Catholic funerals are carried out according to the Order of Christian Funerals. A Catholic funeral holds two distinct purposes: to honour the dead and care for those who are grieving. This care is focused on remembering and celebrating the death and subsequent Resurrection of Christ, and how this mystery offers Catholics hope. Every Catholic, unless they have been specifically excluded due to Church/canonical law, is entitled to a Catholic funeral.
The Vigil for the Deceased
The Vigil for the Deceased is celebrated during wakes. The Vigil is generally led by a priest or deacon, though if none are available a lay person with experience in leading public prayers may be chosen instead. The Vigil may take place in a private home, a funeral home or a church. If available, music may be included. Often the Vigil is a time when those who cannot attend the Funeral Mass or Rite of Committal come together to take part in the funeral rites.
The Funeral Mass
The Funeral Mass may be celebrated any hour of any day except for solemnities of obligation: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday or any Sunday in Advent, Lent and the Easter Season. Generally the Funeral Mass is celebrated in the church the deceased was a member of, though it may also be celebrated in a chapel (such as in a nursing home) or in any Catholic church with the agreement of the priest. If it is requested and approved, the Funeral Mass may be celebrated for more than one person at a time.
The Rite of Committal
The Rite of Committal is a “gathering of the faithful for prayer” that generally takes place at the graveside or interment/cemetery chapel. At this time it is usually appropriate for military or cultural customs to be included.
According to the Order of Christian Funerals, the Vigil for the Deceased, Funeral Mass and Rite of Committal are the three main parts of a Catholic funeral. Planning a Catholic funeral should be done with the parish priest so as to navigate Church practice, procedure and law most effectively.
The funeral service for the Orthodox Church is an ancient burial service that has been celebrated for close to 2000 years. The service is lead by the priest and contains a number of elements:
- Ektenias (litanies)
- Hymns, and
Your White Lady funeral director, in conjunction with the priest, can discuss the different elements of the funeral service and recommend a choice of readings to help you to express your love for the person in a unique way. You may also be able to choose special photos, music, prepare a booklet or perhaps a video to display.
Whatever personal touches you wish to include, White Lady will tailor a service of remembrance that is as unique as the individual.
Buddhist funerals services are usually held in a funeral chapel with the proceedings conducted by a monk. These are usually very personalised services and allow for family and friends to contribute, not only to the readings and choice of music but also through the invitation to say a eulogy.
The ceremony can consist of a number of elements, including:
- Buddhist rites, a sermon, or a reading from an inspiring book
- The forgiveness ceremony (chanting)
- Announcement of charity work done in memory of the deceased
- Sharing of merits from the charity given and from other acts of kindness
- Reciting verses of thanksgiving, and
Your White Lady funeral director can you help with some very special touches to make the ceremony more personalised through the inclusion of your choice of music, photographs or even a video display.
Traditional Jewish funerals are very simple and usually brief, and will vary depending on the rituals of the different sects: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed.
Jewish funeral services are only about twenty minutes in length and contain the following elements:
- Recitation of Psalms and selected prayers Eyl Malei Rahamim (the traditional memorial prayer), and
- A eulogy (hesped) honouring the deceased.
Your White Lady funeral director will work with your Rabbi to help you personalise the funeral service. We can make suggestions as to what you can include so that the service is a true reflection of the loved one and their life’s journey.
Hindu funerals are as much a celebration as they are a remembrance service.
The funeral service will be conducted after the cremation by a priest or by senior family members and the service will contain a number of elements. These include:
- Hymns (eg Om Namah Shivaya, Gayatri Mantra, Ram- ram, etc)
- Prayers, scripture passage(s), or music selections, and
The words of special hymns, chants and prayers are usually presented in a booklet for those attending. Flowers are also a welcome gesture. You can tailor certain parts of the funeral service with musical tributes, photo displays and musical tributes.
Whatever personal touches you wish to include, White Lady will tailor a celebratory service of remembrance that is as unique as the individual.
The Islamic funeral service generally consists of funeral prayers Salat al-Janazah (Janazah prayer) and is a collective obligation for Muslims. The man most closely related to the deceased will usually lead these prayers, although the Imam or another knowledgeable Muslim may do so if needed.
The Janazah prayer consists of 4 takbirs:
- In the first Takbir - recite Sourate Al-Fatiha (1st sourate in the Koran)
- In the second Takbir - make Duas for the Prophet
- In the third Takbir - make Duas for the deceased, and
- In the four Takbir - make Duas for the humanity (ouma).
Today, some Islamic families like to personalise the funeral service by including some special touches such as photo displays, musical tributes or even video displays.
Your White Lady funeral director can assist you to include some or all of these elements to create a beautiful and respectful ceremony that is truly unique and personal.