Scheduling a Funeral

The first step is to contact the mortuary of your choice to handle the necessary arrangements. Please call the Funeral Coordinator for a list of mortuaries that we currently utilize. The mortuary will contact the church office staff and schedule a time for the Mass or Service.

As a general rule, the funeral mass for a Catholic is celebrated in his or her own parish church. Once the date and time have been determined, the Funeral Coordinator will contact you and schedule an appointment to meet. Prior to the meeting, a Funeral Planning Book may be picked up at the church office to assist you with some of the details. At the meeting, the Funeral Coordinator will help you select the readings and music, as well as answer any questions you may have about the funeral service.

The Funeral Mass may be celebrated at any hour of the day. The funeral schedules are determined by the priest’s availability and coordinated with the funeral coordinator and local funeral directors. While this policy takes into account the daily Mass of the parish, the availability of priests, the scheduling of liturgies and other parish events, sensitivity to the grieving family should be paramount in scheduling the Funeral Mass.

If the Funeral Mass is celebrated in the evening, a sufficient length of time should separate it from the celebration of the Vigil for the Deceased. The schedule for the Rite of Committal, ordinarily the next day, should be announced and the faithful invited to reconvene at that time.

The Vigil for the Deceased should be celebrated at a convenient time. The time may be published in the newspaper obituary notice.

Funeral directors are asked to respect the correct names of the various liturgical rites in written obituary notices. Proper terms such as “Vigil for the Deceased”, “Funeral Mass”, “Funeral Liturgy outside Mass”, and “Rite of Committal” are encouraged.

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer from the Office for the Dead (OCF, Part IV) may be scheduled during the time of the wake. The Office for the Dead may be celebrated in the funeral home, church, or oratory of a religious community, or in the family home.

Funeral Masses are not celebrated on solemnities of obligation, on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, or on the Sundays of Advent, Lent and the Easter Season. At a Funeral Mass celebrated on Ash Wednesday, ashes are not distributed.

On days when the Funeral Mass may not be celebrated, the appropriate Rite is the Funeral Liturgy outside of Mass.

Although the Funeral Mass is ordinarily celebrated in the parish church to which the deceased belonged, it is possible to choose any Catholic church for the Funeral Mass, provided the pastor of that church agrees and the pastor of the deceased has been informed (Canon 1177).

If two or more families, or a religious community, desire it, a Funeral Mass may be celebrated for more than one person.

The Funeral Mass may be celebrated at one of the regularly scheduled daily Masses in the parish. Particularly in instances where the deceased does not have a large family or circle of friends, the presence of the daily Mass community is extremely consoling to the mourners. A core group of readers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, funeral choir, and servers may emerge from the daily Mass community.