Your Guide to the Traditional Catholic Funeral Service

The comfort of Catholic traditions can be especially helpful during the grieving process. This is why many Catholic families choose to celebrate the life of their loved ones with a traditional Catholic funeral service.

Should your family do the same? Here is what you can expect if you choose to go the route of traditional Catholic burial:

Prayer Vigil and Reception of the Body

The first stage of a traditional Catholic funeral service is the reception of the body. This is also referred to as the Prayer Vigil. It happens the evening before the funeral as the body is taken into the church and the family and other loved ones are invited to gather and pray.

While this part of the funeral service is optional, many families find it very comforting. It allows loved ones to have quiet time with the deceased before the public memorial service and grants an intimate time to both grieve and celebrate their life.

Catholic Funeral – Mass or No Mass?

The Catholic Church encourages members and their loved ones to hold a Catholic funeral mass – also known as Requiem Mass – during Catholic funeral services. This part of the service allows for taking Holy Communion and commemorating the death and resurrection of Christ. This keeps Christ in the center of the celebration, helping mourners to remember the hope they have in Him.

For families who are not actively practicing Catholics – or who are likely to have very few Catholics attend the funeral – it may be wise to have a funeral without Mass. This can help those in attendance feel more comfortable and focus more fully on mourning their loved one, even if they are not Catholic themselves.

Committal of the Body

Once the funeral concludes, the body will be transported to the chosen final resting place. For many Catholic families, this is a Catholic cemetery or burial park. There, a family may have their loved one interred in a traditional, in-ground burial plot, a mausoleum, or a specialized interment area for cremated remains.

For more information about a Catholic funeral service in Lafayette, speak to your funeral home director at Queen of Heaven Cemetery & Funeral Center. They can help you find the resources your family needs to create a memorable service that is within the guidelines set by the Church.