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Catholic Funeral Planning FAQs

Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about planning a Catholic funeral with answers and information on checklists, templates, worksheets, funeral readings and Catholic memorial services.
 

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Question: How do I go about planning a Catholic funeral? Is there a worksheet, checklist or template with step by step instructions?
Answer: Since a Catholic funeral is held in strict accordance with the liturgical traditions of the Catholic Church, it is important to know the many details of a Catholic funeral service so you can plan for it in advance. The Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh has a book entitled “The Catholic Record File” which tells you about Catholic burial and funeral traditions and how to deal with the numerous issues that come up surrounding the death of an individual. To order the book, go to http://www.ccapgh.org/planning-guide.asp. You will also find a very helpful list of things to do and how to do them when planning a funeral at http://www.romemonuments.com/funeral_planning_checklist_for_families.

 
Question: What is difference between Catholicism, the Catholic Church, and the Roman Catholic Church?
Answer: Catholicism refers to the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church and various other Christian denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox Church and some Protestant denominations. You can learn more about Catholicism at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholicism.  The Catholic Church is headed by the Pope and teaches that it is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ. Learn more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church. The term “Roman” is simply a descriptive added to “Catholic Church” and both refer to all denominations belonging to the worldwide church. You’ll find a fascinating history of the term at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_(term)
 

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Question: How do I plan for and arrange a Catholic funeral?
Answer: The best thing to do is contact your trusted local funeral home.  By working directly with your trusted funeral director to make sure your wishes are executed, you eliminate any middleman that could be involved.  The funeral home offers a pre-arranged insurance policy that can be transferred to another funeral home should you decide or can also be transferred if that funeral home goes out of business.  Your money is safe with the funeral home.  Speaking directly with your trusted funeral home will ensure that your family is fully aware of all the different options and services that the funeral home provides.  Another option is The Catholic Funeral Plan which offers Catholic families in and around Pittsburgh the tools they need to plan and arrange for their funeral or memorial service in advance and in accordance with the liturgical traditions of the Church. The Catholic Funeral Plan is an isurance policy that is purchased which creates a middleman between you and your trusted funeral home.  Go to http://www.cfppgh.com for information about the plan and how they can help you and your family plan for a Catholic funeral. You can learn how to preplan your burial, interment and cemetery memorialization on the Rome Monument website at http://www.romemonuments.com/how_to_plan_your_own_funeral.
 
Question: Who do I talk to about designing a Catholic cemetery monument or memorial? 
Answer: Cemetery markers, headstones and monuments are best planned for well in advance of one’s passing. Rome Monument’s Catholic Monument Plan enables Catholic families to purchase a customized Catholic themed headstone before a funeral and burial occurs and pre-arrange the installation of the memorial or grave marker in the cemetery in advance. For more information, go to http://www.romemonuments.com/catholic_funeral_planning.
 

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Question: What Catholic images can I put on a headstone? 
Answer: Designs, shapes, artwork and engravings that incorporate Catholic symbols are important elements in any Catholic headstone or monument. The Cross, Jesus, Mother Mary, and angels have always been popular design choices through the years. The United States Geneology and History Network has researched different Catholic symbols used on headstones throughout time. You can find their research at http://msghn.org/usghn/symbols.html. You can also see hundreds of Catholic monument design ideas by visiting the Rome Monument Catholic Design Gallery at http://www.romemonuments.com/catholic_monuments.
 
Question: Is there a list of the Catholic Churches in Pittsburgh?
Answer: The Catholic Directory has an extensive list of Pittsburgh Catholic Churches with contact information, directions, weekend and weekday Mass times and more. The same directory lists Catholic Churches throughout the entire Tri-State area including Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.  
 
Question: Where can I find Catholic funeral readings for the Vigil Prayer and Funeral Mass?
Answer: The selection of readings from the Old and New Testament, including the psalms and gospels, allows families to express their feelings about the death of a mother, father, or other family member through the words of God. The United States Conference of Bishops has suggested readings for funeral rites at http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/bereavement-and-funerals/readings-for-the-funeral-liturgy.cfm
 
Question: Is there a list of Catholic cemeteries in the Pittsburgh area?
Answer: The Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh owns and operates the 16 diocesan cemetery properties located throughout Allegheny and Washington Counties. You can find a list of their cemeteries at http://www.ccapgh.org/cemeteries.asp. Rome Monument has extensive information about cemeteries, including a list of those in Southwestern Pennsylvania, their rules and regulations, and pictures of our headstones in each cemetery. To learn more, go to http://www.romemonuments.com/cemetery_info.
 
Question: Is there such a thing as Catholic funeral insurance? 
Answer: While life insurance companies and policies rarely offer coverage for funerals, most funeral homes will be able to sell you an insurance policy directly. The Catholic Funeral Plan, which helps families in the Pittsburgh and Tri-State area plan and arrange for their funeral, uses insurance policies to fund the Plan. Most Catholic families will receive a payoff in the event of death. You can learn more about the plan at www.cfppgh.com. To see a list of funeral homes in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, go to www.romemonuments.com/sites/default/files/Pittsburgh_Funeral_Home_Web%20Sites_Phone_Numbers_Addresses.pdf
 
Question: How are Catholic funerals different than other funerals?
Answer: Among the things that distinguish Catholic funerals from other funerals are the three parts or types of rituals involved: a vigil or wake, in which the participants gather to pay their respects to the dead and to surviving family members and to attend to the deceased's soul; a mass, a funeral service held in church the day after the vigil; and the burial in your Catholic cemetery. The following article goes into more detail on the difference: www.caring.com/questions/how-is-a-catholic-funeral-service-different. Rome Monument can also help answer any questions you have about a Catholic funeral. Just go to www.romemonuments.com/ask_a_funeral_home_expert.   
 
Question: How do I choose a funeral home that specializes in Catholic funerals? 
Answer: There are many factors to consider when choosing a Catholic funeral home, including; your level of comfort, cost of goods and services, accurate information, compassionate guidance, type of facility, amenities, location, religious and cultural connections. You can learn more by going to www.everplans.com/articles/how-to-choose-a-funeral-home. Rome Monument deals with Catholic funeral homes and cemeteries on a daily basis and can provide you with the name and contact information of Catholic funeral directors and Catholic funeral homes in Pittsburgh and the Tri-State area. See www.romemonuments.com/how_to_choose_a_funeral_home_in_pittsburgh.
 
Question: What is proper Catholic funeral etiquette?
Answer: There are three Catholic funeral events: the visitation or wake, the funeral or memorial service, and the burial, in that order. Proper etiquette calls for all relatives, friends and acquaintances to attend the wake, closer relatives and friends to attend the service and burial (if held immediately after the service), and only the closest relatives and friends to attend the burial if it does not immediately follow the service. To learn more, go to http://thefuneralsource.org/trad07.html. You can find a good list of the people you need to notify of the death at www.romemonuments.com/what_to_do_when_a_relative_or_loved_one_dies.
 
Question: Where can I learn about Catholic prayer and worship for bereavement and funerals?
Answer: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provides excellent information on Catholic funeral rites, Catholic funeral readings, Catholic funeral music and more at www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/bereavement-and-funerals/index.cfm.  
 
Question: What is the cost of a Catholic funeral? 
Answer: The median cost of an adult funeral today, with viewing and burial, is about $9000. You can see a breakdown of costs for different funeral items and services at www.romemonuments.com/funeral_products_services_and_prices. Or go to The Funeral Site website for a detailed cost analysis at www.thefuneralsite.com/ResourceCenters/Costs/How_much.html
 
Question: Where can I search Catholic burial records?
Answer: The Catholic Cemetery Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh has a section on their website entitled “Search Burial Records”. It includes the following information: Date of Birth, Date of Death, Cemetery, Section, Lot, Space, and, in addition, gives you the opportunity to send flowers or leave a message of condolences. Go to http://www.ccapgh.org/search-burial-records.asp. “Pittsburgh Cemetery Records” in the “Cemetery Info” section of the Rome Monument website has excellent links to Online Cemetery Records, Burial Records and Interment Records for cemeteries in and around Pittsburgh. You’ll find it at http://www.romemonuments.com/pittsburgh_cemetery_records.
 
Question: How do I preplan a Catholic Burial?
Answer: There are many steps to take when arranging for the burial of loved one in advance: selecting a cemetery; purchasing a burial plot; designing a cemetery monument; and more. Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Homes offers a helpful free brochure on the subject entitled “The Funeral and Cemetery Preplanning Guide”. To request one, go to http://www.dopccfh.org/planning/preplan-catholic-funeral-burial/. Rome Monument has excellent information on preplanning a Catholic Funeral at http://www.romemonuments.com/catholic_funeral_planning. It is on the “Planning a Catholic Funeral” page of the “Funeral Planning” section of this website.   
 
Question: Where can I find information on Catholic burial rules, rites and prayers?
Answer: The Catholic Funeral Rite is divided into the Vigil Service, Liturgy, and Rite of Committal. For more on Catholic burial rules and rites, go to http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/bereavement-and-funerals/overview-of-catholic-funeral-rites.cfm. Another good resource is a booklet entitled “Guidelines for Funerals and Burials in the Catholic Church” which you can find at https://rcav.org/uploadedFiles/About_Us/Guidelines_for_Funerals_and_Burials_in_the_Catholic_Church_May_2_2012.pdf.  On the “How to Plan a Funeral” page of the “Funeral Planning” section of this website, you can find extensive information about funeral rites, rules and more. Go to www.romemonuments.com/how_to_plan_a_funeral_in_pittsburgh.  
 
Question: Is there a good resource for Catholic headstone inscriptions and Catholic headstone quotes?
Answer: Tombstone epitaphs, quotes, sayings, verses, and phrases are a meaningful way to show respect for the deceased. If you need some ideas, Rome Monument has an extensive list for inscriptions on cemetery monuments at www.romemonuments.com/example_epitaph_inscriptions. You can also visit our Design Gallery for ideas. For Tombstone epitaphs including Bible verses you can also find fitting quotes at the following sites: http://www.everlifememorials.com/v/headstones/epitaphs-inscriptions.htm; http://www.ehow.co.uk/info_7924817_ideas-catholic-headstone-inscriptions.html; https://www.troost.com/epitaphs-from-the-bible.
 
Question: What is the policy concerning a Catholic Funeral Liturgy Outside Mass?
Answer: The Funeral Liturgy Outside Mass is celebrated when a Mass is not possible or not deemed appropriate. It may be held in the parish church, a funeral home, the home of the deceased or the cemetery chapel. To learn about the policies concerning such a Mass, go to http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Offices-And-Services/Office-Detail.aspx?id=12576&pid=464. Rome Monument has been helping families with their questions about Catholic funerals for over 80 years. If you have a question, call 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance
 
Question: Can Catholic funerals be held on Sunday?
Answer: According to Our Sunday Visitor website, Sunday funerals are permitted, but an important consideration when scheduling a Catholic funeral on that day is the busy schedule of the parish or parish facility and the higher cemetery fees you will incur. For more on Sunday funerals, go to https://www.osv.com/Article/TabId/493/ArtMID/13569/ArticleID/16463/Sunday-Funerals.aspx.  If you have questions about Catholic funeral planning, call Rome Monument at 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance
 
Question: What is the difference between a Catholic Funeral Mass and a Catholic Memorial Mass?
Answer: A Catholic Funeral Mass is held with the body of the deceased present while a memorial Mass is held when the body is not present due to such circumstances as the body was never recovered or the family cannot travel to the place of burial. Different rules apply to each of these Masses. Read more at https://www.reference.com/world-view/catholic-memorial-mass-b38a10fc9ff484a1#.  Rome Monument can explain in full the difference between a Catholic Funeral Mass and Memorial Mass. Simply call 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance
 
Question: Is it possible to have a Catholic funeral service without a Mass?
Answer: Although not preferred, a funeral without a Mass is permissible; for instance, on holy days when a funeral Mass is not permitted by the Church, when circumstances prevent the service occurring prior to the burial, and when the priest and family decide an outside Mass is more appropriate. Read more: http://www.saintjohnchelmsford.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Catholic-Funeral-Rites-Common-Questions.pdf.  Rome Monument can offer helpful advice when planning a Catholic funeral. Call 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance
 
Question: Can there be a Catholic funeral without the body of the deceased?
Answer: A Catholic Funeral can still be held when circumstances make it difficult, impractical or impossible to have the body of the deceased present. In this instance, a Memorial Mass is held in place of a Funeral Mass. To read more about a Memorial Mass, go to  http://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/difference-between-mass-christian-burial-memorial-mass-8763.html.  Rome Monument can help answer your questions concerning the rules and regulations for Catholic funerals. Simply call 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance
 
Question: What is a Catholic funeral?
Answer: A Catholic funeral is carried out consistent with the rites of the Catholic Church. To learn more, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_funeral. Rome Monument can offer helpful advice when planning a Catholic funeral. Call 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance
 
Question: Where can I find a Catholic funeral service outline?
Answer: An order-of-service outline is a valuable resource when planning your Catholic funeral. Such an outline includes information on Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Words of Remembrance and Concluding Rites. Here’s a great article to help you out: https://www.caring.com/articles/catholic-funeral-order-of-service-template. To find out more about Catholic funeral planning, call Rome Monument at 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance
 
Question: What happens when Catholic funeral is held at a crematorium?
Answer: Catholic funerals can be held at crematoriums, in which case the casket, if there is one, is usually placed behind a curtain during the Committal. Though not forbidden, cremation is not encouraged by the Church. If performed, however, the Church prefers that the ashes be buried directly in the earth, not in a casket.  For advice on what to do following the death of a loved one, go to https://www.lastingpost.com/roman-catholic-funeral-etiquette/. To find out more about Catholic funeral planning, call Rome Monument at 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance
 
Question: Where can I find a template for a Catholic Mass?
Answer: The Mass is the longest part of a Catholic funeral service and requires the most planning. LiturgyTools.net has a template in which you simply fill in the blanks to create your own customized service. To download a word document, go to http://www.liturgytools.net/2015/02/catholic-requiem-mass-booklet-template.html. If you have questions about Catholic funeral planning, call Rome Monument at 724-770-0100 or request help by filling out the form on the “Request Funeral Planning Assistance” page under “Funeral Planning” at http://www.romemonuments.com/request_funeral_planning_assistance.
 
Assistance with Your Catholic Funeral Plan or a Catholic Cemetery Memorial or Monument
 
If you have further questions about Catholic funerals or Catholic cemetery markers, headstones, and monuments, call us at 724-7700-0100 to talk with one of our consultants or to schedule a free appointment. You can also request our Pre-Arranged Cemetery Monument Plan brochurerequest a price estimate or list, or contact a designer. With just a click you can share images from our Catholic Monument Design Gallery with family, or place an order online or by phone. We also offer many other cemetery monument services in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and the Tri-State area including Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. These services include free delivery and installation, memorial maintenance and on-site engraving. So make the call now to 724-770-0100. The consultation is free and we will be happy to answer all your questions. If you have other inquiries, email us at info@romemonuments.com.