We take pride in our Kenosha cemeteries: St. George, St. Casimir, St. James and St. Mark. Not only do we care for the grounds of the cemeteries, but we offer our community the opportunity to bury a loved one with dignity, solemn prayer, and a priestly blessing. If you’re curious about burying a loved one at one of our cemeteries, please contact Mariann at the parish office at 262-657-1156.
Planning a Catholic Funeral
The Catholic funeral rite is divided into several stations, or parts, each with its own purpose. For this reason we recommend following the complete structure and making use of each station.
Vigil Service (Wake)
Once a person passes away, the first step in a Christian burial is the vigil service. “At the vigil, the Christian community keeps watch with the family in prayer to the God of mercy and finds strength in Christ’s presence” (Order of Christian Funerals, no. 56). The vigil service usually takes place during the period of visitation and viewing at the funeral home. It is a time to remember the life of the deceased and to commend him/her to God. In prayer we ask God to console us in our grief and give us strength to support one another.
The vigil service can be a Service of the Word with readings from Sacred Scripture, reflections, and prayers. Otherwise, it can include one of the prayers from the Office for the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours. The clergy and your funeral director can assist in this planning.
Vigil services can be particularly helpful in helping family and friends remember their loved one and share about the deceased to others. For this reason, eulogies are usually encouraged to take place at the funeral home during visitation or during the vigil service.
The funeral liturgy is the central element of the Christian community’s care for the deceased. The Church encourages the celebration of the funeral liturgy within a Mass. When Mass cannot be celebrated, a funeral liturgy outside Mass is permitted in the church or funeral home. You can discuss with the funeral home and clergy the details of planning either liturgy.
At the funeral liturgy, friends and family gather with the Church to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion by praising God’s victory over sin and death. The loved ones also seek strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery: that Christ died, rose, and will come again. The funeral liturgy, therefore, is an act of worship of God and not merely an expression of grief. A funeral liturgy is the highest form of prayer that we can offer on behalf of our deceased loved ones.
Rite of Committal (Burial or Interment)
The Rite of Committal, the end of the funeral rite, is the final act of the community of faith to care for the body of its deceased member. It normally is celebrated beside the open grave or place of interment. The community of faith hopes that the deceased, committed to their place of rest, awaits the glory of the resurrection. The Rite of Committal is an expression of the communion that exists between the Church on Earth and the Church in Heaven. The deceased passes with the farewell prayers of the community into the welcoming company of those who need faith no longer but see God face-to-face.
Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops