The long-standing funeral and cemetery tradition of the Catholic church flows logically out of fundamental tenets of the Catholic faith such as:
- The dignity of each human person
- The importance of baptism into the faith
- The reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ
- The promise of Jesus that one day we will also share eternal life
- The value and need to pray for the dead
- The celebration of the Eucharist as the great act of memory and thanksgiving for redemption.
Death is rightly celebrated at the parish church, the place of Baptism and Eucharist, the place where the bereaved must find comfort in the believing community and strength in the Eucharist that is celebrated for them on behalf of their deceased relative or friend.
The funeral rites of the church are intended to strengthen our faith, offer hope, comfort those who mourn and bury the bodily remains of the deceased. The rites, collectively known as the Order of Christian Funerals, include:
- A vigil or wake service with the body present, often at a funeral home.
- A funeral liturgy that praises God and affirms that the life of the deceased has not ended but begun anew in the company of Christ. This is typically celebrated at the parish church.
- Committal to a final resting place, preferably a Catholic cemetery.