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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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FUNERAL RITES

The liturgical functions that the Church performs at the burial of members of the Catholic Church. The Constitution on the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council directed that the funeral services be revised to express more clearly the paschal character of Christian death, and that the rite for the burial of infants be given a special Mass. Both provisions were implemented in the new rite promulgated by Pope Paul VI, to take effect on June 1, 1970. The new emphasis is on the Christian hope in eternal life and in the final resur-rection from the dead.