Divine Worship
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3839


Thomas Lyman
Coordinator of Divine Worship
Office: 617-746-5880
Fr. Jonathan M. Gaspar
Archdiocesan Master of Ceremonies and Chaplain
Diane Campbell
Executive Assistant, Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship
Office: 617-746-5761
Fax: 617-779-4570

Divine Worship


The Funeral Mass

Funeral Policy

In the dioceses of the United States, the principal rituals in the Order of Christian Funerals are the Vigil for the Deceased, the Funeral Mass, and the Rite of Committal. The Funeral Mass is the central liturgy of the Christian funeral in the Archdiocese of Boston.

  1. The Eucharist is the heart of the Paschal reality of Christian death (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1689). In the celebration of the Eucharist, the Church most perfectly expresses her communion with those who have died. The celebration of the Eucharist at the funeral is an opportunity for the community of the faithful, and for the family, to "learn to live in communion with the one who has 'fallen asleep in the Lord,' by communicating the Body of Christ of which he is a living member and, then, by praying for him and with him" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1689).
  2. The Introductory Rites of the Funeral Mass presume a greeting of the mourners who accompany the body to the doors of the church. They are greeted by the priest and liturgical ministers, and other persons who have gathered at the church to await the procession from the funeral home or family home. The ritual plan for a parish must take into account the structure of the liturgy, the size of the assembly, the architecture of the church, and the vicissitudes of climate.
  3. It is not ordinarily permitted to seat the family members who accompany the body before the body is presented for blessing. Parishes are called upon to develop, in collaboration with funeral directors, policies which result in seating on both sides of the church and towards the front of the assembly area.