It is preferable that the family call the parish office and speak to the parish priest before going to the funeral home to make arrangements. This allows the family to go to the funeral home with different options for the funeral mass to take place. As well, once the family has met with the funeral home and a time and date has been set in agreement with the parish priest for the funeral mass, the family should also plan to meet with the parish priest to prepare the funeral mass before it takes place.
The Catholic Church prefers that the funeral mass take place with the body of the deceased loved one present. After the mass, the body can then be taken to be cremated. While this incurs the added expense of renting a coffin and paying for the hearse to bring the remains of the loved to the church and take them to the place of cremation, families are encouraged to do what is possible to choose to have the mass with the body present. If this is not possible, please speak to the parish priest about other options.
Funeral wakes (which include the recitation of the holy rosary for the deceased loved one) take place the evening (or day) before the funeral mass. The wakes are usually led by the parish deacons. The parish priest will discuss all these details with the family when they meet with him.
BURIAL OF CREMATED REMAINS
Once the remains of the loved one have been cremated, the Church requires interment or entombment of the remains in a columbarium, burial plot in a cemetery, or mausoleum.
Options like scattering the ashes from the air, on the ground, floating them on the sea, or keeping the cremation ashes at home or wearing amulets with cremation ashes are not considered respectful.