Funeral Liturgies

photo of Fr Daniel P McCarthy OSBCelebrating funeral liturgies well in pastoral care has lead to my sustained  academic interest. I have published a number of articles on funeral liturgies. Here is an exerpt from an article forthcoming in Pastoral Liturgy:

“This article tells the story of how three parishes developed their celebration of the vigils of funerals. This led to their discovery that welcoming the body of a deceased Christian into church complements the way a person is initiated into the Christian life at the Easter vigil. A parish community may wish to consider how a well developed process of Christian initiation could be better reflected in the way they welcome the body of the deceased for the funeral liturgy”.


niche with a bier to hold a casket, Visitation Parish, Kansas City, MOConsultancy

I am available to provide consultation to a parish or religious community wishing to reconsider how it celebrates funeral liturgies.


Publications & presentations

“Being Born Yet Again”, Pastoral Liturgy 44:6 (November-December 2013) 9-12. This article describes how we developed the parish celebration of Evening Prayer for the Dead and our discovery that it recapitulates in the funeral rites the rites of initiation at the Easter Vigil.

“Born Again”, A Grateful Response page of Kansas Monks (Fall 2010) 8-9.

Presenter, “Evening Prayer for the Dead with Reception of the Body According to the Parish Tradition” presented at The Liturgy of the Hours, a Four-Church Workshop (Lincoln School of Theology – Appreciating the liturgy diocesan workshop 4), The Cathedral Centre, Lincoln, England, 25 September 2010.

Baptismal font and funeral niche at Visitation Parish, Kansas City, MO

Baptismal font, candle and a niche with a bier to set the casket on at Visitation Parish, Kansas City, MO

No need for the Astroturf“, Parish Practice page of The Tablet (11 June 2005) 22.

Rediscovering Evening Prayer“, Parish Practice page of The Tablet (5 June 2004) 16; re-edited and re-published as “In Worship Clear Thought Should Move One’s Devotion”, Kansas Monks 6:23 (October 2004) 4-5.

“Easter Vigil: Funeral Vigil: Holding the wake service in church makes vital connections”, Celebration 30:2 (2001) 81, 88.

Presenter, “Funeral Vigil, Paschal Vigil: Ritual Resonance in the Life Cycle of Faith”, a short communication at the biennial congress of Societas Liturgica, Santa Clara, CA 13 – 18 August 2001.

“Resurrection, Baptism Linked”, Kansas Monks 5:35 (2000) 6.

“Evening Prayer for the Dead: Parishes Can Reclaim Key Faith Moments from Conventional Wake Services”, Celebration 27:1 (November 1998) 486.

Evening Prayer for the Dead With Reception of the Body, Leaders edition and Participants’ edition, Celebration, Kansas City, MO 1998.