When it comes to Catholic funerals, Catholics turn to traditions and customs for guidance. A Catholic funeral is held to honour the life of the deceased. It is a sacred ceremony recognising the importance of grieving after losing a loved one. It is also an opportunity for family and friends to gather and offer prayers for the deceased’s soul.


If you are attending a Catholic funeral, familiarising yourself with the traditions and etiquette is essential. Here’s a guide to help you:



A Catholic funeral is typically held at a funeral home or in a Catholic church. It is led by a priest, who is expected to deliver his sermon. It also includes a mass to symbolise Christ’s resurrection.


As previously mentioned, a Catholic funeral is held to honour the life of someone who has passed away. In addition, a Catholic funeral also serves other purposes, such as commemorating the deceased’s life, expressing faith in the resurrection, and providing comfort and support to the family.


A Catholic funeral is an opportunity to reflect on the life of the deceased and celebrate his/her life, including his/her accomplishments, contributions to society, and virtues. It’s a way of remembering the deceased’s life and how he/she has impacted everyone’s life.


Moreover, a Catholic funeral affirms one’s faith in the resurrection of the body and eternal life. Attending a Catholic funeral reminds people that death is not the end but a new beginning to eternal life with God.


And, of course, a Catholic funeral is a chance to provide comfort and support to the deceased’s family. Losing a loved one can be very painful. And a funeral allows you to support the family during this challenging time.


Tradition and Etiquette

When attending a Catholic funeral, you should always dress appropriately. You may wear semi-formal clothing or anything with dark colours. Also, your clothing should be modest. However, you may ask the family if they are strict with colours or comfortable with any colour and type of dress. Regardless, it’s best to wear the proper attire to show respect.


During a Catholic funeral, you can expect the following: Introductory Rite, Procession, Opening song and prayers, Funeral liturgy, Final commendation, and Rite of committal. Be sure to cooperate and actively participate if the deceased’s family asks.


If you plan to send flowers, remember that any flowers suit a Catholic funeral. However, you should know the meaning or symbol of the flowers you will send. For instance, red roses mean pure love. You may also choose to give carnations, as they symbolise affection and remembrance. If you want to express your gratitude, send camellias. And if you want to send flowers that symbolise innocence and purity, consider giving lilies.


If you’re unsure about which flowers to send, don’t hesitate to ask a funeral specialist or a florist to guide you in choosing flowers for a Catholic funeral.


A Catholic funeral usually lasts 30 minutes to an hour. A burial or cremation will follow it. After the funeral mass, the deceased’s body will be taken to the cemetery for burial. And while cremation is allowed in the Catholic Church, the ashes have to be treated with respect and placed in a cemetery or columbarium.


But no matter how short or long the funeral service is, what matters is your presence and time to be a part of this sacred moment. Also, by respecting the traditions and following the etiquette guidelines, you can show respect for the deceased and their loved ones.


The Bottom Line

A Catholic funeral is a celebration of life and an affirmation of faith. It would help if you respected the traditions associated with it, regardless of whether you are Catholic.