Essay On Catholic Funeral Customs

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Catholic Funeral Customs Human beings are scared of the unknown. We also don’t like to get out of our comfort zone or learn a religion that we do not practice. Those are normal traits for a human being. Here at Shipman Funeral Home we serve families no matter what the level of discomfort or disbelief we may have towards a person’s religion or beliefs. Today at the funeral home we had a family walk in and ask for our services, we later learned this family was Catholic. Jason Shipman the funeral director at Shipman Funeral Home explained to his employees and the family that we, as a staff, are very uneducated on the Catholic way of funerals. Jason Shipman told the family that we would discuss among each other as a staff and do some research …show more content…
This service is what they like to believe “follows the same pattern as a typical mass with additional elements that draw attention to the place the deceased person has in the life of the mourners and most especially, the Christian belief in resurrection” (“Preparing for a Roman Catholic Funeral”). A mass is also what Catholics refer to as a normal Sunday service. If Shipman Funeral Home decides to serve this family and provide a Catholic funeral mass some things we can be expecting to see according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is that the family with cover the casket with what they call a pall or a white cloth that signifies the deceased’s life in Christ through baptism. The priest then will splash holy water on the casket as a remembrance of baptism. Finally the priest will place the “Book of Gospels” or a crucifix on the head end of the casket. Also sometimes during a mass they will light incense that symbolizes the prayers rising. Also if the deceased is a veteran the American flag will have to be removed for the family to place a pall on the casket (“Preparing for a Roman Catholic Funeral”). One piece of information that I came across during my research is that since the employees are not baptized catholic we will not be allowed to do many of the Catholic gestures during the service. In the article online titled “Catholic Gestures Explained” it informs people that Catholics do three main gestures. One being Kneeling which is defined as “the most profound sign of reverence and Roman Catholics kneel at the most sacred points of the Mass. In the United States, Catholics kneel throughout the Eucharistic Prayer.” Second being “Making the sign of the cross which symbolically reaffirms tow essential Christian doctrines: The Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and humankind’s salvation through the cross of Christ.” Lastly is Genuflecting which is “touching the right knee to the floor while

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