In the funeral rites, the Catholic Church celebrates the Paschal Mystery of Christ.  Two aspects are present—expressing faith in the Resurrection and consoling those who mourn.  The funeral is also a community celebration, and so the rites urge us to “consider the various circumstances and, in particular, the wishes of the family and community.”  As Christians, we believe that death is not an end, but a beginning—that a loved one who has passed through death from a present, temporary life to a perfect, permanent one; that the person who saw God in faith on earth, now sees the Lord face to face; and that while death separates us now, it is but for a time only.

To assist family members in the preparation of the Vigil and Funeral at the time of the death of a loved one, Saint Rose of Lima Church offers the following suggestions:


Click here to see the Funeral Guidelines for our parish

Schedule of Vigil, Funeral Mass and Committal (Graveside Service)

Traditionally, the Vigil is held at the Funeral Home the evening before the funeral.  It consists of Scripture, Psalms, Prayers and optionally, recitation of the Holy Rosary.  The Funeral Mass is held in the Church next morning, most commonly at 10:00 a.m. and the Committal/Graveside services immediately follow.

At times, families request a simple “Catholic Chapel Service,” either at the Funeral Home the night before or the day of the burial.  There are many reasons for this decision.

Liturgical Preparation

The Funeral Rites of the Catholic Church are rich and varied.  Therefore, it is important for the family to meet with the Pastor before any plans are made.   The Pastor will help with choosing the readings from scripture, the prayers, and music appropriate for the Catholic Rites.  They will staff the liturgy with lectors, communion ministers and music ministers.  The family of the deceased should compensate the musicians for their time and service, with due regard for the poor.  At the Funeral Mass the homily, part of the Liturgy of the Word, is not a eulogy.  If a eulogy is delivered by a family member, it is most appropriate as part of the Wake after the Vigil.


Although cremation is now permitted by the Church, it does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body.  The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of deceased be present for the funeral rites since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites.  For Catholics, the cremated remains must be buried or entombed, never scattered or kept in a loved one’s home.


An important and vital aspect of our Catholic tradition in celebrating our Faith in the Resurrection is the gathering of family and friends to support one another.  Families are welcome to use the Church facilities and to arrange a luncheon with Juanita Rios, Funeral Luncheon Coordinator.