Question:

My husband is not a Catholic, and we were married at a Catholic Church. For the past 47 years, he has taken me to Mass every week. Is it possible to have a Catholic funeral Mass for him when he dies?

Answer:

This is very much a pastoral decision that your pastor will have to decide. The following is my own opinion of what is possible.

The full Catholic funeral Mass liturgy is reserved only for Catholics, since the text has explicit reference to the deceased having been baptized and have received Holy Communion. However, there is nothing preventing the Church from providing a funeral service without Mass. This is essentially like a funeral Mass but with the liturgy of the Eucharist and Communion cut out. This is usually done at the funeral parlour, but may also be at the church. An appropriate form of commendation can also be done with the casket present, and interment to follow.

An alternative is a memorial Mass for the dead which does not have those explicit references to baptism and communion. This is usually not a funeral liturgy.

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