceremonies offered by the Church to help support families and friends in their time of grief.

  1. The Vigil for the Deceased. The family and friends gather at the home, the chapel of the Funeral Director or the local church.  They remember their loved one with the sharing of stories and memories and with prayers and readings.  Some families often choose to have a gathering for the Rosary.  This Vigil can be held any time before the Funeral but is most often celebrated the evening before.
  2. The Funeral Liturgy is usually celebrated in a Church. The service can be with a Funeral Mass with the final commendation or a Liturgy of the Word with the final commendation.
  3. The Rite of Committal takes place at the cemetery or crematorium. It is the final prayer of care offered and usually occurs after the Funeral.

With the introduction of columbariums in some parishes, families and friends may gather sometime after the funeral for the placing of the ashes accompanied by prayers and readings.