Catholic Funeral Rites

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, February 20, 2023

The way a funeral service is held is often based on the religion of the deceased or their family. When going to a funeral for a friend or family member of a different faith, you may not know what to expect. This article will discuss the aspects of a traditional Catholic funeral service. Many Staten Island families follow Catholicism, so it is very possible that you may experience a Catholic service here. There are many aspects that affect how a family conducts the funeral for their loved one, but faith is often a major contributing factor. 

The Wake

A Catholic wake is usually a solemn event. As such, funeral attire should be neat and conservative, but somber. Blacks and darker colors are common for funeral attire. Generally, there is a memorial service during the wake led by a priest. This usually includes prayer or the reading of scripture. Family members can also share eulogies. The casket is usually open for these services, but it may be closed if the family wants. 

Funeral Mass

Before the burial of the deceased, the funeral procession will usually travel from the funeral home to the deceased’s church. There, a funeral mass will take place. While this is similar to the service given during the wake, it is closer to a traditional Sunday service for the church. During the service, the casket or urn will be present. The casket is usually closed during this service.
 The service generally includes the singing of hymns and the reading of scripture. Close family members may participate in the readings or may say something about the deceased. The priest will also offer communion, in the form of bread and wine. The priest will generally give instructions regarding the host for non-Catholics, as you will receive a blessing instead of the host. 

The Burial

Burial services for Catholics are sometimes referred to as “committal.” They are also presided over by a priest, who will say a prayer for the deceased. Burial is the preferred method for Catholics, but cremation is also acceptable nowadays, with certain restrictions. For example, the scattering of ashes is frowned upon in Catholicism. The family may choose to have a repast after the burial.

Sending Flowers and Donations

It is customary to send flowers or food to the deceased family. Donations in the name of the deceased are also acceptable. 
Matthew Funeral Home has over 50 years of experience in handling funerals for families of all cultures and creeds in the Staten Island community. We have the expertise to ensure that your family’s cultural and spiritual needs are met while providing the care and respect your loved one deserves.

For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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