Funeral for catholics


A dear friend of mine died yesterday. His family is having a catholic funeral service and mass for him even though he is not catholic, his daughter’s husband is.

It lead me to thinking about my own father who is catholic. He was baptised, received first
communion, and was confirmed. He attended catholic school until he reached High School. He was twice married neither in a church.

He believes in his faith but does not attend church. Will he be able to have a catholic funeral service and mass using the catholic church in town?

Here are the relevant canons from canon law;


Can. 1183 §1. When it concerns funerals, catechumens must be counted among the Christian faithful.

§2. The local ordinary can permit children whom the parents intended to baptize but who died before baptism to be given ecclesiastical funerals.

§3. In the prudent judgment of the local ordinary, ecclesiastical funerals can be granted to baptized persons who are enrolled in a non-Catholic Church or ecclesial community unless their intention is evidently to the contrary and provided that their own minister is not available.

Can. 1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:

1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;

2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;

3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.

§2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.

Can. 1185 Any funeral Mass must also be denied a person who is excluded from ecclesiastical funerals.

we don’t know all the facts about your friend’s relative, but the priest does. Bear in mind there is also a difference between a funeral service and a Mass of Christian Burial. As far as your own father, why not simply ask him what his preference is so that you can abide by it when the time comes. In general any Catholic who can be presumed to have wanted a Catholic funeral can have one, unless there is a notorious public scandal involved (celebrity openly living with someone not his wife, mob boss to cite some extreme recent examples).

Yes, he will be entitled to a Catholic funeral Mass…

A corporal work and Spiritual work of mercy is to bury the dead. The Catholic church in the parsih that he lives in required through the canon to take care of his needs, even in death. He is entited to a Catholic Funeral, it is our prayers which work to help cleans the short commings a person my have had in life and up to God to make the final decision.

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