The Roman Catholic Diocese Of Fresno
Office of Worship
in collaboration with the
Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, D.D.
June 24, 2013
The Office of Worship has received requests for some guidelines and suggestions regarding some elements of the Order of Christian Funerals (OCF}, such as what should be done at a Vigil/Rosary, issues dealing with Remembrances (eulogies) and with cremains in the Church for the Funeral Mass. The entire constitution on the Order of Christian Funerals can be found in all funeral ritual books.
- If the family requests the rosary, the ministers should respect their wishes. However, the service should still include (the reception of the body, if in Church), a liturgy of the word, with at least an appropriate gospel reading, since the proclamation of the word is the high point and central focus of the vigil (OCF, 22, 59). The Rosary is not advisable when many non-Catholics are present, nor may the Rosary take place before the funeral Liturgy. If the Rosary takes place on the day of the Funeral Mass, it must be separated by a reasonable amount of time from the Mass. (see OCF, 55).
- Music: Parishes are pastorally responsible to provide liturgical music at all funeral Masses (Liturgical Music Today, 31). A few elements, sung well, should be given priority. Preference should be given to congregational singing of the acclamations, the responsorial psalm, the song of farewell at the final commendation, and appropriate entrance and communion songs. An organist or other instrumentalist, a cantor, and whenever possible, a choir should be present to assist the congregation in singing the songs, responses, and acclamations of the funeral Mass. Recorded music should not replace “live” music, nor should favorite songs of the deceased replace liturgically appropriate music. Music should reflect the themes of the selected readings or Christians’ hope in the Risen Christ.
- Homily: A brief homily based on the readings should always be given at the funeral Mass, but never any kind of eulogy (OCF, 141).
- Remembrances (Eulogies): A member or friend of the family may speak in remembrance of the deceased before the final commendation begins, after the Prayer after Communion, or better yet, at the beginning of the liturgy. (OCF, 197,171). The Vigil, or the reception following the Funeral Mass is a venue for remembrances. The Presider, should he allow a remembrance to be given at Mass, allows only one person, and limits the time. If there is the instance where the Rosary is recited on the same day of the Funeral Mass, a eulogy in between the two events is suggested.
- THE CELEBRATION OF THE FUNERAL LITURGY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE CREMATED REMAINS – In the United States, effective June ?, 2007
- It is the policy of the Diocese of Fresno to permit the funeral liturgy to be celebrated in the presence of the cremated remains as permitted by the indult received by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from the Congregation for Divine Worship (Prot.1589/96/l)’Dated July 30, 1997. Appendbt2·guides. pastors and pastoral·ministers in the celebration of the Funeral liturgy·for the Order of Christian Funerals as approved for use in the· United States.
- The faithful have the right to the implementation of this indult. Pastors and all pastoral ministers are to respect all requests by the faithful to celebrate the Funeral Liturgy in the presence of the cremated remains.