What Is A Catholic Funeral Like

Typically, catholic funerals are formal occasions that take place when someone dies and is commemorated. On this auspicious occasion, the mourners get a chance to bid farewell to their loved ones for the last time.

Keeping in line with the Catholic views that surround life and death, the funeral celebrates the transmigration of the soul’s departure from the world while offering guidance to the people who are left behind. So, what is a Catholic funeral like? Continue reading the post to learn more about it and other important aspects of the same.

How long is a Catholic funeral?

In general, a full Catholic funeral may last for up to an hour or even more. At most funerals, this is the timing that you can expect if there is full mass participation. However, it is not the same when there is less mass at the funeral.

Catholic funerals that don’t have full mass participation are usually shorter. So, in that case, you can expect that the funeral may last for about thirty or forty minutes. Apart from that, it is customary for a funeral to take place within three days after the death of the person. However, the rituals that constitute a Catholic funeral can take as long as one week sometimes. If a Catholic is dying or fell ill, a deacon or a priest may administer essential rites like Holy Communion and others.

Moreover, the family of the deceased might choose a vigil service, otherwise called the reception of the body the evening right before the main occasion. Visitors can pray, play music, or sing funeral hymns. The attendants may even give speeches to honor the dead one. A church, funeral home, or even the member’s house may host a similar service.

What are the three parts of a Catholic funeral?

Here are the three parts of a Catholic funeral.

1. The reception of the body – Also called the Prayer Vigil, the deceased’s coffin is taken to the church where people gather and pray.

2. The funeral Mass – Also known as Requiem Mass, the church encourages Catholics to have a Mass funeral.

3. Rite of Committal – The coffin is accompanied by mourners to the grave site for the Rite of Committal. The priest says special prayers after reading verses.

What is a mass card in the Catholic Church?

A mass card is a unique way to show support and appreciation for the guests of a mass, memorial, or service. The sole purpose of the Mass card is to serve as a strong memento. Besides, the meaning of Mass cards is much more than being a piece of paper. Although they look small, they have a powerful impact.

Whenever you recollect memories of your loved ones, you can take out those cards. Take the necessary information regarding the Mass and fill out the card. These might include the time and place of the Mass, for whom is the Mass for, and the name of the person who intends to offer the Mass.

Besides, any kind of short condolence message is suitable for Mass cards. For example, I am thinking of you; you are in my thoughts; my sincere sympathy. Furthermore, amount donation Mass cards are used as well. The suggested donation can be $10 or $15. These cards are offered for your intention and not for donation.

What are the most popular Catholic funeral hymns?

Here is 5 of the most popular funeral hymns:

  • Be Not Afraid – It is one of the popular hymns for funerals because the lyrics are believed to provide comfort during times of fear, loss, and transition. The hymn reminds people to refrain from fear of feeling lost when a loved one has departed.
  • Gift of Finest Wheat – This hymn reflects how God provides people with nourishment in the form of life. A portion of the song refers to God as a shepherd who calls for the sheep, represented by the Masses who become part of a funeral.
  • Look Beyond – Another popular and meaningful hymn telling mourners that there are more mysteries of life rather than what people see around them.
  • Old Irish Blessing – It’s a classic hymn perfect for funerals. The hymn sends a message for hope needed to join the loved ones that are lost.
  • You Are Near – This hymn reminds people that God has His presence everywhere and so they can say goodbye to their loved ones.

For songs to play at a funeral, check out our Best Music for a Funeral post.

What is a rosary service before a funeral?

Almost every religion has certain rituals or rites that take place when someone dies. When it comes to Catholics, the rosary is an integral part of their traditional funeral rites. In short, the rosary consists of a set of prayers that are said after someone dies.

Oftentimes, the rosary takes place at the vigil. The rosary is open to anyone who wants to attend. Catholics recite the rosary alongside holding prayer beads with a crucifix attached to the beads. The rosary is organized and repeated in five different sets that meditate on an event based on Christ’s life.

Typically, rosaries are recited by a group. Additionally, you can perform and recite the rosary all by yourself as well. Although the rosary consists of five different sets of prayers, family and friends can decide whether or not to include extra passages or scriptures between recitations of these prayers.

A rosary lasts for about twenty minutes but it could be shorter or even longer depending on the person who leads the rosary. Regarding participation in the rosary, it isn’t compulsory for everyone. Some people may feel uncomfortable about the rosary.

As such, they may prefer to sit or stand in silence and offer silent prayers while the rosary may go on. However, if you are not a Catholic yet want to participate in the rosary, you can borrow rosary prayer beads.


Readinform is a Wisconsin based writer for funerals explained. They have come to understand the struggles of death and loss. Through life experience they have gathered the knowledge to help others and answer questions related to the funeral industry. When not writing readyinform focuses on learning new things and exploring the differences society offers.

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