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Catholic Funerals

Catholic Funeral Services and Traditions

  • Vigils (also known as wakes or rosary services) are typically held for the deceased the day before the funeral Mass or funeral service. Sometimes the vigils are done on the same day of the ceremonies prior to the Mass or service.   Vigils can be at a church, funeral home, or family home.
  • Masses for the deceased are only able to be held at a Catholic church. However, some choose to have a funeral service instead with a blessing performed by a Catholic church officiant at the funeral home.
  • During the Mass or funeral service, the casket or urn is sprinkled with holy water and a crucifix is placed on the casket or next to the urn. If Mass is held, the casket or urn will be draped with a pall during the service.
  • After the ceremonies, the casket or urn is taken to a cemetery to be buried or placed in a mausoleum or niche for urns. Per the Catholic church, cremated remains must not be separated, scattered, or stored at home.
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