Below is a transcript the the video:
Hello and welcome to funeral facts with Deacon Marc. This will be a section of a weekly blog where we talk about funeral facts from a Catholic perspective, something none of us really want to talk about but it’s important for all of us to understand because we all have to deal with it at one point or another with family, loved ones, and eventually with ourselves.
So, let us begin today. We’re talking about why do we have funerals and what is the order of Christian funerals?
The Church has had funerals since day one we can see that with Lazarus with Christ when he raised him from the dead and we throughout church history funerals have played an important role within the Catholic faith. So, why do we have them?
I’ve asked this question to people and one of the most interesting responses I get was well we need do something with the body.
Well, yes we need do something with the body but we want do that respectfully and there are reasons why we have funerals, and really there are four primary reasons why we have funerals. We can have all these other reasons but there are four primary ones.
One, we want to worship God. We want to come together and worship Him for He gave us our lives, and He gave us that opportunity to be with that person and so we’re thanking Him and worship Him.
We’re also thanking God and remembering about His mercy that He has for us, His ultimate mercy. None of us deserve that mercy but He is merciful, loving, and we trust in His mercy and so we thank Him for that mercy.
The third reason is to fill that void of loss that we have with that person who’s no longer with us and so we come together as a community we pray with each other, we grieve with each other, and we’re filling that void with Christ and God at our center of our lives.
And then the fourth reason is probably maybe the most important reason is; we’re praying for that person on their journey. Christ told us that not everybody goes to heaven he says that the gate is narrow and the road is thin and not everybody is going to get through that and so we want to pray for that person on their journey on their journey to the heavenly Father.
Four reasons why we have Catholic funerals:
1) Worship God
2) Thank God for His mercy
3) Fill the void of loss with faith
4) Pray for the deceased
So then what does a funeral look like?
You know I can remember growing up when we had funerals it would seem like they would go on for an entire week and things have changed over the years but the one piece that has remained the same is there really are three stations to the order of Christian funerals.
First, we have the vigil, this is when the community comes together and they start remembering the person, they also start praying to God and coming together and filling that time with the love of God you know in a prayerful type of way.
The second piece is the funeral liturgy, typically this is the mass that can be a funeral liturgy outside of the mass but this is when we go to the source and summit the Eucharist and we pray for that person and we have that mass in honor and intention for that individual.
And then, finally we have the committal, and this is typically out of the grave site where we say the final prayers and we commend that individual to God and to their last lasting resting place.
And so there are those three stages and it’s interesting when you look at those three stages it really goes from the home, to the church, to the cemetery, and it’s like a procession of taking that person on a journey and we go on that journey with them. So, we’re going from the home of the vigil to the to the church with the mass and finally to the cemetery with the committal.
So, three stations we’ll be talking about those more in depth over the next couple weeks but that does for today’s issue of funeral facts with Deacon Marc.
We hope they have a blessed week!
Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver