Catholic Funeral Tradition
Message from the Bishop
The Catholic Funeral Rites for a deceased loved one are a time for family and friends to remember, and to grieve and pray for someone who is dear to us. Through the Rites we commend the beloved deceased to the merciful hands of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The Catholic Rites are comprised of three separate and vital parts.
First is the Vigil. The Vigil is when we accompany one another, as well as the deceased, believing that life has not ended, it has only changed. Together, we prepare for the final part of our loved one’s earthly pilgrimage.
Next is the Funeral Mass. The Sacrifice of the Mass provides us a taste of the kingdom to come. During the Mass, the faithful departed are presented with Christ. They are joined to his saving offering so that by having shared in His death, they may come to share in His resurrection.
Last is the Committal. With loving reverence for our deceased loved ones, we commit their bodies to a final resting place, hoping that on the Day of Judgment they will rise with all the holy ones to share in the eternal banquet of heaven.
Through these sacred and solemn Catholic Rites, the family and friends of the deceased are reminded of the companionship and support of Christ and all believers. The words and rituals of the Church are the voice and the hands of Christ guiding us to the pastures of his tender mercy.
Bishop of Sacramento