The Order of Christian Funerals

Rite of Christian Burial

The death of one of our brothers or sisters in Christ is a significant event for us as Church. It is a time when we, who loved the deceased person, mourn for our loss. It is a time when we as the Church celebrate God's gift of life and mark, with special rites and gatherings, the return of that life to our loving God. It is a time when the Church earnestly seeks to minister not only to the deceased but the living as well.  

Since the beginning of the Church, these special liturgical rites have accompanied the burial of the dead. They express the faith both of the deceased and of the Christian community entrusted with the responsibility of burying reverently her members who have died.  The rites of the Order of Christian Funerals are rites of the living. It is how the Church walks with those who mourn. The common celebration of the rites surrounding death takes the form of three liturgical celebrations. The Vigil for the Deceased usually takes place the day or evening before the funeral liturgy and is commonly refer to as a wake or visitation. The funeral liturgy, either with or without a Mass, is typically celebrated in the parish church. The final station of the Order of Christian Funerals is the Rite of Committal which usually takes place at the cemetery

Arranging a Catholic Funeral

Once you have chosen a funeral home please have the funeral home contact our parish office. We will work with them and you to coordinate a date, priest and time for a funeral service.  The Cathedral of Saint Patrick is available to celebrate funeral services for current or former parishioners and for their relatives. The pastor of the Cathedral will consider and make special arrangements for funerals of individuals with no parish connection.

The Cathedral of Saint Patrick will be available for a funeral Mass every day of the week, except solemnities of obligation, on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, or on the Sundays of Advent, Lent and the Easter Season. The Cathedral will make every effort to set a funeral time that is convenient for the family. The preferred time for a funeral Mass is in the morning, reflecting the theme of resurrection. During the week, the latest we can schedule a morning funeral Mass is 10 a.m. due to our weekday Mass schedule. An evening Mass of Christian Burial is an acceptable option, if more convenient for the family and mourners. In this case, the internment services would be held the following morning.

Planning the Funeral Liturgy

For more information on Catholic Funerals, CLICK HERE.


Frequently Asked Questions

A Catholic Guide to end-of-life decisions.

Learn more about what the Catholic Church teaches about end of life issues.
[Read More]

When my loved one dies, whom should I call?

We recommend your first call be to a funeral home. We find it much easier for families to coordinate funeral services with the parish when a funeral home is directly involved.
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When are funeral Masses offered?

Based on availability, the Cathedral will be available for a funeral Mass every day of the week with the exception of Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation and during Holy Week. The preferred time for a funeral Mass is in the morning, reflecting the theme of resurrection. During the week, the latest a morning funeral Mass can be scheduled is 10 a.m. due to our weekday Mass schedule.
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Who can have a funeral Mass?

Every Catholic, unless specifically excluded by the norms of law, is entitled to a Catholic Funeral Rite. A child who dies before baptism or a stillborn or miscarried child may receive a Catholic Funeral Rite if the parents intended to have the child baptized. Catechumens may also be given Catholic Funeral Rites.

Can a non-Catholic spouse be buried from a Catholic Church?

Yes, if the non-Catholic did not have a church of his/her own and the Catholic family member requests it, the funeral, including the Mass, can be celebrated.

Can a divorced, remarried Catholic or one who committed suicide have a Catholic Funeral?

Yes. Such circumstances of themselves do not exclude the possibility of a Catholic burial. In individual cases the pastor of the Cathedral should be consulted.

Both burial and cremation are permitted for Catholics. Which is the preferred option?

The Church clearly says that while cremation is permitted, it doesn’t enjoy the same value as burial of the body. The Church prefers and urges that the body be present for the Funeral Rites if one does choose cremation. Cremated remains need to be treated with the same respect as we would the body of our deceased loved ones. They need to be inurned into the ground or placed in a cremation niche.


CLICK HERE to watch a video detailing the real purpose of Catholic Funerals.

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