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5.13.15 Funeral Arrangements for Priests

When a priest dies, the pastor or one of the priests at the deceased priest's parish or at the parish where the funeral is to be held should do the following:

  • Notify the archbishop, the appropriate regional bishop, and the Office of the Vicar for Clergy, if they have not already been informed of the death.

  • If it is intended that the archbishop, a regional bishop, or an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese is to attend or preside at the funeral, those arrangements should be made before the date and time of the funeral services are set (to accommodate priests with daily Mass and other morning obligations, it is recommended that morning funeral Masses be set at 11 a.m.).

  • Ascertain from the Office of the Vicar for Clergy and the priest's family whether there is a will, who is the executor of the will, and if it contains instructions regarding funeral arrangements.

  • Consult with the executor, the family of the deceased priest, and any other designated contact person about the funeral arrangements.

  • Determine who will be the homilist at the funeral Mass.

  • Notify the Office of the Vicar for Clergy of the funeral arrangements as soon as they are finalized so that a notice can be sent to the archdiocesan community.

For priests who are in good standing in the archdiocese, the archdiocese provides a place of interment in the priests' section of a Catholic cemetery and also assumes the cost of interment there. Catholic mortuary services are without cost, though merchandise expenses (e.g., a casket or flowers) of a priest's funeral are borne by his estate. The Office of the Vicar for Clergy is available for help at this time.


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