Radio Show

Is It Okay to Have a Funeral Mass for Someone Who Didn’t Request One?


A caller named Mary Lou asks if it is okay to have a funeral Mass for someone if they didn’t request one before their passing. She explains that her cousin recently passed away, and expressed before her death that she did not want to make her funeral a big ordeal. Mary Lou’s family held a funeral Mass for her, but Mary Lou wonders if this was going against her wishes.

Father Dave explains, “Here’s the thing, the Mass is for us. Certainly we are praying for that person … but if somebody on earth who is still alive says ‘I’m having a really tough week but don’t pray for me,’ would you say ‘okay I won’t,’ or would you pray for them? Of course you would pray for them! Aside from that one function of a funeral Mass which is praying for that person’s soul, largely the gathering of the people of God around the Lord’s table is about us, the gathered community. So what you’re asking is a no-brainer, but obviously it gets a little more dicey if someone put it in writing not to have a funeral Mass. But even then, I would still say it is okay to do so … It’s a celebration for the community.” Original Air 7-25-19