In the Catholic religion funerals, or traditional Catholic rites have been laid out for hundreds of years in the Code of Canon Law (1176-1185). The Catholic Canon Law done in strict accordance with the rites Catholic Church are sometimes also called ecclesiastical funerals”. In the Catholic the privilege of a traditional funeral after death applies the deceased the have been baptized, have never asked to be cremated, and have never known to be or been guilty of sins such as heresy.
Roman Catholic Funerals
A Roman Catholic funeral follows the practices of the Roman Rite and the funeral adheres to a set traditions in the “Mass for the Dead” (Requiem Mass). Prior to the passing of a Catholic a priest is often summoned to perform the last rights for the individual allowing them forgiveness for sins and prayer for a safe passage into heaven. Often it is this same priest (often designated by family members for generations) performs the Catholic funeral services.
Planning the date of the funeral involves avoiding certain significant “Holy” days and cannot be held on the following dates:
- Holy Thursday
- Good Friday
- Holy Saturday
- Easter Sunday
- Any Sunday during Lent, Advent, and Easter season
The process of the funeral takes place in a designated church where the deceased in laid to rest in a casket. Under the Roman Rite Catholic tradition it is mandatory that the deceased persons feet must be pointed toward the altar or pointed directly East. The priest starts the procession by blessing the deceased with holy water and a psalm is recited. Prayers follow in the funeral proceedings, often while candles are lit and finally the absolution (forgiveness).