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Mary Short wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What is the difference between a Memorial Mass and a Funeral Mass?
  • Do they both have the same liturgy?

Thank you,


  { What is the difference between a Memorial Mass and a Funeral Mass? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Mary —

Thanks for the question.

A Funeral Mass is the first Mass celebrated after the faithful departed has immediately passed away where as a Memorial Mass is a Mass that is celebrated on the anniversary date of the loved one's passing from this earthly life.

They probably use the same liturgy but the readings may differ.


John replied:

Mary —

A Funeral Mass requires a body be present, if I am correct. The body (in the casket) is greeted by the priest who covers the casket with a white cloth just like a baptismal garment. The casket with the body is blessed and incensed during the Mass as well.

A Memorial Mass is simply a Mass that is offered for a person who has passed away. It can be on an anniversary but it doesn't have to be.

As for the readings, at a Funeral Mass, the family usually gets to pick the readings. At a Memorial Mass, they are usually the readings for the day.


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