Liturgical Norms for the Celebration of Catholic Funeral Rites

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The Catholic Funeral Rites, as found in the Order of Christian Funerals, are celebrations that enable the Christian community to mourn, as well as to hope, by focusing on the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ.

These liturgical norms are offered to assist Pastors, Parochial Vicars, Deacons, Ministers of Bereavement, and Funeral Directors in preparing the funeral rites with individuals and families according to the ritual traditions and teaching of the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Orange.

The Order of Christian Funerals, 1989 edition (OCF), is the only canonically approved liturgical rite in English. In Spanish El Ritual de las Exequias Cristianas 2001 edition is approved for use in the dioceses of the United States of America. All previous editions of the Order of Christian Funerals should be retired. Ministers serving in communities with other diverse languages should use the current approved translation of the Latin, Ordo Exsequiarium.

The Order of Christian Funerals describes the church’s ministry to the deceased and their family in these words: At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting word of God and the sacrament of the Eucharist‛ (OCF, General Introduction, no. 4)