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.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Reasons You May Want to Contest A Will

After your loved one passes, their Will will be presented, if they have one. It is possible that you have some issues with how your loved one has divided their estate. Generally, an individual shou...

Tips for Pre-Planning Your Funeral

Pre-planning your funeral may seem strange, but it is a practice that can help you and your family in the future. People often see pre-planning a funeral as morbid, similar to how many people feel ...

Grief and Shorter Days

Grief and the associated feelings of depression can be a difficult burden to bear at times. Many studies have shown that sunlight and bright days can improve moods associated with grief and depress...

Funeral Flowers for Different Faiths

Faith and culture play a large role in the proper etiquette of a funeral service, and this also applies to the types of arrangements you should consider when sending flowers. Certain flowers and ar...

Could AI be a Tool For Grieving Families in the Future?

There is a lot of buzz around AI these days. And while the tools of artificial intelligence are still in their infancy, there is a lot of talk about its use in a variety of industries. AI could pot...

Reading and Grief

A book is a powerful tool. A good book can transport you to another world, or help you dive deep into your emotions. The right book can provide new ideas and unique perspectives. Reading books can ...

If You Pass Away Without a Will

If you are to die without taking the time to create a Will, there are procedures in place to handle your estate. Without a Will, your entire estate and all of your assets will enter intestacy. Inte...

Birthdays of Deceased Loved Ones

Birthdays are often a cause for celebration. But after the loss of a loved one, they can be a bittersweet reminder. Birthdays of the deceased don’t have to be somber days. Rather, they can be celeb...

Losing a Loved One to Drug Overdose

Drug overdose is a major cause of death in America, with over 100,000 deaths annually, according to the CDC. When you lose a loved one to an overdose, there can be a lot of mixed feelings surroundi...

Religious Trauma and Funeral Services

When grieving the loss of a loved one, religious services are often a part of the funerary process. While faith is not a requirement for grieving, faith-based services can often provide closure for...