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Meeting Christ in the Liturgy
Instruction of the Roman Missal

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Although the rite of final commendation at the catafalque or pall is excluded, it is permitted to celebrate the funeral service, including the commendations, in those cases where it is physically or morally impossible for the body of the deceased person to be present (November, 1970).

For other adaptations in the funeral Mass and service, see the «Rite of Funerals» (1971); «Newsletter» of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, April - May, 1971. The following refer directly to the Eucharistic celebration:

It is appropriate that the paschal candle be carried in the entrance procession.

If the introductory rites have taken place at the church door, the priest venerates the altar and goes to his chair. The penitential rite is omitted, and the priest says or sings the opening prayer.

It is desirable that the first and second readings be read by relatives or friends of the deceased person.

The homily may properly include an expression of praise and gratitude to God for his gifts, particularly the gift of a Christian life, to the deceased person. The homily should relate Christian death to the paschal mystery of the Lord's victorious death and resurrection and to the hope of eternal life.

It is desirable that members of the family or friends of the deceased person participate in the usual offering of the bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist, together with other gifts for the needs of the Church and of the poor.

If incense is used, the priest, after incensing the gifts and the altar, may incense the body. The deacon or another minister


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