Below are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about funerals.
HOW TO PLAN A FUNERAL
● Contact the Funeral Home of your choice. You may also choose to use Diocese of Sacramento’s funeral ministry that assists families with complete funeral services, e.g. mortuary, funeral services, reception, and burial. For more information click here.
● While meeting with the Funeral Director, contact St. Anthony Parish at 916-428-5678 to determine the availability of a priest/deacon to celebrate the funeral.
● Make sure the Funeral Director sends all pertinent information to St. Anthony Parish.
● Schedule a meeting with the priest/deacon to plan the Funeral Mass or Funeral Service, indicating at that time your various preferences, if any, for Scripture readings, music, etc.
ATTENDING A CATHOLIC FUNERAL
Since a funeral in a Catholic church is rooted in a Church sacrament, it can seem very different to a memorial service that one might attend at a funeral home or other venue. It is, at its core, a Catholic Mass. As such, some events that one might expect at a memorial service, do not occur at the Mass but may happen at a reception. Below are commonly asked questions by those unfamiliar with Catholic rites.
May non-Catholics attend?
Yes! All who mourn the deceased or want to attend to show support for the family, are most welcome.
Do I need to know all of the Catholic prayers if you attend?
No. You may participate in prayer responses if you like, although this is not required. As a show of respect, you are asked to stand, if you can, for the reading of the Gospel, but otherwise you may kneel or sit during the Mass.
Will there be a eulogy?
Yes, but it is not to be confused with the Homily, which is given by the priest, and is a reflection on the Scriptures and their impact on the life of the deceased. The eulogy comes right before the Final Commendation and is usually given by a member of the family or a close friend at the request of the family. It is not a time for anyone attending to share a story about the deceased. That action occurs at the reception, if there is one, and can be of comfort to the family. But it is not part of the liturgical rite.
May I receive Communion?
Only practicing Catholics may receive Communion. However, you are welcome to come forward during Communion for a blessing. Simply cross your arms over your chest and the Minister distributing Communion will give you a blessing. If you do not wish to receive a blessing, simply remain in the pew while others are receiving Communion.
Do I have to wear black to attend?
No. Business attire of any color is acceptable.
How long is the Funeral Mass?
A Funeral Mass is about one hour.
Do I have to attend the burial if I attend the Funeral Mass?
No. The burial is a separate rite and attendance at one has no bearing on the other.