What do we do when someone dies?
When someone dies, day or night, their family is encouraged to contact the Priest/Parish Office if he is available. The Priest may recite prayers for the dead, comfort the family and address any practical matters that arise.
Since Sacraments are for the living members of the Church, the Priest cannot anoint or baptise someone who has died.
Even if the family first meets with the funeral director, it is best not to make detailed funeral arrangements until after the Priest is contacted. This includes the day, place and time of the funeral, the kind of liturgy (Funeral Mass or Funeral Service), and the form of committal (burial or cremation). The Priest or his delegate needs to be involved in these decisions.
It is wise to allow at least three days before the funeral. This allows time for family members to grieve, for travel arrangements to be made, and for suitable preparations to be made.
Any member of the Catholic Church may have a Catholic funeral. In certain circumstances baptised Christians who are not Catholic may, if they wish, also have a Catholic funeral, such as when they belong to a largely Catholic family.