Article Index

Order of the Funeral Mass



INTRODUCTORY RITES

Greeting
The celebrant meets the family/funeral procession at the doors of the church with words of greeting, “The grace and peace of God our Father, who raised Jesus from the dead, be always with you.”  We respond, “And also with you”.  He continues in prayer while sprinkling the casket with Holy Water.  The pall is then placed on the casket.

Gathering Hymn
As the funeral procession walks down the aisle led by the celebrant the Gathering hymn begins.

Invitation to Prayer
After everyone is seated the celebrant asks those present to pray: “My brothers and sisters, we believe”, or similar words.

Opening Prayer
The celebrant prays one of several choices of prayers.
 

LITURGY OF THE WORD
 
Family members or friends are encouraged to participate in the Liturgy of the Word by assuming readings that are chosen.

First Reading (Old Testament)
A member of the family or another person reads one of the selected Old Testament readings from the Order of Christian Funerals.

Responsorial Psalm (Song of Praise)
Usually the responsorial psalm is sung.  The psalm can also be read by a family member or friend.

Second Reading (New Testament)
A member of the family or another person reads one of the selected New Testament readings from the Order of Christian Funerals.

Gospel
The celebrant or deacon reads the Gospel from the selections in the Order of Christian Funerals.  The Gospel is usually chosen by the family.

Homily
The celebrant often refers to the thoughts that have been provided by family or others that show how the loved one lived out the Christian way and values.

General Intercessions/ Prayers of the Faithful
The celebrant opens the Intercessions with a short prayer.  A member of the family may read the intercessions they chose during the meeting with the Bereavement Minister.  More than one person may read them.  The celebrant finishes with a short prayer.

 
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Presentation of the Gifts

Lord’s Prayer

Communion
Please bear in mind that the priest invites all Catholics in a state of grace to come forward and receive Holy Communion…and to those Catholics who are not prepared or who are not members of the Catholic Church, he kindly asks them to remain seated, and in a state of prayer for the eternal repose of the deceased.

Song of Farewell (Incensing)
The Song of Farewell is usually sung during the incensing.  Hymns such as “Jesus Remember Me” should be chosen as they are easily sung and repeated.

Prayer of Commendation 
The priest commends the deceased into the hands of Our Lord.  He then prays “In peace let us take our brother/sister to his/her place of rest,” or something similar when the funeral procession will be proceeding to the place of burial. The casket is prepared by the funeral directors and the procession leaves the church.

Recessional Hymn (Sending Forth Hymn)
The priest leads the procession out of the church at which time the hymn that the family has chosen is sung.  The family follows behind the casket.  The pall is removed at the doors of the church.