Rite of Christian Burial in the Catholic Church


Arranging a Funeral Mass or a Memorial Mass at the Church of Saint Patrick

We are sorry for your loss and understand the pain of losing a loved one. The sadness of death should give way in our liturgy to the promise of resurrected life. A celebration of a person’s life reflects our conviction that in Jesus Christ we have life beyond life. The Church of Saint Patrick is pleased to offer its parishioners and friends the complete rites as a means of consolation for the living, and grace-filled assistance for the deceased. 

The Rite of Christian Burial at the Church of Saint Patrick is usually limited to Catholic parishioners and to those with significant ties to the parish. We will do our best to schedule the Mass at the time most convenient for the family, depending on clergy and church availability. A Funeral Mass, Memorial Mass or Graveside Prayer Service is arranged, depending on your needs.

THE FIRST STEP to take when planning a funeral liturgy is to call our office at 941-378-1703 ext. 300 to discuss the details.

We invite you to take part in the planning process or we can plan the entire service for you. Options you can choose from:

  • 4 Songs (Entrance, Song During Preparation of the Gifts, Communion, Recessional)
  • 4 Readings (1st reading, Responsorial Psalm, 2nd reading, & Gospel)
  • Table & Easel for photo display

Planning sheet - this sheet is used to collect information and plan the order of service. The front of the sheet collects the family information. The back is the "order of service" which reflects the order of events during the Mass. You may download this sheet and fill in your choices for the order of service. Four hymns and four readings may be chosen.

Music selection form - Music is included as part of a Funeral or Memorial Mass. There are 4 hymns to choose: Entrance, Preparation of Gifts, Communion, and Recessional. Additonally, the Responsorial Psalm is sung; choose one from the two selections.

Reading from the Scriptures - Typically three readings are included in the order of service, a First Reading from the Old Testament, a Second Reading from the New Testament, and a Gospel Reading. A Second Reading may be omitted.

First Reading-choose one, decide who will read (family or friend, or church lector)

Second Reading-choose one, decide who will read (family or friend, or church lector)

Gospel-choose one (priest will read)

The Prayer of the Faithful is a prayer that can be read by a family member or friend. Indicate your preference on the planning sheet's order of service.

Sarasota National Cemetery

Graveside prayer services are available.  Your Funeral Director will coordinate the Military Honors for you upon request.


An Overview of Catholic Funeral Rites

The Catholic funeral rite is divided into several stations, or parts, each with its own purpose. For this reason we recommend following the complete structure and making use of each station.

Vigil Service (Wake)

"At the vigil, the Christian community keeps watch with the family in prayer to the God of mercy and finds strength in Christ's presence" (Order of Christian Funerals, no. 56). The Vigil Service usually takes place during the period of visitation and viewing at the funeral home. It is a time to remember the life of the deceased and to commend him/her to God. In prayer we ask God to console us in our grief and give us strength to support one another.

The Vigil Service can take the form of a Service of the Word with readings from Sacred Scripture accompanied by reflection and prayers. It can also take the form of one of the prayers of the Office for the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours. The clergy and your funeral director can assist in planning such service.

It is most appropriate, when family and friends are gathered together for visitation, to offer time for recalling the life of the deceased. For this reason, eulogies are usually encouraged to be done at the funeral home during visitation or at the Vigil Service.

Funeral Liturgy

The funeral liturgy is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. When one of its members dies, the Church encourages the celebration of the funeral liturgy at a Mass. When Mass cannot be celebrated, a funeral liturgy outside Mass can be celebrated at the church or in the funeral home.

At the funeral liturgy, the Church gathers with the family and friends of the deceased to give praise and thanks to God for Christ's victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God's tender mercy and compassion, and to seek strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery. The funeral liturgy, therefore, is an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief.

Rite of Committal (Burial or Interment)

The Rite of Committal, the conclusion of the funeral rite, is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member. It should normally be celebrated at the place of committal, that is, beside the open grave or place of interment. In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection. The Rite of Committal is an expression of the communion that exists between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven: the deceased passes with the farewell prayers of the community of believers into the welcoming company of those who need faith no longer, but see God face-to-face.                                                                                 

source: http://www.usccb.org/