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

Preplanning: Taking Charge of Your Own Funeral

There are many reasons to preplan your funeral, from mitigating costs to making your funeral easier for your loved ones upon your passing. But one important aspect of preplanning your funeral is es...

When is Grief Good?

Grief can make us feel like a great weight rests on our shoulders. Grieving can be a challenging, and often overwhelming, experience. Although grief is brought upon us by loss and sorrow, is it tru...

Grieving Pets

When a loved one passes, every member of the family is affected, even your pets. Dogs, cats, and other family pets can experience grief and can even mourn for a loved one. Below, we will discuss gr...

Grief and Dealing With Suicide

When faced with the loss of a loved one, the grief can be devastating. But when a loved one takes their own life, the grief that families feel afterward can often be complicated. According to the A...

Sunlight and Combatting Grief

As the weather gets warmer and summer is on the horizon, it is time for many people to schedule vacations and weekend outings. For people dealing with grief and depression, it may seem difficult to...

Grief and Selfishness

Grief is a complex emotional state. For many people, grief can bring out different sides of us. And while grief is not an excuse to act out, or be a bad person, it can often be a defense mechanism....

The First Mother's Day Without Her

Mother’s Day is a time we celebrate those who devoted their lives to caring for us, and for bringing us into the world. But it can also be a solemn reminder after the passing of your mother. The lo...

Can I be Both Cremated and Buried?

While most people assume you have to choose between burial or cremation at the end of life, there are more options available. One is to choose both. You can choose burial and cremation together. Be...

Retiring In Stages

Retiring at 65 has been a common aspect of the American lifestyle for generations, but full retirement at that age may not be in the cards for everyone. With costs of living consistently on the ris...

Funeral Planning for the LGBTQ+ Community

When it comes to end-of-life services, it is important to have a plan in order. This can be especially true for many LGBTQ+ people. In the event of your passing, your wishes should be upheld for yo...