Catholic Funeral – Traditions & Etiquettes To Follow

catholic funeral services

Catholic funeral services are held in churches, allowing friends and family to mourn and pray for their loved ones. In Christianity, death and mourning focus on the afterlife and heaven, so the funeral service is necessary to reflect on faith and mortality. 

A catholic funeral traditional, familiar customs also provide comfort during a difficult time. Different Christian denominations have their variations on the traditions and you can also personalise your funeral service to make it feel personal while honouring your faith.

Here are some Catholic funerals that have their own set of traditions and etiquette.

  • Wake

After someone dies, several Christian denominations hold a funeral wake in Chinese. This is held before the funeral and can occur at the church, the funeral home, or the family’s home. It’s less formal than a funeral, allowing friends and family to talk and support one another. 

  • Observation or visitation

While the body may be present at the wake, a viewing or visitation allows loved ones to pay their respects to the deceased and is customary in many denominations. While a Funeral wake is always held before the funeral, visitation can take place after the ceremony, before burial or cremation.

  • Funeral procession

Catholic funerals are held in churches. While the exact order and features of the service vary by denomination, a service typically includes the following elements:

Casket: The deceased person’s body is present at the ceremony in a casket.

Q First sentence: To begin the ceremony, the pastor makes an opening statement welcoming attendees, offers words of support for the family, and leads an initial prayer.

Prayers, sermons, and hymns: The pastor leads various prayers, hymns, and sermons throughout the ceremony.

Readings and speeches: Friends and family members may share lessons and lectures during the ceremony.

Closing remarks: To conclude the ceremony, the pastor offers a benediction, either words of comfort for the bereaved or a reminder of the importance of living a good Christian life and serving God.

Burial or cremation: Following the funeral service, a burial or cremation ceremony is often held on the same day. 


  • Catholic funeral etiquettes

There are certain customs and etiquette that apply to catholic funerals. It’s helpful to know what to expect if you attend a Catholic funeral. It can also be beneficial to understand etiquette when planning your Catholic funeral.

What are you supposed to bring to a Catholic funeral?

Guests are not required to bring anything to the ceremony, but flowers are frequently sent to the church or funeral home in advance.

What happens at a Catholic funeral?

Catholic funerals are frequently formal and solemn. Except during hymns or when asked to say “amen” after a prayer, the congregation is expected to remain silent throughout the ceremony.

What should you wear to a Catholic funeral?

Attendees at a catholic funeral should dress in dark colours such as black, navy, or brown. As a sign of respect, people should dress modestly during church ceremonies, with their shoulders and knees covered.

How long does a Catholic funeral last?

A Catholic funeral service typically lasts 30 minutes to an hour. Often, the burial or cremation will follow immediately, and this can be followed by a reception where guests share food and drink.

It is advisable to look for the funeral cost in Singapore before hiring any funeral service provider.

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