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A. VIGIL FOR THE DECEASED
B. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
– Greeting, sprinkling of casket or cremains with holy water, placing of the pall (if customary), the entrance procession, placing of Christian symbols (if desired), and opening prayer.
Liturgy of the Word:– First reading, responsorial psalm, second reading, homily, general intercessions
– Liturgy of the Eucharist continues on as it normally does at any Mass, until after Communion.
– Prayer and silence, signs of farewell (incensation of casket or cremains and sprinkling with holy water), song of farewell, prayer of commendation, and procession to the place of committal (burial).
C. RITE OF COMMITTAL
– Scripture verse, prayer over place of committal, committal, intercesions, Our Father, concluding prayer, prayer over the people, dismissal.
– There needs to be direct communication with the parish and funeral home. Perhaps someone can be appointed within the family to be the point person.
– The Church’s preference is that Catholics be buried in the consecrated ground of a Catholic cemetery, but other cemeteries may be chosen.
– Cremation is allowed, so long as it isn’t chosen to deny hope in the resurrection of the body. The Church’s tradition recommends burial over cremation, and cremains must also be interred in the ground or a columbarium — not placed in the home or scattered.
– If burial of the body is chosen, the funeral is often held within a few days.
– If Mass is not chosen, a funeral Liturgy of the Word and final commendation of the deceased is celebrated and can be done in the church, a funeral home, in a chapel at the cemetery or even at the graveside.
– The vigil for the dead is intended to be dedicated to prayer for the deceased.
– It is customary to distribute some kind of remembrance card with a prayer, Scripture passage or holy image.
– A vigil is often a fitting time for those wishing to speak a word in memory or in honor of the deceased. Diocesan and parish guidelines should be consulted.
– The Mass of Christian Burial offers a selection of readings, prayers, music and liturgical roles to be chosen and often performed by family members.
– A centuries-old custom is to celebrate a Mass for the deceased on the one-month anniversary of their death, called a Month’s Mind Mass.
– It is customary to arrange for Mass intentions for the deceased, perhaps on their birthday, anniversary or death date.