As You Prepare for a Catholic Funeral

The Funeral Guide (link below) will be helpful as you prepare for a Catholic funeral. The List of Funeral Readings will be helpful as you select readings for the funeral. 

Click here to open the complete Funeral Planning Guide.

Click here for the list of Funeral Readings.

+ Click here for the list of hymns available at Good Shepherd

If you have not yet contacted a funeral home, please do so as soon as possible. Funeral directors are familiar with Catholic customs, guidelines, and requirements. Additionally, they will be helpful in coordinating meetings with the parish.


Sacred music is a means by which we as members of the Church Militant join the angels and saints in their prayers for the deceased. During the funeral planning meeting, you will select the music to be used during the funeral. In addition to the hymns listed in the index above, the following solo pieces are also an option for the Preparation of the Altar and Holy Communion.

Ave Maria – Johann Sebastian Bach/Charles Gounod
Ave Maria – Giulio Caccini
Ave Maria – Gregorian Chant
Ave Maria – Franz Schubert
Ave Maria – Louis Vierne
Panis Angelicus – César Franck
Pie Jesu – Lili Boulanger
Pie Jesu – Andrew Lloyd Weber
Pie Jesu – Gabriel Fauré
Pie Jesu – Maurice Duruflé

Burial (Committal)

The Rite of Committal concludes the Rite of Christian Burial. Whenever possible, it is celebrated at the site of committal – at the open grave or place of interment. 



"The Christian faithful, in the present of the body of one who has died, are confronted with the mystery of life and death. The body, even in death, calls to mind a personal story of faith, loving family bonds, friendships, caring words and deeds of kindness offered by the one who has died. This same body, washed in the waters of Baptism, anointed with Holy Oils and fed with Bread of Life is recognized by the Church as a Temple of the Holy Spirit, destined for resurrection and meant for glory. The Catholic Church urges that the body be present for funeral rites since this give better expression to the truths that the Church affirms" (Order of Christian Funerals).

Cremation is allowed in the Catholic faith, preferably after the Mass of Christian Burial in the church.

Whether the Mass of Christian Burial is chosen, or some other type of funeral service is preferred, the following regulations for Catholic disposition and burial of cremated remains are to be followed:

  • The proper respect given to the body of the deceased is likewise to be accorded to the cremated remains, both in handling and in final disposition of cremated remains.
  • Where cremation is chosen, cremated remains are to be placed in a mausoleum or columbarium or in ground that is blessed specifically to receive the body or cremated remains of the faithful.
  • It is the desire of the Catholic Church that utmost respect be accorded to both the bodies and cremated remains of the deceased. Thus the scatterings of ashes or the reserving of ashes privately on mantel shelves or even in lockets or other mementos is not in keeping with the respect owed to the cremated remains of loved ones. Dividing the cremated remains for multiple burial sites or other reasons is not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.