Funeral Rites of the Church

Immediately following death, the family, usually with the assistance of the funeral director, makes arrangements for the funeral. The following Funeral Rites are usually conducted by the parish priest.

  • VIGIL FOR THE DECEASED is the principal rite celebrated by the Christian community in the time following death and before the Funeral Mass. It is usually celebrated in the funeral home when family and friends gather around the coffin.

  • FUNERAL MASS is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased.

  • RITE OF COMMITTAL is the final prayer of the community of faith. It may be celebrated at the grave, tomb, or niche and used for burial at sea. Planning for the Catholic Funeral Rites should be made directly with the parish.

Important Funeral Forms to consider with family/those planning the funeral

Does the catholic church allow cremation? 
Yes, the Funeral Rites of the Church may be held in the presence of the cremated remains of the deceased. The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried and their final disposition. Cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping the remains at home of the deceased are not the reverend disposition that the Church requires.

Are catholic cemeteries the only places where a catholic may be buried, entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium? 
No, but there is spiritual reason to consider the Catholic Cemeteries. Throughout the year, each of the Archdiocese of Miami's two cemeteries has a regularly scheduled Mass to remember and pray for all who are buried in our Cemeteries. In addition, our bishops celebrate Mass at the Catholic Cemeteries on All Souls Day and Memorial Day.

For other important forms please visit the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Florida:

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