Preparing for a Funeral: Funeral Celebrations

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What liturgical celebrations can be celebrated when someone dies?

The Catholic Church document, Order of Christian Funerals, outlines the celebrations that may take place when someone dies, and the options available in each of them. The latest English edition of the Order of Christian Funerals was released in 1988.

Prior to the funeral itself, a Vigil may be celebrated.

A funeral is celebrated, either within Mass, or outside Mass
This is then followed by the Rite of Committal, when the body is buried or sent forth for cremation

Options are provided in the funeral liturgy to select texts suited to the particular circumstances of each situation. For example, there are texts for the funeral of a baptised child, a child who died before baptism, a person who died after a long illness, a person who died suddenly; accidentally or violently; by suicide, etc.

Morning and Evening Prayer can also be celebrated for the dead.

Sometimes, parishioners may also ask a priest to celebrate a Mass for the dead. This can often be the case when a relative dies overseas, and there are a large number of family and friends living in or around the parish who cannot travel to the country where the funeral is being celebrated. If you are in such circumstances, and would like a Mass for the dead to be celebrated, please contact the parish office.