How to Plan a Catholic Wake

The demise of anyone you know is a very difficult experience to go through. On the other hand, planning a wake in the middle of a very emotional grieving period is very tough. Be aware of the fact that Catholics have certain rituals which they follow during this period. The first ritual is a vigil where they say the rosary. After that, there is mass congregation and the last is the committal at the graveyard. These three parts form the Catholic wake rites which are normally followed by a gathering at the house of the deceased. There are several ways to organise a Catholic wake by following some easy guidelines.


  • 1

    Getting started

    First of all, get in touch with the priest or pastor of the deceased in order to plan and book a funeral mass. This priest will usually visit the home to console the family and pray for the deceased. In addition to this, call a funeral home as well. The funeral director will require clothes for the loved one to be buried in and a coffin needs to be decided. Also, select the music and flower arrangements for the funeral rites in advance.

  • 2

    Make arrangements for the vigil and mass

    You should book a time and place for the vigil and inform this to family and friends. The vigil normally takes place during the time before the funeral mass. During a vigil, close ones gather and say a few words about their loved one. A few families also look at the deceased one last time. Also, arrange a time with the pastor for the funeral mass and tell this to relatives and friends. During the funeral mass, there is usually sprinkling of holy water, placing the Easter candle and draping a white pall over the casket stressing baptism.

  • 3


    Plan with the funeral director to ensure the body arrives at the selected burial site during the rite of committal. The priest will read scripture and pray while the body is buried. Moreover, after the committal people will gather at the home of the deceased. Therefore, prepare the house by cleaning it and keep some foods and drinks for the guests. Also, family and friends can also bring food along and pay their tribute to the family of the loved one.

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