Is it permissible for a protestant to be given a catholic funeral?


If an individual is an adamant protestant, can a family member (who happens to be a catholic) request a Catholic funeral for their Protestant loved one?


Short answer yes but it would be a Christian funeral service not a mass and provided that it’s not going against what the deceased wanted (or would have wanted). Also if they’re a member of another church their own minister has to be unavailable.


Why would a protestant want a catholic funeral or vice versa though?


Canon 1184 seems to settle this issue. It seems that the only way that a protestant could be given a catholic funeral is if the individual repented (ie, wanted to convert).


Would it not be more respectful to bury them according to their own rites? Certainly this should be a decision of their spouse, who should be looking for their love’s desire in this regard.
My wife is an Anglican and she fully understands I want a full pontifical requiem mass with all the bells and smells. The Pope should be invited, along with all the ordinaries in the State; etc and then a small cup of tea and cake back home.
Now it may not quite work out that way, but I think there will be cake.


This is not accurate. Canon 1184 pertains to Catholics.

Canon 1183 §3 pertains to **baptized non-Catholics **and indicates the circumstances under which the bishop may grant an ecclesiastical funeral for a baptized non-Catholic:

Canon 1183 §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.


1ke, please look at can. 1184 (very hard for me to cut and paste from iPhone). Would you consider protestants to be classified as heretics cited in 1184? If so, 1183 and 1184, read together can be viewed as contradictory. If a heretic is unrepentant, a catholic funeral is out of the question. But then, 1183 only requires approval from a bishop which supercedes 1184. Agree?


Note that a heretic is a Catholic who abandons the Church and joins another faith community. While other faith communities may have heretical beliefs, those born into them are not considered heretics.


No. The Church clearly defines these things. Non-Catholics are not heretics.


closed #10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit