Aside from the readings and music, there are prayers at the funeral rites to which we give voice. The next two sections treat those of the priest/presider (28) and those of the faithful (29):
28. In the presidential prayers of the funeral rites the presiding minister addresses God on behalf of the deceased and the mourners in the name of the entire Church. From the variety of prayers provided the minister in consultation with the family should carefully select texts that truly capture the unspoken prayers and hopes of the assembly and also respond to the needs of the mourners.
29. Having heard the word of God proclaimed and preached, the assembly responds at the vigil and at the funeral liturgy with prayers of intercession for the deceased and all the dead, for the family and all who mourn, and for all in the assembly. The holy people of God, confident in their belief in the communion of saints, exercise their royal priesthood by joining together in this prayer for all who have died.
Several models of intercessions are provided within the rites for adaptation to the circumstances.
In all these prayers mentioned above, Christians undertake a priestly role. That is: the direct petitioning of God on behalf of others–the dead as well as those who mourn.
The minister is directed to select appropriate texts, noting that clause directing that the family be consulted.
The prayers of the faithful are defined as a “response” to the preached Word. It’s well within the confines of liturgy to use the Scriptures as a basis for style and text.
The intercessions given in the text of the OCF are defined as “models.” When we examine them, we’ll see some differences between the usual Sunday fare. Please note also that these intercessions are not intended to focus exclusively on the person being mourned, but on all people who have died.