OCF 432-438: Additional Texts

You might think that there were a lot of additional texts for these sections. But they cover about a page and a half. First an instruction for the Funeral Liturgy:

432. When the Funeral Liturgy is celebrated in the presence of the cremated remains, the priest, with assisting ministers, goes to the door of the church and using one of the greetings in (OCF) 159, or in similar words, greets those present.

Holy water, yes. Pall, no. Easter candle, maybe:

433. The priest them sprinkles the cremated remains with holy water, saying:

As our brother/sister N. has died with the Lord,
may he/she live with him in glory.

434. The covering of the cremated remains with a pall is omitted.

435. The Easter Candle may be placed beforehand near the position the cremated remains wioll occupy at the conclusion of the procession. The priest and assisting ministers precede the bearer of the cremated remains and the mourners into the church. During the procession a psalm, song, or responsory is sung (see OCF 403).

436. On reaching the altar, the priest, with the assisting ministers, makes the customary reverence, kisses the altar, and (if incense is used) incenses it. Then he goes to the chair. When all have reached their places, the priest invites the assembly to pray (see OCF 164).

So, we do not have the placement of Christian symbols near the cremated remains.

OCF 437 gives an alternate form of dismissal, when committal will be delayed, or if the body will be cremated after the funeral but before interment.

OCF 438 gives a text for the committal of cremated remains:

In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
we commend to Almighty God our brother/sister N.,
and we commit his/her earthly remains to the ground
[or the deep, or their resting place]:
[earth to earth,] ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
The Lord bless him/her and keep him/her,
the Lord make his face to shine upon him/her and be gracious to him/her,
the Lord lift up his countenance upon him/her and give him/her peace.

This concludes the OCF. Almost. The Bishops’ Committee on Liturgy provided an additional text to go with the Cremation material, Reflections on the Body, Cremation, and Catholic Funeral Rites. This is worthwhile reading, and I debated with myself about including it in the survey. I’m feeling a bit of overload on the OCF right now, though. Perhbaps you are, too. I might return to it at a later date.

Like RCIA, the OCF provides many options for the clergy, musicians, and others planning the liturgy. I find that the texts are a significant improvement on the 1972 rendition of the funeral rites–something along the lines of what we may have seen in MR2, had it ever been implemented in English. I certainly hear very little negative about the 1989 OCF. It will be interesting to experience these solid and beautiful texts proclaimed next to the stilted MR3 at funeral Masses.

Any last comments on the modern Catholic funeral liturgies?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to OCF 432-438: Additional Texts

  1. Liam says:

    Thank you for a fine survey of what will likely be the most used ritual book in the coming couple of generations.

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