Funeral traditions have changed in many different ways over the years.
Modern practices have evolved past religious ceremonies, but many people
still choose a traditional Catholic funeral. Even though the deceased
and family may not be Catholic, this type of funeral follows the usual
traditions. If you’re thinking about
funeral services in Chicago, here’s what you should know about Catholic funeral traditions.
Vigils and Mass
The vigil, or wake, is a ceremony held before the service where friends
gather to pay respects to the loved one. It is commonly held at a funeral home or church, but
can also be held in the family’s home. A casket holding the deceased
is often available for visitation, and a priest is present to lead prayer.
Flowers provided by the guests or funeral home adorn the casket, and some
families may choose to display photos. In the Catholic tradition, a mass,
which is the funeral service, will follow the next day. Here, a priest
will read opening rites, the liturgies of the word, and final concluding rites.
Type of Music
Music is an important part of Catholic funerals, as the music serves as
a way to usher the deceased into the next stage of life. There is some
debate about whether secular music should be played, and most funerals
in this tradition feature religious music. The chosen music is preferably
uplifting and hopeful, with images of resurrection and everlasting life.
Often a funeral will have a choir or small orchestral group perform, and
the audience is usually invited to sing along.
Kinds of Burial
In the past, the Catholic tradition banned cremation and displaying cremated
remains at the funeral, but that ban has since been lifted. Body burial
is still the most common practice in Catholic traditions. At the gravesite,
a priest will officiate a short ceremony. Then the priest leads prayers
and a blessing of the grave with holy water before the body reaches its
final resting place.
When it is time to arrange a service with a funeral home, get in touch
with Leak & Sons Funeral Homes of Chicago. We gladly support any type
of funeral service. For more information about our services and grief
support call (773) 358-1584 or
visit us online.