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Illness, Death and Burial

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1 Illness, Death and Burial
Catholic Practices Illness, Death and Burial Sacrament for the Anointing of the Sick The Order of of Christian Funerals Rite of Christian Burial

2 In the letter of James in the Bible,
he writes, "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters [those who have authority] of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven" (5:14-15).

3 Anointing of the Sick A sacrament of the sick
The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Anointing of the Sick: This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament. It is alluded to indeed by Mark, but is recommended to the faithful and promulgated by James the apostle and brother of the Lord Catechism 1511

4 The Sacrament The celebration of the Anointing of the Sick consists essentially in the anointing of the forehead and hands of the sick person (in the Roman Rite) or of other parts of the body (in the Eastern rite), the anointing being accompanied by the liturgical prayer of the celebrant asking for the special grace of this sacrament. Catechism 1531 The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: - the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; - the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; - the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance; - the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; - the preparation for passing over to eternal life. Catechism 1532

5 Important: the priest should be called to the sick BEFORE imminent death
The Anointing of the Sick "is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived." Catechism If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person's condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced. Catechism 1515 " . . . let him call for the presbyters of the Church"

Respect for the dead 2299 The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God. 2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit. 2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious. The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body. 93

7 “away from the body to be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
Rites of Christian Funeral and Burial

8 Rites of Christian Funeral and Burial
The death of a loved one is whether anticipated or sudden is filled with grief and stress, the Sacraments and rituals of the Church offer a way to move forward to joyful recognition of the loved one’s eternal rest with God. This is a brief guide to the practices and norms of the Catholic Church, please discuss any questions with the priest or Director of Liturgical Services.

9 What are the Church’s Laws regarding a Christian Funeral?
Code of Canon Law TITLE III. ECCLESIASTICAL FUNERALS (Cann ) Can.  1176 §1. Deceased members of the Christian faithful must be given ecclesiastical funerals according to the norm of law. §2. Ecclesiastical funerals, by which the Church seeks spiritual support for the deceased, honors their bodies, and at the same time brings the solace of hope to the living, must be celebrated according to the norm of the liturgical laws. §3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.

10 What are the Church’s teaching with regard to a Christian Funeral
What are the Church’s teaching with regard to a Christian Funeral? From the COMPENDIUM OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 354. What is the relationship between the sacraments and the death of a Christian? The Christian who dies in Christ reaches at the end of his earthly existence the fulfillment of that new life which was begun in Baptism, strengthened in Confirmation, and nourished in the Eucharist, the foretaste of the heavenly banquet. The meaning of the death of a Christian becomes clear in the light of the death and Resurrection of Christ our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus goes “away from the body to be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). 355. What do funeral rites express?   Although celebrated in different rites in keeping with the situations and traditions of various regions, funerals express the paschal character of Christian death in hope of the resurrection. They also manifest the meaning of communion with the departed particularly through prayer for the purification of their souls. 356. What are the main moments in funerals?   Usually, funeral rites consist of four principal parts: welcoming the body of the deceased by the community with words of comfort and hope, the liturgy of the Word, the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and the farewell in which the soul of the departed is entrusted to God, the Source of eternal life, while the body is buried in the hope of the resurrection.

Three principal parts: the Vigil for the Deceased; the Funeral Mass or the Funeral Liturgy outside Mass; the Rite of Committal. Mass card c.1911

12 The Vigil Mass card c.1958

13 Vigil for the Deceased The Vigil usually follows a pattern of Scripture readings, intercessions, the Lord's Prayer, concluding prayers and blessings. In some areas a Rosary is called a Rosary Service. It can be celebrated in the Church, in the home of the deceased or in a funeral home, and the format can be adapted to suit the particular place.    The Vigil is usually preceded by a visitation, where friends and relatives gather to offer condolences and share memories of the person who has died. Eulogies, favorite stories, poems and remarks by family and friend are most appropriate at this time. A remembrance/eulogy when approved by the priest for inclusion during the funeral Mass should be less that 5 minutes, prewritten and in keeping with the liturgical tone of the Mass.

14 The Funeral Mass Mass card c.1926 Mass card c.1926

15 INTRODUCTORY RITES Tolling of funeral bells
Greeting & Sprinkling with Holy Water Placing of the Pall (and Christian Symbols) Entrance Procession Song Opening Prayer Mass card c.1971

16 Symbols of Christian Life in Introductory Rite
Welcoming Symbols of Christian Life in Introductory Rite The Welcoming of the body into the Church, is a remembrance of Baptism, the first welcoming into the Church. The gathering of loved ones, friends and parish community and gives witness to our hope in the resurrection. Often the bells of the church toll as the casket enters the church as a call to remind all who hear to offer prayers for the soul of the deceased. 

17 The Greeting & Blessing with Holy Water
The casket itself, though a center of reverence, is not the focus of attention at the Mass of Christian Burial. The focus is our hope of sharing eternal life and resurrection, promised at Baptism. During the entrance blessing, at the rear of the church, the casket is blessed by the celebrant and sprinkled with Holy Water as a reminder of the waters of Baptism

18 The introduction to the Order of Christian Funerals devotes four paragraphs to the question of Music in the Funeral liturgy (numbers 30-34). # 30 instructs. "Music is integral to the Funeral rites. It allows the community to express convictions and feelings that word alone may fail to convey. It has the power to console and uplift the mourners and to strengthen the unity of the assembly in faith and love. The texts of the songs chosen for a particular celebration should express the paschal mystery of the Lord's suffering, death, and triumph over death and should be related to the readings from Scripture." Thus, while Funeral music may express "convictions and feelings," its subject must always be the paschal mystery and it must be related to the readings from Scripture. Rather than adopting popular secular songs which are inappropriate to a liturgical setting, we should seek out good liturgical music on a paschal theme which can "support, console, and uplift participants and help to create in them a spirit of hope in Christ's victory over death and in the Christian's share in that victory." (Order of Christian Funerals, number 31) USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship M u s I c

19 PALL After the blessing of the casket the funeral Pall, a white cloth is draped over the casket. It represents the white garment received at Baptism. Usually it is immediate family members who place the funeral pall on the casket. The order of entrance is as follows: Servers, celebrant, casket, pallbearers, followed by the family (if not already seated) The same order is used when leaving the Church. Note: The American flag, a symbol of military service, never covers the casket in church during the Mass.

20 The Easter Candle The Easter Candle, another symbol of Baptism will stand at the altar near the head of the casket . The Easter candle recalls the candle light at Baptism to symbolize the Light of Christ that shines in our souls and Christ triumph over death

21 LITURGY OF THE WORD Scripture Readings with Responsorial Psalm
Gospel Acclamation Homily General Intercessions Mass card c.1989

22 Family or friends often act as lectors for the readings.
The first reading is from the Old Testament, then a Psalm, is usually sung by the Cantor, then the second reading is from the New Testament (epistles), and then the Gospel reading. Family or friends often act as lectors for the readings. (At times, it is difficult for immediate family members to proclaim the readings at the funeral Mass. The church ministry makes available a reader if the family cannot provide the lectors, so as to ensure that the readings are respectfully proclaimed) Non-scriptural readings are not permitted at Mass. .

23 The Congregation is seated.
Gospel and Homily The celebrant or deacon will read a Gospel passage reflective of the funeral liturgy. All stand during the reading of the Gospel. The celebrant delivers a homily acknowledging the loss and grief of family and friends but then encouraging an understanding of the call to eternal Life with God in Heaven. The Congregation is seated.

Universal Prayer Preparation of the Altar and the Gifts Eucharistic Prayer Offertory & Consecration Lord’s Prayer & Sign of Peace Communion Rite Mass card c.1963

Universal Prayer Sometime referred to as Intentions or Prayers for the People, a family member, if no one is available a member of the church ministry will do so. Preparation of the Altar and the Gifts Family members, often younger school aged children will carry the bread and wine to the altar, again if no one is available a member of the church ministry will do so.

Offertory & Consecration of the Holy Eucharist The most solemn part of the Mass, Catholics should kneel if possible. All present should kneel or sit in respectful attention. Lord’s Prayer & Sign of Peace The Congregation joins in saying the Our Father. The priest will invite all to offer a greeting of Peace to those near to them.

In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, Catholics who plan to receive Holy Communion should be prepared to receive so great a gift. They should fast (except for medicines) for at least one hour before receiving the Eucharist and should not be conscious of having committed grave sin. Because sharing at the Eucharistic Table is a sign of unity in the Body of Christ in His Church, only those in communion with the Catholic Church may receive Holy Communion. Others present are invited to remain in the pews and participate in this rite by praying for the deceased, unity with Christ and with each other.

28 Words of Remembrance Different from a eulogy, when approved by the priest, this is an optional time for loved ones to give witness to the Christian life lived by the deceased. 

29 FINAL COMMENDATION Invitation to Prayer Song of Farewell Incense
Blessing with incense is a symbol of respect. The rising smoke is a sign of the community's prayers for the deceased rising to God. Prayer of Commendation The celebrant reads the final word of blessing signaling all that it is time to go to the place of final rest both actually and spiritually – the tolling bells signify the passing of the soul from the earth to the New Life.

30 Incenser /Thurible The word "thurible" comes from the “old french” thurible, which in turn is derived from the Latin term "thuribulum". The Latin word thuribulum has the root "thur", meaning incense. The Latin "thur"is an alteration of the Greek word "thuos", which is derived from the term "thein", meaning to sacrifice. With the incense the liturgy is given sensory meaning to those gathered in prayer and remembrances.

Invitation Scripture Verse Prayer over the Place of Committal Committal Intercessions The Lord's Prayer Concluding Prayer Prayer over the People

32 Hallowed Ground Present funeral liturgy calls attention to the fact that not all who are baptized Catholic are being buried in Catholic cemeteries. The Committal Rites ritual offers alternative prayers which make holy the ground in which the Catholic is interred. “Lord Jesus Christ, by your own three days in the tomb, you hallowed the graves of all who believe in you and so made the grave a sign of hope that promises resurrection even as it claims our mortal bodies. Grant that our brother/sister may sleep here in peace until you awaken him/her to glory, for you are the resurrection and the life…” OCF par. 218. The blessing of soil to make it holy, the offering of continuous prayers and the celebration of the Eucharist are only a few of the ways in which our Church continues the long standing tradition of reverencing our dead as we pray for their eternal salvation.

33 Special Considerations: Cremation
The rites for burial of the cremated remains of a body may be found in the appendix to the Order of Christian Funerals. This appendix recommends that when cremation is chosen, the body be cremated after the Funeral, thus allowing for the presence of the body at the Funeral Mass. When pastoral circumstances require it, however, cremation and committal may take place even before the Funeral liturgy. Catechesis on the subject of cremation emphasizes that "the cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the corporeal remains of a human body. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition." (OCF 416) From the Cremation and Burial at Sea (U.S.) (Prot. 0) July 1, 1999, Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy (U.S.)

34 Handling of Cremated Remains
Cremated remains must be buried in a grave, entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium or even buried at sea, "the practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires." (OCF 416) The cremated remains of the body may be properly buried at sea in the urn, coffin or other container in which they have been carried to the place of committal. When a body, or the cremated remains of a body are buried at sea, the Committal prayer found at number 406 § 4 is used: Lord God, by the power of your Word you stilled the chaos of the primeval seas, you made the raging waters of the Flood subside, and calmed the storm on the sea of Galilee. As we commit the body (earthly remains) of our brother (sister) N. to the deep, grant him/her peace and tranquility until that day when he/she and all who believe in you will be raised to the glory of new life promised in the waters of baptism. We ask this through Christ our Lord. . Amen. -excerpted from the Newsletter of the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy (July, 1999)


36 if you have any questions concerning the
Please seek clarification and guidance from the priest or Director of Liturgical Music, if you have any questions concerning the ritual, prayers, music, eulogy, other clergy or participants of the services. Updated June 2013, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Called and Gifted Program Researched and present April 10, 2008, J Julie R. Lineberry for Master Catechist Training Program, Class X, Diocese of Arlington, Rev. Paul deLadurantay S.T.D., Director Diocesan Secretary for Religious Education

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