Within the Catholic faith, it is believed that after death the person passes on to either hell, heaven or purgatory until the return of Jesus Christ where their bodies will be resurrected.
If it is known that a person is approaching death, the Catholic priest should be called to perform the last rites, although this can be performed following the death too although the sacraments can only be offered to the living.
In most cases, the Catholic church believe that a burial over cremation is preferred as having the body of the deceased present brings to mind their life and death of the person including the story of their faith, the loving family bonds, the friendships and acts of kindness of the deceased. Ground burial or entombment in a Mausoleum is normally offered.
After the deceased has been transferred to the funeral directors, there will be a vigil held by friends and family and led by a priest or nun in the prayers and rosary. This is a time where comfort is given to the family and depending on their wishes will last either one or two days.
At the funeral the mourners are reminded of how their loved one baptised in Christ and nourished by the alter lives on and shares in the hope of resurrection. Eulogies are given following the mass and before the final blessing.
Following the funeral the burial will take place in a Catholic cemetery which is a reminder of their faith in the risen Christ. The priest or deacon will lead prayers and blessings for the deceased and the others buried in the cemetery. The committal marks the separation of life of the mourners from the deceased.
Catholic funerals can take place on any day of the week except special holy days such as Holy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter), Good Friday (the Friday before Easter), Holy Saturday (the Saturday before Easter), or Easter Sunday. Funeral Masses are also prohibited on the Sundays during Advent (the period starting on the fourth Sunday before December 25 through December 25), Lent (the 40-day period before Easter), and the Easter Season (the 50-day period after Easter). A Funeral Mass may be held on Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), though ashes would not be distributed in the church.