Arranging Your Catholic Funeral

What You Need to Know:

Arranging Your Funeral in Accordance with The Ritual of Roman Catholic Order of Christian Funerals

There are two universal human experiences: birth and death. While you can’t plan your entry into the world, you can choose and prepare for the send-off you’ll receive when you depart.

Throughout 2021, a new funeral planning product was introduced in various locations throughout New York State. Actively promoted by Catholic dioceses and cemeteries to their parishioners, the Catholic Funeral Plan claims to be able to guarantee one receives a Catholic Funeral Mass, Vigil service, and Rite of Committal as prescribed in the Order of Christian Funerals. The New York State Funeral Directors Association), working with and through our members, is committed to providing the best and most accurate information when it comes to arranging your funeral in accordance with your faith.

Understanding your religion and faith play an important and deeply personal role in both life and death, licensed Funeral Directors are the professionals best equipped to work with you in arranging your funeral in accordance with the liturgical traditions of the Church. If you’re looking to receive a Catholic Funeral Mass, Vigil service, and Rite of Committal as prescribed in the Order of Christian Funerals, there is tremendous value in making your funeral arrangements with a licensed Funeral Director. As you make this important decision, consider the following points:

How can I ensure I receive a Catholic Funeral Mass?

The ONLY way to guarantee you receive the services you want is to make arrangements with a licensed Funeral Director. ONLY a licensed Funeral Director has authority to make said arrangements for or supervise funeral services.

How will I benefit from preplanning my funeral services with a licensed Funeral Director?

By working with a licensed Funeral Director, your wishes for any of the three parts prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church in the Order of Christian Funerals; the Funeral Mass, Vigil service, or Rite of Committal (burial) will be clearly outlined. Plus, licensed Funeral Directors are trained, experienced, and obligated by law to carry out your desired end-of-life plan.

How will my family benefit from me preplanning my funeral services with a licensed Funeral Director?

When you work with a licensed Funeral Director, you provide peace of mind to your loved ones. By outlining your wishes for a Catholic Funeral Mass, Vigil service, and Rite of Committal, your family will be relieved of the burden of making those decisions and have no doubts as to your wishes.

Can a licensed Funeral Director guarantee my funeral arrangements will contain all the traditional elements outlined in the Ritual?

Absolutely! By meeting first with a licensed Funeral Director, you’ll have the opportunity to execute legal documents detailing your personal and specific selections for the funeral service that most closely meets your religious and spiritual preferences. From the beginning, your Funeral Director will serve in two capacities: your adviser, explaining all your options and coordinating services with the Church and cemetery of your choosing, and your advocate, ensuring your wishes are carried through at the time of your death. 

How does working with a licensed Funeral Director differ from a cemeterian or salesperson?

Licensed Funeral Directors are the only professionals educated and trained to arrange and carry out all aspects of a funeral service. New York State’s funeral service industry is highly regulated with oversight from the NYS Department of Health and others, ensuring the appropriate and compassionate care of the deceased is carried out.

Licensed Funeral Directors know how to craft end-of-life wishes thanks to years of experience coordinating funeral services with area Churches and cemeteries, guided by deep ties to their local community. Understanding the customs and values of the Roman Catholic Church globally, and locally, offers you consultation with a unique and preeminent source of information unfounded anywhere in your death care community…. certainly not found with a single-minded, single skilled salesperson from a cemetery office.

Finally, licensed Funeral Directors have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure you receive the services you desire at a fair, reasonable, agreed-upon price. By preplanning with a licensed Funeral Director, you have true piece of mind. They will outline all services and merchandise necessary to carry out your end-of-life wishes, giving you a comprehensive and accurate cost, rather than an estimate that is not guaranteed to cover everything.

Does it cost me anything to preplan my funeral arrangements with a Licensed Funeral Director?

No. Prearranging with a licensed Funeral Director allows you to get all your wishes for a traditional Catholic funeral and burial outlined in writing. While others require the purchase of an insurance policy, there is no financial obligation when working with a licensed Funeral Director.

If you choose to prefund your funeral arrangements, licensed Funeral Directors can provide various options that offer a greater financial benefit to you as a consumer.

Preplanning your funeral is a gift to yourself, and those you love. It is meaningful and important. And it needs to be done using the best and highest available information, in partnership with the best and highest trained professionals. So, ask yourself: would you go to a funeral home to purchase space in a cemetery? So conversely, why would you go to a cemetery to arrange a funeral?

A New York State licensed Funeral Director is your authority for the best and highest available information on arranging and coordination of all aspects of your funeral wishes and desires. Click here to find a member firm.

The cemetery is only your source for selection of inground, above ground, or columbarium space for disposition.