The Rite of Committal is the last ceremony in a Catholic funeral. It is celebrated at the site of interment of the body or the cremated remains. The Rite of Committal marks the separation of the mourners from the deceased. It is also an expression of communion between the Church on earth and the Church in Heaven, allowing the deceased to pass from the community of mourners into the community of those who are already with God.
When everyone has assembled at the place of committal, the priest says one of the following invitations: "We gather here to commend our brother/ sister [name] to God our Father and to commit his/her body to the earth/elements. In the spirit of faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, let us raise our voices in song and offer our prayers for [name]." or "As we gather to commend our brother/sister [name] to God our Father and to commit his/her body to the earth/elements, let us express in [song and] prayer our common faith in the resurrection. As Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, we too are called to follow him through death to the glory where God will be all in all."
Next, the priest states: "We read in sacred Scripture: Matthew 25:34 Come, you who are blessed by my Father, says the Lord, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world John 6:39 This is the will of the one who sent me, says the Lord, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. Philippians 3:20 Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:5-6 Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the dead; to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen."
Prayers With Blessings
The following are prayers the priest can use that include a blessing for the place of committal: "Lord Jesus Christ, by your own three days in the tomb, you hallowed the graves of all who believe in you and so made the grave a sign of hope that promises resurrection even as it claims our mortal bodies. Grant that our brother/sister may sleep here in peace until you awaken him/her to glory, for you are the resurrection and the life. Then he/she will see you face to face and in your light will see light and know the splendor of God, for you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen." or: "O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, bless this grave, and send your holy angel to watch over it. As we bury here the body of our brother/sister, deliver his/her soul from every bond of sin, that he/she may rejoice in you with your saints for ever. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen." or: "Almighty God, you created the earth and shaped the vault of heaven; you fixed the stars in their places. When we were caught in the snares of death you set us free through baptism; in obedience to your will our Lord Jesus Christ broke the fetters of hell and rose to life, bringing deliverance and resurrection to those who are his by faith. In your mercy look upon this grave, so that your servant may sleep here in peace; and on the day of judgment raise him/her up to dwell with your saints in paradise. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen." or: "God of endless ages, through disobedience to your law we fell from grace and death entered the world; but through the obedience and resurrection of your Son you revealed to us a new life. You granted Abraham, our father in faith, a burial place in the promised land; you prompted Joseph of Arimathea to offer his own tomb for the burial of the Lord. In a spirit of repentance we earnestly ask you to look upon this grave and bless it, so that, while we commit to the earth/its resting place the body of your servant, his/her soul may be taken into paradise. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen."
Prayers Without Blessings
The following are prayers the priest can say when the place of committal has already been blessed: "All praise to you, Lord of all creation. Praise to you, holy and living God. We praise and bless you for your mercy, we praise and bless you for your kindness. Blessed is the Lord, our God Blessed is the Lord, our God. You sanctify the homes of the living and make holy the places of the dead. You alone open the gates of righteousness and lead us to the dwellings of the saints. Blessed is the Lord, our God. Blessed is the Lord, our God. We praise you, our refuge and strength. We bless you, our God and Redeemer. Your praise is always in our hearts and on our lips. We remember the mighty deeds of the covenant. Blessed is the Lord, our God Blessed is the Lord, our God. Almighty and ever-living God, remember the mercy with which you graced your servant in life. Receive him/her, we pray, into the mansions of the saints. As we make ready our brother’s/sister’s resting place, look also with favor on those who mourn and comfort them in their loss. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. Almighty and ever-living God, in you we place our trust and hope, in you the dead whose bodies were temples of the Spirit find everlasting peace. As we take leave of our brother/sister, give our hearts peace in the firm hope that one day [the deceased] will live in the mansion you have prepared for him/her in heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen."
Normally, the Final Commendation is part of the conclusion of the funeral liturgy celebrated in the church before the Rite of Committal. If there was no funeral liturgy, the Final Commendation will be celebrated at this time before the body is interred.
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