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Funeral Readings and Petitions

The Funeral Liturgy, whether it takes place during the Celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or a Celebration of the Liturgy of the Word, consists of four passages of Scripture. One passage comes from the Old Testament, one from the Psalms, one from the New Testament (excluding the Gospels), and one from the Gospels. The priest celebrant will pick the Gospel Passage.

If the funeral takes place during the Easter Season, the first reading may be taken from the New Testament reading options instead of the Old Testament. It is exceedingly recommended to have the Responsorial Psalm sung, and the ordinary music ministers of the Church will know how this is done. If, for exceptional reasons, it is determined that the Responsorial Psalm will be read, the family may pick up to four (4) lectors. The (1) First Reading, the (2) Responsorial Psalm (if not sung), and (3) Second Reading are available to be read by the laity (non-ordained). The Gospel is reserved to the Priest of Deacon, and therefore will only be read by them. The (4) petitions, or prayers of the faithful may be read by a member of the Laity, unless a deacon is present. None of these are mandatory, but available options for members of the family and friends to take part in the liturgy.

The order of the readings are not to be changed and go as follows:

  1. First Reading
  2. Responsorial Psalm
  3. Second Reading
  4. Gospel Reading

It is extremely recommended that the lectors be Catholic, and also be a lector in the church, as they will more likely have a familiarity with the flow of the liturgy. The lector can use the following pages to practice the readings in advanced of the ceremony. The lectors will NOT use the practice papers during the liturgy nor any electronic device. The readings and petitions will be in a binder for the liturgy. The lectors should understand that they only read the parts in the black that appear on the following pages. No other words should be added or any words be removed. The readings are to be read as provided. No introductory or dismissal words should be added or subtracted.

If you have any questions, please contact the priest or deacon at your earliest convenience.