The Christian Funeral Liturgy

Throughout the Church's history Christian burial has been an integral part of Christian life. The Christian response to death must stand as a symbol of the central Christian beliefs in the sacred- ness of human life, here and in the world to come. The private and liturgical prayers, the meditation and reflection, and the ceremonies and rites connected with the funeral and committal express our participation in the great paschal mystery.*

The Three Parts of a Christian Burial

Christian burial consists of three parts:

  • Vigil and related Rites and Prayers
  • Funeral Liturgy
  • Rite of Committal in a blessed grave or crypt.*

All Catholics are entitled to a Mass of Christian Burial (including cremations). The Mass is the most powerful prayer we use to assist our loved one to heaven.

The Catholic Church strongly encourages those who were part of the Catholic com- munity to be buried in a Catholic ceme- tery. Not only is the Catholic cemetery a sacred place, a place of prayer, and a place of reflecting our beliefs, but it also expresses the link of community between all the faithful living and dead. It is a recognition of the shared belief of the dead and the living who commit the bod- ies of their deceased to this holy place.*

*Taken from on-line article by Rev. Msgr. William F. Bauer, CCCE of the Catholic Cemetery Association

Preface of Christian Death I, Roman Missal

Lord, for your faithful people, life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.

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Jan Fendt
St. Jude the Apostle Church
1025 W. 5th Ave. Oshkosh, WI 54902