What are the traditions of Catholic funerals?

Funerals are a time to celebrate life and allow surviving family members to say their final goodbyes. It is no different from other religions and cultures in having distinctive rites and traditions to acknowledge someone’s demise.

What is the custom of the Catholics when someone passes away?

Following someone’s death, several rituals are performed as part of the funeral rite. The wake, the funeral mass, and the committal are three ceremonies that are part of Catholic funeral customs.

  1. Wake

It’s customary for friends and family to gather for the wake the first few days after someone passes away, either in the church, funeral home, or family home (also called the vigil). People read from the bible or say the rosary while offering prayers for the deceased. In addition to giving eulogies and discussing happy memories of the deceased, there may be additional readings, songs, and poetry.

  1. Funeral service

After the wake, a formal ceremony called the funeral mass is held in a Catholic church. The funeral mass is of utmost significance to Catholics because it symbolizes the soul’s return to God and entry into the hereafter. Additionally, it gives attendees a chance to pray for the deceased person’s family and themselves.

  1. Interment of the urn or coffin

Catholic funeral customs state that the casket or urn must be carried into the church before the ritual can begin. This symbolizes the person returning to be with God. When carrying a casket or urn, the priest frequently showers it with holy water. It is customary to attach symbolic artifacts to the casket once it has been positioned at the altar for the ritual, such as a bible or crucifix.

The person who has died is committed to their last resting place during this ritual. At the commitment, additional Catholic funeral customs are observed. To symbolize prayers being made to God on behalf of the deceased, the priest waves incense over the casket. As the casket is lowered into the grave, the congregation prays, and the priest recites the phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

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