FUNERAL

For a Christian whose life of faith began with baptism through the Church, it is but fitting that his or her final journey is accompanied by the Church whose humble intercession is a rich consolation greatly experienced through the solemn funeral rite.

The funeral rite is divided into three parts, which include the vigil service, the funeral liturgy, and the rite of burial.

The Vigil Service

During the vigil, the community and the bereaved family join together in prayer, and find strength in God’s presence during this difficult time. The vigil takes place before the burial, at the funeral home or in the Church, as the case may be. We may pray the rosary, read the scriptures, share and reflect, or pray the Office for the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours. This is the time when eulogies can be made by family and friends.

Funeral Liturgy

The Church always encourages the celebration of the Mass as the central part of the funeral rite. But when Mass cannot be celebrated, a funeral liturgy outside Mass can be celebrated at the Church or at the funeral home.

The Church, the bereaved family of the deceased, and the community take solace in remembering Jesus’ victory over sin and death, and in an act of worship and expectant hope of eternal life in Christ, commend the deceased member into God’s hands, during this funeral liturgy.

Rite of Burial

The priest and the community accompany the deceased member to the final resting place where the rite of burial is celebrated – usually, beside the graveside or memorial chapel at a crematorium. The priest blesses the coffin with holy water, and the community finally lays the person to rest, thanking God for the wonderful gift of life.

Did you know?

In Catholic tradition, Funeral Masses may not be held on Holy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter), Good Friday (the Friday before Easter), Holy Saturday (the Saturday before Easter), or Easter Sunday.
Funeral Masses are also not held on the Sundays during Advent (the period starting on the fourth Sunday before Christmas up until Christmas Day), Lent (the 40-day period before Easter), and the Easter Season (the 50-day period after Easter).
A Funeral Mass may be held on Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), though ashes would not be distributed in the church.

Should your family need assistance through a funeral rite, designated members in our parish office will assist you. Please contact the parish office on 9704 7935.

Catholic Resources

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Honouring the dead is an age-old custom of the Church. Here’s an interesting article on this custom’s origins.

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Did you know that Pope Francis arranged for a homeless man to be buried in the Vatican? Here’s the story.