The Funeral Mass is the principal celebration of the Christian Funeral. Catholic funerals rites are not a celebration of life, as is often thought, but rather an expression of Christian hope in eternal life. The family will be involved in planning the funeral rites from the choice of texts provided in the ritual.
This is in accord with Church teaching which emphasizes the importance of the presence of the community at Catholic funerals:
“The community’s principal involvement in the ministry of consolation is expressed in its active participation in the celebration of the funeral rites, particularly the vigil for the deceased, the funeral liturgy, and the rite of committal. For this reason these rites should be scheduled at times that permit as many of the community as possible to be present.” [Order of Christian Funerals [OCF, 11].