Christian Burial Rites Calvary Catholic Cemetery

In faith, we believe in the Resurrection and in faith the Catholic Church provides for the departed and the survivors with The Order of Christian Funerals. The three rites – The Vigil for the Deceased, or Wake; the Funeral Liturgy or Mass and the Rite of Committal at the cemetery – provide comfort, prayer and committal in keeping with the Church’s belief of dignity and respect for all.

If you are planning for yourself, please know that the three rites are comforting gifts that you can leave for your loved ones. If you are planning for another, the rites help reduce your burden during your time of grief.

This information is a brief overview of the three parts of The Order of Christian Funerals. People are available at each parish in the Diocese of St. Petersburg to assist families with planning of services and liturgies including selection of Scripture readings and music.

Vigil for the Deceased - Wake

The Vigil for the Deceased is normally the first opportunity for families and friends to come together in faith and love to grieve and console; to pray and celebrate the life of the deceased. The Vigil often takes place at a funeral home, church or private residence the day or evening prior to the Funeral Liturgy and usually includes a period of visitation and a prayer service.

A priest, deacon or lay minister leads the prayer service with Scripture readings and Psalms as selected by the family, a homily, prayers and intercessions. As an alternate, the Vigil may consist of Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.

The life of the deceased may be remembered and celebrated at the Vigil with a eulogy or eulogies that offer praise and thanksgiving for the God-given gifts of the individual and their impact on the lives of the survivors. Flowers and photographs are appropriate at the Wake.

Funeral Liturgy - Mass

The Funeral Mass provides a sacred and special time for the family and faith community to bid farewell – albeit temporary – to the departed while spiritually united in the Eucharist with Jesus, the Saints and all who share eternal life.

The fullness of the Funeral Liturgy is achieved when family members participate in the selection of Scripture readings and music, clothing the casket with the pall, serving as lectors and extraordinary ministers, singing responses and hymns and receiving Holy Communion.

Recognizing individual circumstances, The Order of Christian Funerals provides a substantial framework so that pastors may accommodate various needs of the faithful with dignity and respect.

Rite of Committal

The Rite of Committal or Committal Service takes place at the cemetery. A priest or deacon usually presides over the final liturgy, which includes a blessing of the deceased’s final resting place, Scriptures, intercessions, prayers and words of consolation and encouragement.

Catholic cemeteries are sacred grounds that provide for a lasting tribute to one’s beliefs. If convenient, the faithful should prayerfully consider interment or entombment at a Catholic cemetery, such as Calvary Catholic Cemetery, where the community frequently gathers in prayer and to celebrate the Eucharist.

It is good to make the details of your final wishes known to a member or members of your family who will respect your desires. Whenever possible, it is prudent for you to complete your final arrangements in order to ease the burden of your survivors.

Pray for the souls of your loved ones often and please consider joining with us at the Month’s Mind Mass on the last Saturday of every month at 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel of the Resurrection. On Memorial Day and All Soul’s Day we celebrate Mass at the outdoor altar at 10:00 a.m.

All are welcome!

Created By


Photographs Copyright © 2010-2015 Ed Foster Jr.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.