If the spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his spirit in you. Romans 8:11
We provide this information to help you understand the norms for a Mass of Christian burial and the practices that that are customary at our parish.
Catholics believe that at death “Life is changed, not ended.” Death is a passage to a new and fuller life, and ultimately to resurrection and eternal union with God.
When we are baptized we believe that our bodies are marked with the seal of the Holy Trinity. Since we are temples of the Holy Spirit we respect and honor the bodies of the dead and their places of rest.
The customs associated with the preparation of the body of the deceased are always marked with dignity and reverence and never with the despair of those who have no hope. Therefore, in the presence of the deceased, we turn to prayer. In this time of sorrow it is through prayer that we receive the necessary grace and consoling assurances of our faith.
For the final disposition of the body, it is the ancient Christian custom to bury or entomb the bodies of the dead in a consecrated and holy place.
Although death brings a deep sense of sadness and loss, faith provides solace and strength. It is a time when we encounter the things of God and our belief in Him in a new way. It is a time for us to support and console one another–especially in our belief in the gift of eternal life. So, when as Christians we encounter death, we are drawn to prayer–to pray for those who have died and to pray for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
The Church emphasizes life in the funeral liturgy referred to as the Mass of Christian burial. The resurrection is the theme and the readings, hymns, and prayers reflect the overall tone of expectant joy.
Catholic Funeral Beliefs
To understand Catholic beliefs about death and begin planning a Catholic Funeral Service, it is often helpful first to review Catholic Funeral Beliefs, Three Stations of the Rite and FAQ for Funerals.
Signs and Symbols
Next, to make the funeral liturgy more consoling and understandable, we have provided some explanations of specific Funeral Ceremonies and Symbols.
Since it is customary to celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial when we celebrate death in the Church, the Readings from the Sacred Scriptures suggested by the Church are included for your review.
In addition, because in times of grief and sorrow, we often turn to music as an expression of our faith — of those beliefs and hopes we sometimes cannot express in words, we have included Selecting Music for Funeral Liturgies to help you select music that is both comforting and uplifting.