Mass of Christian Burial

If you are visiting this page due to the loss of a loved one, please accept our sincere condolences.

The following information is provided to assist in the preparation of the Mass of Christian Burial at St. Sebastian.  You are also invited to visit the Diocese of Providence’s Catholic Cemeteries website for more information.

The Order of Christian Burial

All the baptized are entitled to the full Rite of Christian Burial.  You and your family will experience the Rite of Christian Burial in three distinct and important parts:

The Wake Service

This will take place during the visiting hours at the funeral home you have chosen.  A member of the Parish Staff will lead this service of prayer and Scripture.  At this time someone from the family, or a friend, may wish to remember the deceased by sharing personal memories, as in a eulogy.

The Mass of Christian Burial

This is the most important part of the celebration of Christian Burial.  This is almost always celebrated within a Mass.  The bodily remains are honored by being brought to the Church.  We celebrate the life of the deceased in the whole context of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Committal

A parish priest or deacon will accompany the remains and the family to the cemetery, where the Rite of Christian Burial will conclude with the prayers of Committal and Final Commendation.  Should one wish to speak in memory of the deceased, as in a eulogy or a remembrance, the Rite of Christian Burial allows for such to usually take place as part of the Prayer of Commendation that will be prayed at the cemetery.

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Pastoral Aids for the Mass of Christian Burial

A funeral may be celebrated on any day of the week except Sundays and Holy Days.  There are also some restrictions concerning funerals during Holy Week.  The priest will discuss these restrictions as they apply. The funeral liturgy is ordinarily celebrated in the parish church.

The funeral liturgy is one of the most beautiful and meaningful celebrations of the Church. Your family has the option of personalizing the Mass by choosing the Scripture readings and by requesting specific hymns.

Click here to download our Liturgy Planning Form and return the completed form to Msgr. Darcy.

Readings

When choosing scriptures, there should be one reading from the Old Testament, and one reading from the New Testament.  Although you can choose from the whole Bible, the texts linked below are especially appropriate.

Music

Please be aware that only Sacred Music may be used at a Funeral Liturgy.  As liturgical music magnifies the spoken word, music is a beautiful offering within the Mass of Christian Burial.  Music brings comfort and peace to the loved ones attending the Funeral Mass.

It is not incumbent upon the loved ones of the deceased to choose music for the liturgy.  If no particular music is requested, we will choose appropriate music based on the liturgical season, readings, and theme for the liturgy.  Sometimes a particular hymn, perhaps a favorite of the deceased, will be requested.  If you have any preferences, please indicate them . . . .

Additionally, because Mass is a live celebration of faith, pre-recorded or secular music is not used at St. Sebastian.

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