Each family may have different traditions when a family member passes away.  Here are some general guidelines that are helpful in most situations when attending a Catholic funeral.

  • A vigil may be held before the funeral. This is an opportunity for family and friends to pay respects to the deceased, and to offer condolences and support to the bereaved. Family members may deliver eulogies, and in some cases, friends may be invited to offer their own. 
  • Avoid dressing in overly casual attire. Conservative clothing, in darker colors, is customary.
  • The Rite of Committal is the Catholic internment service where the body is buried or interred, either at a gravesite or mausoleum.  Family and friends will gather together to pray.  If you are not Catholic, you will not be expected to participate in Communion. 
  • There is sometimes a reception following the burial called a Repast Meal. This is typically held either at the home of the deceased or the bereaved, or at a restaurant, and is open to anyone to attend. This is an opportunity for friends and community members to commemorate the deceased and offer words of support to family members and friends.
  • Friends often send flowers to the family for the funeral or make a donation in the person's memory to show their love and support.


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