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Rite of Christian Burial

The Rites of the Church

All the baptized are entitled to the full Rite of Christian Burial.  You and your family will experience the Rite of Christian Burial in three distinct and important parts:

The Wake Service

This will take place during the visiting hours at the funeral home you have chosen.  A member of the Parish Staff will lead this service of prayer and Scripture.  At this time someone from the family, or a friend, may wish to remember the deceased by sharing personal memories, as in a eulogy.

The Funeral Liturgy

This is the most important part of the celebration of Christian Burial.  This is almost always celebrated within a Mass.  The bodily remains are honored by being brought to the Church.  We celebrate the life of the deceased in the whole context of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Committal

A parish priest or deacon will accompany the remains and the family to the cemetery, where the Rite of Christian Burial will conclude with the prayers of Committal and Final Commendation.  Should one wish to speak in memory of the deceased, as in a eulogy or a remembrance, the Funeral Rite allows for such to usually take place as part of the Prayer of Commendation that will be prayed at the cemetery.

The Time and Place of the Funeral Liturgy

A funeral may be celebrated on any day of the week except Sundays and Holy Days.  There are also some restrictions concerning funerals during Holy Week.  The priest will discuss these restrictions as they apply.

The funeral liturgy is ordinarily celebrated in the parish church.

Planning the Funeral Liturgy

The funeral liturgy is one of the most beautiful and meaningful celebrations of the Church.  Your family has the option of personalizing the Mass by choosing the Scripture readings and by requesting specific hymns.

When choosing scriptures, there should be one reading from the Old Testament, and one reading from the New Testament.  Although you can choose from the whole Bible, the texts contained within this document are especially appropriate.


The Music Ministry at St. James is under the direction of our parish organist, Mr. Philip Desrosiers and he is customarily to play at all Masses of Christian Burial.  Mr. Desrosiers is always to be accompanied by the parish soloist, Mrs. Denise Renaud.  Please contact the parish for fee information.  Mr. Desrosiers can be reached at 401-765-7650 for planning of music. Both Mr. Desrosiers and Mrs. Renaud are contracted to play all Funeral Masses at St. James.  Therefore, other musicians can only be used with the direct permission of the Pastor.

Please know that only sacred music is appropriate for a Mass of Christian Burial and only sacred music can be used at St. James. Pop music, Broadway show tunes, Rock songs or folk songs are not appropriate for the Mass of Christian Burial.

Please view suggested music selections for the Mass of Christian Burial.


Please note that the customary offering for use of St. James Church for a Mass of Christian Burial is $200.00.  This offering may only be waived directly by the Pastor.  Please inform the parish of any financial difficulty a bereaved family may have so that the parish may assist them in their desire to properly remember the deceased.


In recent years it has become customary for many families to offer a eulogy at a Mass of Christian Burial.  This varies from parish to parish and often is a source of confusion and frustration for many.  My policy is this: Eulogies are not encouraged, but allowed if certain rules are followed.  Such eulogies should be delivered at the burial site/chapel or at the collation/luncheon.  However, if a eulogy is to be delivered at the Mass of Christian Burial in St. James Church, families are reminded of the following guidelines:

  • Only one eulogy is to be delivered by one person
  • The eulogy is to be delivered after the Rite of Communion from the lectern and the eulogist will be invited forward by the celebrant of the Mass
  • The eulogy should not exceed five minutes
  • The eulogy should be prepared in advance and, if possible, type-written
  • A copy of the eulogy should be provided to the Pastor/Celebrant prior to the Mass
  • The eulogy should reflect the faithful departed’s Catholic faith and  his/her relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church not  focus upon  the hobbies, cooking, pastimes, sports teams, pets, alcohol consumption,  etc. of the deceased.


Since the Providence Journal has changed its policies and procedures regarding obituaries it has come to my attention that families can now prepare an obituary to their own liking.  If the deceased is to receive a Mass of Christian Burial at St. James, it should be listed in the obituary as “A Mass of Christian Burial.” The following are not only unacceptable and incorrect terms but must not appear in any obituary to include Saint James Church as the location:

  • “A Celebration of the Life”
  • “A Mass of Resurrection”
  • ”Funeral Service”


Funeral Liturgy Music

Suggested Music Selections (revised 12/29/2021)


St. James Church
33 Division Street
Manville, Rhode Island 02838


Age to Age
Amazing Grace
Be Not Afraid
Come To Me
Here I Am, Lord
Lord Of All Hopefulness
Shelter Me, O God
You Are Near


RESPONSORIAL PSALM (after first reading)
Be With Me Lord (Psalm 91)
Keep In Mind
Psalm 23-My Shepherd Is the Lord (Gelineau)
The Lord Is My Shepherd (Alstott)

Because The Lord Is My Shepherd
Behold The Lamb
Eat This Bread
Eye Has Not Seen
I Am The Living Bread
I Have Loved You
Prayer of St. Francis
Psalm 42 (As the Deer Longs)
Servant Song
Shepherd Me, O God
Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling
The Lord Is My Light (Walker)
The Lord Is Near
The Supper of the Lord
We Remember


SONG OF FAREWELL (Commendation at casket/cremains at end of Mass)
J’Irai la Voir Un Jour
Irish Blessing
Song Of Farewell (Sands)
Songs of the Angels


SENDING FORTH (as congregation departs church)
Beau Ciel
How Great Thou Art
I Am The Bread Of Life
I Know That My Redeemer Lives
On Eagle’s Wings


All music to be sung/played must serve the Sacred Liturgy and be scripturally based.

Please call the rectory at 401-766-1558 once you have made your selections. If you need further assistance, please contact our Director of Music Ministry, Phil Desrosiers at 401-765-7650.        



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