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St Mary's Roman Catholic Church Preston Park Brighton UK

Catholic Funerals

Catholic Funeral Services at St Mary's

What is involved in a Catholic Funeral service?

Catholics believe in life after death. After a Catholic has died their family may hold a prayer vigil on the evening before their funeral, sometimes called reception of the body.


The format of a Catholic funeral service depends on whether it includes a Requiem Mass, which includes the Eucharistic Prayer and Holy Communion. If the coffin was not received by the church the evening before the funeral it will be greeted at the door on the day by the priest. He will sprinkle the coffin with holy water and lead it into the church.


The funeral liturgy will include at least one reading from the Old Testament and a psalm, which are read by family, friends or the priest. The priest will read a passage from one of the gospels, deliver a homily and the family gives a eulogy for the person who has died.


What about burial or cremation?

The burial or cremation of a Catholic starts with a committal service called the Catholic Rite of Committal at a graveside or at a crematorium. In 2016 Pope Francis decreed that ashes should not be scattered or kept in an urn at home.


What type of music is included in a Catholic funeral?

Music at a Catholic funeral is restricted to Catholic funeral hymns or sacred music.


How long does a service usually last for?

A Catholic funeral service without Mass usually lasts 40 minutes. A funeral with Mass often lasts an hour.


How do I make arrangements for the departed?

Before any funeral arrangements are made, please contact our clergy, directly or by your funeral director. Our priests are open to discuss all the details. Meetings in-person with our priests are highly recommended if possible.

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