Burying the dead is one of the Spiritual Acts of Mercy.
Funerals give us the opportunity to grieve and show others support during difficult times. Through our prayers and actions during these times we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn.
Send a card to someone who has recently lost a loved one. Make your own card and use some of these prayers (click here).
Visit the cemetery and pray for those you have lost.
Spend time planning your own funeral mass, read through the Order of Christian Funerals and find our hope in the Resurrection. For a free funeral and cemetery planning guide, click here.
We’ve been going through a journey where we started talking about why we have funerals and the four basic reasons why we have funerals; that worshipping God, thanking God for his love and mercy, for asking God’s graces to fill that void that we have with faith, and then finally to pray for that person who passed away.
And then we talked about the fact that there are three stages or stations to the right of Christian funerals, and we talked about the vigil, we talked about the funeral liturgy which is the funeral mass the source and summit of our faith, and then today we’re talking about that final stage the committal.
The committal is a very powerful time it’s that time where we are saying goodbye to the loved one for that final time and turning it that loved one over to God in their final resting place in most cases the committals held right where that person is going to be laid to rest and so there are times when it can’t be you have pouring down rain you have snow hail whatever it may be sometimes the presider won’t end or the family will say let’s hold it inside the building and then we’ll move to that place to final rest and place the person in the ground or in that fault or niche or whatever it may be but for the most part that committal is held right at graveside or right at that point of the person being placed in that in a niche where they’ll have that final resting place.
There are two forms of a committal there’s the right of committal and then there’s also the right of committal with commendation so if the person didn’t have a funeral liturgy didn’t have a commendation at the funeral liturgy that can be done at the committal time as well but for the most part most people have that liturgy and we’re doing the right of committal and so we’ll talk about that today.
The committal has a couple of different pieces to it there’s the introductory right where we talk and welcome people to the right and we really talk about the fact that we’re here for two reasons one again to pray for that person passed away and secondly to pray for ourselves and ask God to fill us at this time of trouble that this time where many of us are feeling a lot of pain.
We’ll then have a very brief scripture verse just to ground ourselves back into scripture and a scripture verse that we read and then there’ll be a prayer of over that place of final commitment and oftentimes that location will be sprinkled with holy water and blessed at that point in time if it is not already blessed.
After we have the prayer of the place of final rest that is where traditionally the person is laid to rest so if the person is a traditional burial that casket will be lowered into their place or if they’re being placed in a niche the person will be placed in the nitche and door will be placed over in front of it.
That can also be done at the end of the right for pastoral reasons if it’s believed it’s best to do so at that time but in a lot of ways it makes sense to do it here because then after that final committal of that person into the ground or into their place of rest then there is the Lord’s prayer, there’s a final prayer for the individual and then there is the blessing of those that are there and so it kind of does bring closure to the whole right by having that committal of the body take place right there in the middle.
And so, you have some opening prayers the committal of the body and then some closing prayers and the blessing at the end. People always ask, “should we stay for that committal body into the final resting place?” and I always highly encourage it.
The reason being is we are physical psychological beings and we’re spiritual beings as well and that seeing that person laid into the ground or put into the nitche has a very powerful impact in helping us in those four components that we’ve talked about regularly about why do we have funerals and so being present therefore that is highly recommended and highly impactful in most cases as well but it’s also understandable as to why people wouldn’t be there for that
And so, it all does come down to why do we have the right of Christian funerals? why do we have a committal? We have a committal because we’re going to thank God for his love, we’re going to worship him and we’re going to ask God to fill us with his graces through this right, and then finally we’re praying for that person on their journey.
That is our funeral facts this week with Deacon Marc make it a great week and May God bless you.