Church funeral service
The church funeral service ( exequien , also in the spelling exsequien , from the Latin exsequiae to exsequi "to lead out, bless") is the liturgical celebration of the farewell and burial of a Roman Catholic Christian. The church funeral is one of the sacramentals .
In the funeral ceremony, the belief in the resurrection of the dead and the continuing community (lat. Communio ) of living and deceased Christian believers is known and celebrated. Core elements of the celebration are: proclamation of the word of God , farewell to the deceased and intercession for him with God, the celebration of Holy Mass ( Requiem ) and the last greeting to the deceased.
While the exequies before the liturgical reform were clearly marked by the idea of mourning, the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium of the Second Vatican Council stipulated that “the rite of exequies [...] more clearly express the Easter meaning of Christian death and better the requirements and traditions of the individual areas should correspond. "
Early Christianity initially followed the customs of the Jewish and pagan environment when burying the dead. Instead of cremation, burial was practiced and defended based on the example of Jesus Christ . Excessive mourning for the dead was replaced by psalm song , reading and prayer. Care for the dying and the dead was seen as a duty of love for the relatives and the entire Christian community .
A coherent liturgy of death and burial is only from the 7th / 8th centuries. Passed down in the 17th century and was celebrated in monastic communities. It was a single continuous service that began with the giving of communion and ended with the burial and the closing of the grave. Elements of the ritual were the dying prayers , continuous chanting of psalms and responsories, from which the office of the dead developed, the requiem and the procession to the burial place with the burial.
Up to the 17th century ( Rituale Romanum from 1614), this connected service was divided into several celebrations. The liturgy of death and burial were separated from each other, the preparation of the corpse and the bridging of the time up to the burial were no longer embedded in a common worship service, but a matter of private care and organization. The funeral service now consisted of picking up the corpse in immediate succession from the house where they died, with a procession to the church, mass and absolution , a procession to the cemetery and burial. With the development of the doctrine of purgatory , the paschal character of the liturgy had changed to a stronger emphasis on atonement in the face of the particular judgment, and the use of black robes became common. At the end of the requiem, a penitential rite with absolution was performed on the coffin; if the coffin was not in the church, this was done on a false coffin, the tumba . This liturgy remained in force until the reform by the Second Vatican Council.
Forms of funeral service
The funeral can, depending on the local circumstances, be celebrated as a celebration with three stations (basic form), two stations or one station. There are three stages if a holy mass or a celebration of the Word of God takes place in the church immediately after the burial . Wherever possible, the body should be brought to church and Holy Mass celebrated in the presence of the latter. The burning Easter candle as a symbol of the risen Christ should always be in a prominent place at Holy Mass, if necessary by the coffin. The tumba as a "false coffin" in the church has been abolished since the Second Vatican Council. At church burials, "neither in the rite nor in the external expenditure should a respect for person or rank count".
The church funeral service is generally presided over by a priest or deacon , but if commissioned by the responsible bishop, it can also be presided over by a divine service representative . The liturgical color is black and since the liturgical reform it can also be replaced by purple. The chasuble or dalmatic is only worn for the requiem, during the liturgical service and the procession to the grave, the clergyman wears the smoke cloak over the alb with stole or over gown , choir skirt and stole. Divine service representatives wear local clothing that is different from that of spiritual officials. If possible and customary, relatives, neighbors and friends should take over liturgical services at the funeral.
The burial of a child has the same structure, but always different texts for the readings and prayers.
Funeral with three stations
- The celebration begins at the starting point (mourning house, cemetery or church portal, mourning hall) with an opening part, psalm prayer, Kyrian cry and oration , followed by a procession to the church.
- In the church, Holy Mass or the celebration of the Word of God follows with the usual sequence, but without an introduction and act of penance, beginning with the readings. If the funeral follows immediately, there is no discharge.
- The third station is the burial at the grave.
The order of the stations can also change: Holy Mass or the celebration of the Word of God can take place as the first station or after the burial as the third station. The order church - mourning hall (cemetery chapel) with farewell - burial at the grave is also possible.
The three stations are connected by a common path ( procession ). They express that the deceased will be accompanied by the church on his last earthly journey . This can take place in silence, psalms or the rosary can also be prayed or antiphons or songs can be sung. In some places instrumental music can also be heard. Since the 8th century the antiphon In paradisum has been known as an element of the liturgy of death, since the 17th century it has been known as a chant at the funeral: "May angels lead you to paradise."
In many places the death knell is rung during the funeral and the funeral ends with a greeting to the Blessed Mother . At the end of the funeral of clerics and consecrated people , the Marian antiphon Salve Regina is sung.
Funeral with fewer stations
If there is no service in the church - for example because the distance to the cemetery is too great - the first station is a service of words at the coffin in the cemetery chapel or mourning hall. A procession leads to the grave, where the second part is the burial. At a funeral with a ward, the mourners gather at the grave, in the cemetery or in the crematorium. The service consists of an opening, the proclamation of the word of God, intercessory prayer and the farewell. This form is also used if there is no burial, but a coffin or urn is buried later or at another location.
In both cases, in many places the deceased is commemorated in a holy mass at a time interval between the farewell and burial, for example on the evening of the day of the burial or on the following day or even immediately before the burial, but without a procession.
The burial of the coffin in the cemetery has the following sequence:
- Blessing of the grave with holy water and oration
- Introduction, usually with a written word
- Announcement of the sinking of the coffin into the grave with the words: “We surrender the body to the earth. Christ, who rose from the dead, will also raise our brother [our sister] NN to life. "
- Lowering the coffin into the grave - accompanying word: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will not die forever. "
- Sprinkling the coffin with holy water, Inzens the coffin, each with accompanying words
- The head of the funeral throws earth on the coffin - accompanying word: “You have been taken from the earth and you are returning to earth. But the Lord will raise you up. "
- Cross rite: The leader sticks the cross into the earth with an accompanying word or makes the sign of the cross over the grave.
- if necessary, commemorative words according to local custom
- Creed , song or canticle
- Intercession for
- the deceased and all deceased
- the mourners
- the living, especially for the one who will die next from among the mourners.
- Our father
- Closing torment and closing petition alternating with the congregation: “Lord, give him / her and all the dead eternal rest, and the eternal light shine on them. Let them rest in peace. Amen."
- possibly Ave Maria or a Marian song.
Accompanying church services
In some places it is customary to arrange the “farewell” (regionally also called “blessing”) in the dying house as a short prayer service before the corpse is transferred for laying out. It is also regionally customary to announce death by ringing the bell. The wake and the office of the dead are now only maintained in some areas and in consecrated life . A candle can burn next to the coffin and a vessel with holy water can be placed ready so that worshipers can sprinkle the corpse with it. In rural regions, the death of the rosary is also common, a communal praying of the rosary on one or more evenings before the day of the burial. As a rule, the deceased will be commemorated in the church services and prayers of the hours until the funeral and on the Sunday after the funeral . Around 40 days after the funeral, the six-week office is celebrated in some places .
- Information on prayers and church services for dying companions under communion and church prayers for the dying
- Musical exequies
Authentic liturgical editions
- Ordo Exsequiarum. Editio typica (1969).
- Ordo Exsequiarum Romani Pontificis. Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2005, ISBN 88-209-6942-4 .
- Roman rituals . Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2004, ISBN 88-209-7436-3 .
- The church funeral in the dioceses of the German-speaking area. Second authentic edition based on the Editio typica 1969. Herder, Freiburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-451-32205-1 . In fact replaced by:
- The church funeral service. Manuals , published on behalf of the German Bishops' Conference , the Austrian Bishops' Conference and the Swiss Bishops' Conference as well as the Bishop of Bozen-Brixen and the Bishop of Liège , German Liturgical Institute, Trier 2012, ISBN 978-3-937796-12-3 .
- Ferdinand Probst : The exequies. Laupp, Tübingen 1856, online .
- Reiner Kaczynski : Death and funeral liturgy. In: Bruno Kleinheyer , Emmanuel von Severus , Reiner Kaczynski: Sacramentous Celebrations II. Pustet, Regensburg 1984, ISBN 3-7917-0940-2 (Church Service, Handbook of Liturgical Studies, Part 8), pp. 193-232.
- Heinzgerd Brakmann: Farewell! - Be commanded by God! On the meaning and shape of the funeral service. In: Wheat Grain. S 1, 1985, , pp. 68-71.
- Klemens Richter (ed.), Monika Ausel (co-author): Dealing with the dead. Death and burial in the Christian community. Herder Verlag, Freiburg-Basel-Vienna 1990, ISBN 3-451-02123-4 ( Quaestiones disputatae, 123).
- Reiner Kaczynski: funeral . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 2 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1994, Sp. 146 ff .
- Cécile Trefford: L'Église carolingienne et la mort. Christianisme, rites funéraires et pratiques commémoratives. Presses universitaires de Lyon - Center interuniversitaire d'histoire et d'archéologie médiévales, Lyon 1996 ( Collection d'histoire et d'archéologie médiévales, 3, ).
- Bonnie Effros: Caring for Body and Soul. Burial and Afterlife in the Merovingian World. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park PA 2002, ISBN 0-271-02196-9 .
- Antigone Samellas: Death in the Eastern Mediterranean (50-600 AD). The Christianization of the East: an Interpretation. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2002, ISBN 3-16-147668-9 ( studies and texts on antiquity and Christianity, 12).
- Ulrich Volp : Death and ritual in the Christian communities of antiquity. Brill, Leiden et al. 2002, ISBN 90-04-12671-6 ( Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements 65; also: Bonn, Univ., Diss., 2000/2001).
- Éric Rebillard: Religion et sépulture. L'Église, les vivants et les morts dans l'Antiquité tardive. Éditions de l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris 2003, ISBN 2-7132-1792-X ( Civilizations et Sociétés, 115).
- Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference (Ed.): Bury the dead and comfort the mourning. The changing burial culture from a Catholic perspective. Bonn 2005, ( The German Bishops, 81).
- Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference (Ed.): The church funeral ceremony. Pastoral introduction. Secretariat of the German Bishops 'Conference, Bonn 2009 ( German Bishops' Conference. Working Aids, 232).
- Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference (Ed.): “The Lord complete in you what he began in baptism.” Catholic burial culture in the face of new challenges. Bonn 2011, ( The German Bishops, 97).
- Winfried Haunerland: A supplement for pastoral work. To the manual “The Church Funeral Service” . In: Gottesdienst 46 (2012) 137–140.
- Herbert Thurston: Christian Burial . In: Catholic Encyclopedia , Volume 3, Robert Appleton Company, New York 1908.
- Elisabeth Th. Hilscher-Fritz: Exequien. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 1, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-7001-3043-0 .
- Catechism of the Catholic Church , No. 1684–1690: The Celebration of Burial.
- Sacrosanctum Concilium, Chapter III, No. 81.
- Reiner Kaczynski: Death and burial liturgy. In: Bruno Kleinheyer , Emmanuel von Severus , Reiner Kaczynski: Sacramentous Celebrations II. Pustet, Regensburg 1984, ISBN 3-7917-0940-2 (Church Service, Handbook of Liturgical Science, Part 8), pp. 193-232, here p 206ff.
- Reiner Kaczynski: Death and burial liturgy. In: Bruno Kleinheyer , Emmanuel von Severus , Reiner Kaczynski: Sacramentous Celebrations II. Pustet, Regensburg 1984, ISBN 3-7917-0940-2 (Church Service, Handbook of Liturgical Science, Part 8), pp. 193-232, here p 209, with reference to: Hieronymus Frank: The oldest surviving Roman Ordo defunctorum. In: Archives for Liturgical Science VII, 1962, pp. 360–415.
- Reiner Kaczynski: Death and burial liturgy. In: Bruno Kleinheyer , Emmanuel von Severus , Reiner Kaczynski: Sacramentous Celebrations II. Pustet, Regensburg 1984, ISBN 3-7917-0940-2 (Church Service, Handbook of Liturgical Science, Part 8), pp. 193-232, here p 213-218.
- Second Vatican Council: Sacrosanctum Concilium No. 32.
- The church funeral. Manuals. Trier 2012, p. 21.
- The church funeral service in the Catholic dioceses of the German-speaking area. Benno Verlag, licensed edition, 2nd edition, Leipzig 1988, p. 15.
- The church funeral service in the Catholic dioceses of the German-speaking area. Benno Verlag, licensed edition, 2nd edition, Leipzig 1988, pp. 14-18.
- Hans Joachim Ignatzi: In paradisum . In: Walter Kasper (Ed.): Lexicon for Theology and Church . 3. Edition. tape 5 . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1996, Sp. 442 f .
- The church funeral. Manuals. Trier 2012, pp. 55-61.
- Prayer in the mourning house, in: The church funeral ceremony in the Catholic dioceses of the German-speaking area. Benno Verlag, licensed edition, 2nd edition, Leipzig 1988, p. 24.
- The celebration of the sacraments of the sick. The anointing of the sick and the order of the pastoral care of the sick in the Catholic dioceses of the German-speaking area. Second edition. Benziger u. a., Solothurn - Düsseldorf u. a. 1994, ISBN 3-545-50631-2 , p. 140.
- The church funeral service in the Catholic dioceses of the German-speaking area. Benno Verlag, licensed edition, 2nd edition, Leipzig 1988, pp. 12-19.