If you are getting ready to attend a Catholic funeral service for the first time, it’s natural to have questions about what you should expect. Below, this Catholic funeral home in Forest Glen, Chicago is going to discuss some of the rites, customs, and etiquette of these types of services.
What are Catholics’ views on funerals?
A Catholic funeral is a religious service held in memory of a baptized Catholic person. According to Catholic belief, there is a life after death, and the outcome of one’s acts or how virtuous one’s life has been determines whether one will spend eternity in Hell or Heaven. Catholics also believe in a third destination known as “purgatory,” reserved for souls who have committed forgivable sins and will eventually be taken to heaven.
Catholic funeral etiquette
Catholic funerals can be held in either a church or a Catholic funeral home in Forest Glen, Chicago — and they are supposed to be held in a dignified and somber manner, with mourners required to dress in conservative clothing.
Men often dress in a semi-formal suit and tie in black or another dark color, whereas women often dress in a sophisticated black dress and suit. For the most part, churches are accepting of a wide range of alternative clothing, so long as you are not wearing jeans, sweatshirts, tees, sportswear, or tennis shoes.
Sending flowers is the most widely accepted way to express your condolences at the loss of someone.
What exactly happens at a Catholic funeral?
When a person who is Catholic passes away, the family gathers for a “prayer vigil” the evening before the funeral — either at the Forest Glen Catholic funeral home or the deceased family’s home. A priest leads this service, and the attendees offer prayers in commemoration of their loved one who has passed away. In addition to eulogies, the family may request that attendees offer any other tributes, such as music, readings, or personal memories of the deceased.
Given that it includes the Eucharistic Prayer and Holy Communion, most Catholics choose to have their funeral mass (or “requiem mass”) held in a church. However, some families choose to skip this rite.
What are the main stages of a Catholic funeral?
Reception: If the body has not yet been received into the church, the priests gather the mourners outside the church and sprinkle Holy Water onto the coffin. The coffin is then put on a “catafalque” at the altar and draped with a “pall.”
Readings: Now, at least one reading from either the Old Testament or the New Testament will be delivered by the family or the priest. After that, a few minutes are devoted to the eulogy of the deceased person.
The eucharist: To offer Holy Communion in the case of a requiem mass, mourners bring wine and bread and place them on the altar before the priest.
Final commendation: Immediately following Holy Communion, a special prayer known as “Final Commendation” is offered. The coffin is then sprinkled with Holy Water for the second time.
Burial or cremation: If the deceased is to be buried, the grieving family members and friends follow the funeral procession to the burial site to perform a committal service known as the “rite of committal.” When a deceased is cremated, the funeral procession is brought to a crematorium, and a short prayer is offered in the chapel of your Catholic funeral home in Forest Glen, Chicago. Next, the body is cremated, and the ashes are returned to the family after a few days have passed.
Looking for a Catholic Funeral Home in Forest Glen, Chicago?
When you are ready to reach out, a representative at Cooney Funeral Home will be here to answer any questions you may have regarding the funeral planning process. As the top-rated Catholic funeral home in Forest Glen, Chicago, we will be happy to guide you through each step. Contact us today to get in touch with our staff.