This is the principal rite celebrated by the community following the death of the person and before the Funeral Mass. The Vigil for the Deceased normally occurs at the Funeral Home. At the request of the family, Holy Family Catholic Church will provide a priest or deacon to preside at the Vigil for the deceased. This is the principal prayer that is celebrated usually the night before the Funeral Mass.
The Vigil takes the form of a liturgy of the word and consists of:
- Introductory rites
- Liturgy of the Word
- Prayer of intercession
- Concluding rite
The Vigil is also the appropriate time for any eulogies to take place rather than at the Funeral Mass. Eulogies are not permitted at a Funeral Mass.
The celebration of the Vigil Service for the deceased is optional. However, a wake service with the celebration of the Vigil for the Deceased, provides a valuable service to the family of the one who has died. It allows the family to gather in the presence of the body [or cremains] for the first time before the Funeral Mass. It provides time for relatives and friends to gather together to express their grief, tell their stories, and console one another.