FUNERALS

For some, death is annihilation; for others, it is senseless and has no meaning. But for the Christian, death is a transition to a new and never-ending life.

Funeral Mass

The Funeral Mass is customarily celebrated on the day of burial. However, for pastoral reasons the Mass may be celebrated at some other time before the burial, such as the previous evening. In any event, there should be only one Funeral Mass. Since the proper setting for Mass is a sacred place, Mass is not to be celebrated in a funeral home or similar facility. The body of the deceased should be present in church for the Funeral Mass.

Eulogy

A brief eulogy may take place, but in this order of preference: at the conclusion of the vigil service or prior to the final commendation and farewell at the end of the Funeral Mass. There should be only one eulogist and that person must be of upright reputation.

Cremation

Although ordinarily the body is present for the funeral, there may be occasions when, with the approval of the bishop, it is permitted to celebrate the funeral liturgy, including the Eucharist, in the presence of the ashes of the deceased. Cremated remains should never be scattered but placed in a container and buried.