Funeral Rites

The Christian meaning of death is revealed in the light of the Paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ in whom resides our only hope. the Christian who dies in Christ Jesus is “away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

For the Christian the day of death inaugurates, at the end of one’s sacramental life, the fulfillment of a new birth begun at Baptism, the definitive “conformity” to “the image of the Son” conferred by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and participation in the feast of the Kingdom which was anticipated in the Eucharist – even if final purifications are still necessary in order to be clothed with the nuptial garment.

The Church who, as Mother, has borne the Christian sacramentally in her womb during the earthly pilgrimage, accompanies us at our journey’s end, in order to surrender us “into the Father’s hands.” She offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of God’s grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory. This offering is fully celebrated in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, § 1681-1683)



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