The Rites of the Church

All baptized are entitled to the full Rite of Christian Burial.  You and your family will experience the Rite of Christian Burial in three distinct and important parts:

The Wake Service

Ordinarily this will take place prior to the public viewing or during the visiting hours at the funeral home.  A member of the clergy will lead this service of prayer and Scripture.

The Funeral Liturgy

This is the most important part of the celebration of Christian Burial.  This is celebrated within a Mass.  The bodily remains are honored by being brought to the Church.  We celebrate the life and pray for the deceased within the context of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Committal

A parish priest or deacon will accompany the remains and the family to the cemetery, where the Rite of Christian Burial will conclude with the prayers of Committal and Final Commendation.  Should one wish to speak in memory of the deceased, as in a eulogy or a remembrance, the Funeral Rite allows for such to usually take place as part of the Prayer of Commendation that will be prayed at the cemetery.

Words of Remembrance/Eulogies

It is customary at St. Thomas More Parish that all words of remembrance /eulogies are offered at the collation/family gathering following the burial. They may be offered at the wake or cemetery but never during the funeral mass. The priest will meet with the family prior to the mass to ensure that personal attributes and stories are woven into the homily with the guidance of the family.

The Time and Place of the Funeral Liturgy

A funeral may be celebrated on any day of the week except Sundays and Holy Days.  There are also some restrictions concerning funerals during Holy Week.  The priest will discuss these restrictions as they apply.  The funeral liturgy is ordinarily celebrated in the parish church.

Planning the Funeral Liturgy

The funeral liturgy is one of the most beautiful and meaningful celebrations of the Church.  Your family has the option of personalizing the Mass by choosing the Scripture readings and by requesting specific hymns.

When choosing scriptures, there should be one reading from the Old Testament, and one reading from the New Testament.  Although you can choose from the whole Bible, the texts contained within these links are especially appropriate.