When there is a funeral scheduled at my (Roman Catholic) church the Pastor invites everyone to come to support the family and that together we are strong. Tomorrow is another funeral. I do not know the individual. I do not know the spouse but the Pastor pointed her out in the invitation so I am able to recognize her now. I feel as if I am intruding to attend a funeral of a family I am not acquainted with. Is it really a comfort to have those not known to you at the Mass? I haven’t decided whether I should attend.
Funerals Masses are not private Masses. They are public. There is nothing offensive or wrong about people attending a funeral and praying for the soul of the deceased and the comfort of the family. It is a work of charity.
In my experience, when a family member of mine has died, I have been much comforted by the fact that people I do not know have bothered to come to the funeral or calling hours, that someone cares enough to give up their time to show their support for the family and pray for them and the deceased.
BTW, just for info–wedding Masses are not private either. The reception is private, the Mass is not.
its perfectly fine to attend the funeral and offer condolences and pray foe the deceased.
the survivors like to see even people the don’t know, that’s been my life experience on both sides of this problem
It’s both a spiritual and corporal work of mercy. I used to attend funeral masses of people I didn’t know when I was in the Legion of Mary. At first I was afraid someone from the family was going to come up to me and demand to know what I was doing there, but that never happened. And we always said a rosary for them afterwards as well. The most heartbreaking funeral was one for a two year old child. Lots of people who were there did not know the family, but attended to support them. It’s so important to pray for the dead and for their grieving loved ones.
You are bearing witness to their life and passing…that’s a good thing!
Our pastor says attendance at a parishoner’s funeral is a reflection on the community and their support for a fellow parishoner. It is an act of mercy and kindness.
Although I would not do so, it is a commendable thing to do.
By all means, if you can do so, be there.
Thank you for the reply’s. I will go and try and sit in the back. I’ve seen the widow in church twice this week and she was alone. I hope there will be family traveling to be there. I had planned on reaching out to see if she needed help. When I experienced a loss that was most helpful to me. I couldn’t think straight to respond if someone offered to help. If they offered something specific ie food, shopping, take the car to get serviced etc that was much more helpful. I’m not comfortable with going to the funeral. If it’s helpful to the family I will make the effort.
You are by no means required to go if you do not know the family. But, be assured that a grieving family always appreciates it when people come to show respect to their loved ones.
As a musician I am at many funerals. There is something very sad when only a handful of people show up. It is an act of mercy to attend but if you can’t or even if you don’t really want to, don’t worry about it. It isn’t on that long long list of things people “should do”.
Yes, your presence woudl certainly be appreciated by the grieving family. The fact that you do not know them and yet you come would make it all the more touching to them.
Go if it is ok with you but do not force yourself if attending funeral makes you uncomfortable, which is not uncommon with some people.
The funeral was this morning and I was in attendance. The widow looked to see everyone who came to show their respect & support so I believe it was a comfort to her to be there. When leaving to meet the family I was stopped by so many people, including our Deacon, the Pastor began laughing. One of those who stopped me was on the Funeral committee. Not only was my presence appreciated they need help to serve (I’m very active in multiple ministries) so she added me to the call list.
I was able to meet with the widow to extend condolences. She thanked me for being there.
I wasn’t sure I’d make it through (I’m still grieving) but God gave me the strength to support another. During my time of deepest grief I could not tolerate the presence of people, or sounds or even my purring cat. A crowd would have been too overwhelming. I would pass out. That in part caused me to pause in attending today. I thank everyone here for sharing your thoughts.
May God grant you peace! Thank you for extending that peace to another!
Many blessings, and welcome to the Forums!
Yes, you can attend the funeral of someone you don’t know. It’s an Act of Mercy. You can offer up prayers on their behalf and that of their loved ones.
God bless you.