Worshipful songs and readings are a core component of most religions, and Christianity is no different. As the world’s largest Christian sect, Catholicism has built up a wealth of religiously significant bible verses and prayers, many of which are very old and have been rewritten, updated, and translated to nearly every language in the world. While most of these readings focus on worship and the story of the Bible, there are many Catholic bible verses and funeral scriptures to choose from when planning a traditional Catholic funeral mass or memorial service. Bible verses about death and the afterlife are commonly used to help comfort the bereaved that their loved one is in a better place.
The bereaved will start by selecting an introductory reading, also known as the First Reading. This is usually a selection from the Old Testament, specifically from the Book of Wisdom. After this, the family can pick a Responsorial Psalm and a secondary reading, usually from the New Testament. Finally, the bereaved can choose a closing reading.
Funeral scriptures and various passages from the Bible are integral to a Catholic funeral service. These readings are usually selected from a pre-determined list offered by churches, funeral homes, and related groups, but most modern churches will allow members to choose any non-Biblical reading, as long as it doesn’t directly clash with Christian tenants.
While songs and readings are important to any Catholic Funeral, the actual prayers read during the service are the core of the entire burial ceremony. There are many, many prayers associated with Catholic Funerals, but the Catholic Prayer for the Dead is the most popular. Several versions of the Prayer for the Dead exist and can change between different dioceses, but the most common version is shown here:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Many different prayers are meant for specific settings, such as the Rite of Committal, which is when the deceased’s coffin or urn is placed in its final resting place. During this time, prayers devoted to certain groups, such as Catholic prayers for mourners and Catholic prayers for the gravesite, can also be read. The bereaved are encouraged to work with a priest or funeral director to select the prayers in advance and provide written forms in Catholic funeral programs and prayer cards.
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