“My son, shed tears for one who is dead with wailing and bitter lament; as is only proper, prepare the body, and do not absent yourself from the burial”
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Renewal of Faith
"A clean heart create for him, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit." Psalm 51:12
The loss of a loved one is never easy. It is a milestone moment in their life and ours. Our Catholic funeral rituals are designed to help us know that God is with us in our mourning and to renew us in the hope of the Resurrection.
Here is a blog article, "Why Do We Celebrate Funerals?", Fr. Jeff wrote on why we celebrate funerals as both a corporal and spiritual work of mercy. He also helps us understand why we use readings from the Bible and Catholic hymns at funerals.
Here is a homily Fr. Jeff gave at a Sunday Mass in November 2017 that explained our funeral customs.
Here is a homily Fr. Jeff offered at a Mass of Remembrance in November 2019 reflecting on our custom of praying for the dead in the month of November and offering Mass Intentions.
Fr. Jeff also addressed the topic of funerals, Mass intentions, and Purgatory in his first presentation on the Sacraments. Below is an excerpt with that portion. (His full series on the sacraments can be found here.)
For more on Purgatory, see Fr. Jeff's article, "Purgatory as a Gift That Gets Us in Shape for Heaven."