4 Things You Need to Know About Pre-planning a Catholic Funeral

Monday, July 25, 2022

You are never alone. More than 350,000 Catholic funerals occurred in the United States in 2020. Priests and religious officials are here for you to honor your loved one and commemorate their life. 

But they can't do their work on their own. You need to help them by pre-planning a Catholic funeral. You can do so in a few ways. 

What are the important ceremonies you need to prepare? What are your options for the funeral itself? How can you honor your loved one's wishes? 

Answer these questions, and you can make funeral pre-planning easy. Here are four tips you should follow.

1. Find a Priest

One of the most important ceremonies in the Catholic Church is the last rites. A person on the verge of death receives three sacraments to cleanse their soul before the afterlife. 

If your loved one is in their last days, you should contact a priest to administer the last rites. They can receive the last rites prior to a surgery that requires a general anesthetic.

The same priest can serve as a minister for the Catholic funeral as well. You can ask them for advice on how to plan a loved one's funeral

2. Select a Pre-funeral Service

Funeral pre-planning can involve one or more pre-funeral services. You can schedule a wake or viewing, allowing attendees to view the body and say their goodbyes. If you don't want guests viewing the body, you can have a closed casket wake and allow your guests to gather together. 

The Vigil for the Deceased is a short prayer service with scripture readings and eulogies. The vigil can accompany a recitation of the Rosary that lasts 20 minutes, or you can perform the Rosary recitation on its own. A priest or family member can lead either of these ceremonies.

3. Pick the Funeral Service

You have a few options for the service itself. The Requiem Mass is the most common choice for Catholic funerals and features scripture readings in a Catholic church. 

You can select a funeral liturgy if a church isn't available to you. It can take place in a chapel and serves as an act of worship to commend the deceased person to God. 

Look at your loved one's will and see what funeral service they prefer. Find a church or chapel as soon as possible.

4. Choose Readings

You can select whatever Catholic funeral readings you think would be appropriate for the Mass or liturgy. You can read your loved one's favorite pieces of scripture or perform their favorite religious songs. 

The church or chapel should have enough copies of the Bible for all of your attendees. If you're reading a text that isn't the Bible, you may want to buy copies of the text for others. 

Start Pre-planning a Catholic Funeral

You need to figure out pre-planning a Catholic funeral. Start by finding a priest to administer the last rites and advise you on Catholic rituals. You may want to arrange a pre-funeral service with additional prayers and readings. 

The Mass itself should take place in a church, so make sure to reserve one. You should select your loved one's favorite readings and allow family members to deliver eulogies. 

You have resources you can turn to during this difficult time. Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home & Crematory serves the Pottstown area. Contact us today.

At Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home and Crematory, we want to take care of you and your family in any way possible. Our services include traditional funeral services, celebration of life services, cremations, selection of memorial and headstones, and more.  

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