Catholic Funeral Tradition

Sharing the Moment

praying1-300x204-0In the Catholic Tradition, a funeral enables family and friends to join together in a celebration of faith to remember the life of a loved one who has passed. With the promise of everlasting life and the hope of Resurrection in Christ, a Catholic funeral commemorates the journey of the individual from baptism to redemption. A funeral is a time to share the memories of a loved one and support family and friends.

Three distinct rites are provided at the time of the funeral. Each rite serves an important purpose in guiding our family and friends through loss, grief and the journey of healing. While all Catholic funerals share a similar format, the celebration of remembrance of the loved one is unique and personal to the individual’s life.

Vigil & Visitation

The Vigil is often the first time family, friends and community members gather for prayer and support, in remembrance of a treasured life. The service is held at a parish church or funeral home. Through prayer, scripture, song, and stories, the deceased is remembered and celebrated. It is a time to give strength to the grieving and faith to trust in the promise of eternal life.

Funeral Liturgy

The Funeral Mass is the principle celebration of the Catholic funeral, where family and friends join to reaffirm that life has not ended. It is the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice, and is a reminder that we are one with Christ in life, death and Resurrection. The mass is celebrated in the Church with the body present. At this time family and friends give thanks and prepare to part with the deceased.


The Committal is the final service and time of interment. With a short invitation, scripture verse and prayer, family and friends are guided in the challenging process of letting go. Through the comfort and promise of everlasting life, the deceased are left in their peaceful resting place.