“ In the absence of a priest or deacon, a lay-led Catholic funeral service should be offered to the bereaved,” reads the short announcement. “The service can take place in a church, or chapel, at a crematorium, in a cemetery, or other place if necessary.”
“The civil authorities may limit the length of time given to a service, especially at a crematorium,” cautions the diocese. “They may also limit the number of those attending. The service can be cut-down in length as circumstances dictate, but should not feel rushed.”
A designated lay parish leader or other competent person in the parish leadership team is cited as the first preference for a funeral celebrant. If no such leader is available, then a practicing Catholic family member or any family member or friend (or funeral director) is permissible, but the diocese warns that a person who has no Christian beliefs should not be asked to lead the funeral.”
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