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Catholic Rites for the Veneration of the Dead

Note: The following rites are suggested for Funeral Masses where the family is open or
prefers the incorporation of traditional Chinese rites in the Eucharistic Celebration.

Processional

If desired, before proceeding to the altar, the Presider


(and concelebrating priests) may go to the Portrait and
light incense sticks. For the dead, either two or four
sticks are lighted. One bow is adequate.

Prayers of the Faithful

If there is a Novena Prayer, this is best recited in lieu of


the Prayers of the Faithful if the Chinese rites will be
used.

Veneration Rites (after the Prayer After Communion)

Priest or Commentator: We now invite the family (spouse, children, grandchildren) to


pay their respects to (name of deceased) .

(An assistant lights the correct number of incense sticks: two sticks per person--or if too
many, one per person.)

Let’s all please rise and follow with silent and prayerful attention as the family members
take their places before the portrait. The family will be led by the (spouse, eldest child,
etc.) of (name of deceased).

The family will now offer incense to honor the memory of _______.

(The family members stay in their places and offer a silent prayer with their incense
sticks, bowing only once.)

Let the rising trails of fragrant smoke from the incense sticks represent our prayers and
the love and affection of the family for him/her.

(The assistant collects the incense sticks and puts them in the burner).
(The following offerings are optional)

P or C: (Name of person), the (relationship to the deceased), will now offer flowers.

(The assistant takes the flowers from the altar, hands them to the offerer, who makes
one bow while holding the flowers. These are then returned to the altar by the
assistant. The same movement is followed for the fruits and the wine.)

P or C: (Name of person), the (relationship to the deceased), will now offer fruits.

P or C: (Name of person), the (relationship to the deceased), will now offer wine.

(Note: If only one person will make the offering, it is customary that the eldest son does
this.)

Prayers and Ritual Bows

P or C: Through our Lord Jesus Christ, our brother/sister (name of the deceased) now
joins the communion of saints and all the departed who pray for us as we pray for them.
Let us now ask our heavenly Father to bless them in Paradise. Let us pray Our Father
in heaven….

P or C: Death may feel like a separation, but in truth, as long as we have love in our
hearts, we remain united to those who have passed on to the next life and who are now
united totally to God. Let us ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, the Virgin
Mary, that our love for our brother/sister (name of the deceased) may remain strong so
that we will continue to be united with him/her. Hail Mary full of grace…

P or C: Finally, let us pray one Glory Be for all our dearly departed, that they may join
the saints in the heavenly kingdom, and forever sing the praises of the Holy Trinity.
Glory be to the Father…

P or C: In the tradition of our ancestors, we now offer three profound bows as a sign of
respect and gratitude for (name of deceased). At the sound of the gong, please make a
deep and reverential bow.

(To cue the bowing, the gong is sounded three times, with a brief pause in between.
After the third bow, the family members return to their places.)

P or C: The rite is completed. We shall now have the final blessing.