Requiem mass for person who committed suicide

My friend’s father committed suicide yesterday. I’ve been hearing that the priest doesn’t want to visit the wake, the requiem mass can’t be offered because the body can’t be brought to the church because he committed suicide.

What’s the truth?

If that is right then it is sad. Whatever happened I think he should have a proper ceremony etc. God bless him

Hopefully you are hearing rumors before the actual services are determined. I have attended a Mass held for someone who committed suicide but that may have been the priest’s choice. I am under the impression that the state of mind and or mental illness is taken under consideration and that the priest may need to talk with the bishop but generally does not deny the person a Catholic burial.

I attended a Funeral Mass held for a man that committed suicide and the Bishop was present at the Mass; They were a well known Catholic family and apparently the son had mental illness.

Same here. I was at a funeral Mass for a friend who committed suicide. No mention was made of it at all during or after.

From what I’ve heard, it seems Catholics are, by and large, less condemning of suicide than our reputation allows, and more forgiving of suicide victims than our colleagues from other faiths.

Apparently, a priest in my parish said so. He even further stated that the deceased surely go to hell. This is sad.

Can someone give me supporting documents that we are allowed to have mass for people who committed suicide?

I hope the Catholic Priest held a Memorial Service in church if not a Mass. Do they do that for anyone?

This is not the truth.

My dear and close friend committed suicide in High School. The priest absolutely attended the wake, and offered prayers and blessings to the family and friends who were hurting. His funeral was held in the Church, with an official Mass with full liturgy. The Church does not, will not, refuse a funeral just because of suicide.

What’s the proof?any supporting documents?


CCC 2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

CCC 2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

CCC 2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

CCC 2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.

See the parts of the Church teaching I have highlighted. Based on that I cannot see how a Mass being refused could be justified.

I was going to post the link to the section in Canon Law, but this EWTN article says what I was going to. The Code of Canon Law does not list suicide as one of the circumstances in which a funeral must be denied.

I know that the Catechism says that if someone is mentally I’ll or under extreme stress that their culpability is limited. Ot also says we are not to despair for their eternal soul. As to the question of funerals, I’ll ask my friend who is a canon lawyer. Will check back in once I hear from him.

From my own experience I can say that I have been to two funeral masses where the deceased had committed suicide. One of them was a priest. Don’t know if they are officially allowed, but they are offered.

Equally, I was going to locate the exact sections of the CCC when I had a break here at work but you beat me to the punch. :wink: Good work.

It’s good to work together on these things. :slight_smile:

I think canon law used to forbid it (i.e., under the Pio-Benedictine code), but even then it wasn’t enforced very rigorously, I’m given to understand.

That was my understanding as well, but I don’t have a copy of the previous code to verify for sure.

Actually, there’s an article in the National Catholic magazine (written in my native language) comparing Canon Law 1917 dan 1985 regarding suicide. And apparently the priest was too blind to admit it, he ended up replying me saying that the article was wrong and the writer (a priest too) was reprimanded and does not in-charge with the magazine column anymore (however there is no facts supporting his accusation). After I checked, the same priest has been writing in that magazine since 2011 up to now.

He kept insisting that the Catholic Church never allow Funeral Mass or even simple prayer service for people who committed suicide.

If this priest has written this to you in an email, I would humbly suggest you forward it up to a higher authority. I am not suggesting you try and get the priest into trouble–he is clearly just misinformed. But his misinformation should not stand in the way of this family having the right to a funeral for their loved one, and it certainly should not stand in the way of this man having a proper Catholic burial.

Had to ask a canon lawyer about this, but no, there is nothing in church law forbidding a funeral mass for one who commits suicide.

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