CONTINUING THE JOURNEY…

Preparing a Catholic Funeral

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark

Brothers and Sisters,

Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.

Romans 6:3-9

LITURGICAL CELEBRATION

UNDERSTANDING CATHOLIC FUNERALS

We have been shaped by our relationships with our parents, grandparents,siblings, friends, aunts, uncles, other relatives and people that we relate in our lives.

As people of faith, we also have been shaped by our relationships with the members of our parish, as the priests, the parishioners, and others who help the church. We have been most affected by our relationship with Jesus Christ who has made us part of his Church as children of our Father in Heaven.

When someone we love dies, someone with whom we have had a human relationship, we are invited to believe tat death is not the end. We believe that life continues. We hold that belief because of our faith in Jesus Christ, who through his death and resurrection conquered the power of sin and death.

Because of our belief that life continues, that relationships continue, we believe that our responsibilities to a loved one do not end in death. As Catholics we fulfill our obligations to the deceased, with whom we remain connected, by lovingly following the rituals of the Church associated with death.

In doing so, we proclaim that our relationship with the deceased has not ended and we proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ, who said “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me shall live even if he dies and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).

The Order of Christian Funerals

A Catholic funeral ordinarily involves three prayers services. In celebrating these moments of prayer we celebrate our faith in Christ, we express our love for the person who has died, and we remain faithful to a human relationship that has touched our life. As we shared part of our loved one’s journey through life, we now share the steps of his or her final journey to God.

The three principal parts of the Catholic funeral liturgy are the vigil service (commonly called the wake service), the liturgy of the Mass and finally the committal service. In this times of prayer, the Christian community accompanies the body of the deceased from the place of the wake, ordinarily the funeral home, to the church building, and then to his/her final resting place.

 

Contact: Deacon Earle – 201-863-4840