In any religion of faith, a funeral is an occasion to give the respectful final rites to the deceased and pray to God for the peace of the departed soul. But in the case of Catholic faith, the whole occasion is a bit different and even beyond that. Here is why. Basically, a Catholic funeral takes place in accordance with the rites prescribed and pronounced by the Catholic Church.
Catholics believe in an afterlife. That is how they have been carrying out their responsibility towards the funerals. The Catholic style can be simplified as follows:
- Honouring the dead
- Seeking the spiritual support for the departed soul
- Bringing a ray of hope to the living
- The burial rite to reflect the paschal character of Christian death
Funeral Mass In The Church
A Funeral Mass will be held in the church. It is part of Mass held for the dead. On the Catholic funerals, the so-called funeral Mass will carry out the following in honour of the dead:
- Dead person will be commended with full rites
- The coffin will be incensed and sprinkled with holy water
- Apart from in the church, a brief service will be held at the cemetery as well
In Catholic faith, these are all of the services held in the church before the body is being carried to the grave at the cemetery.
At The Graveside
As per Catholic belief, the grave or tomb should be blessed before. Catholics believe that a newly dug grave in a consecrated cemetery can be considered to be blessed, requiring no more consecration. Furthermore, the Catholic funerals want a brick chamber or mausoleum at the graveside to be blessed if used for the first time ever. To get the blessing, a small prayer can be held at the graveside during which the dead will be incensed and holy water will be sprinkled over the body.
It is also to be noted that some Catholic families may go on a donation spree to collect money from others in recognition of the departed soul. Normally, they offer the donation money to the priest.
The Catholic Atmosphere
Religion is the most powerful binding force/factor in the world. This is how Catholics have been carrying out the funerals for their departed soul. At a Catholic funeral, men and women should wear black suits and no further. Catholics have been nurturing great love and affection for their churches and services. They usually don’t carry out funerals on Sundays strongly believing that Sundays are being reserved for regular services in the churches. A Catholic funeral will take place between three and seven days from death.
On the whole, a Catholic funeral is an event to pray to God to have mercy on the departed soul. Also, Catholics take the hope of the deceased being with God in heaven as a way to console the bereaved.
Therefore, all these things discussed clearly show that Catholics believe in an afterlife.