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Anonymous Anita wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a question on burial rites in the Catholic Church.

  • What is the purpose and the reasoning behind the burial or committal rite that is done at the end of the service by a priest at a Catholic cemetery?
  • Also, what is the purpose of the priest's statement and the people's response?

The priest made a statement and the people responded with a one sentence response.

I am sure it is specific to a Catholic funeral. I have never encountered this at other similar services.

I would like to know what the priest said and what the people's response was.


  { What is the purpose and reasoning behind the burial or committal rite and what are they saying? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Anita —

Access to the rite is difficult to obtain if you're not a priest, and probably isn't online
(legally anyway), and since no one else has addressed this, I'm going to take a guess. Is it:

V. Eternal rest grant to them. { what the priest says }

R. And let perpetual light shine upon them. { what the people say }

I'm assuming that you're not referring to anything where the response is:

  • Amen or
  • And also with you or
  • Lord have mercy or
  • Hear us, O Lord or
  • anything similar to that since such responses make up the bulk of the prayers.

I did find an online copy of what is called the Order of Christian Funerals on Google Books by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship.

If that link doesn't work search Google for "Order of Christian Funerals" "Rite of Committal" (exactly, including the quotes) and choose the first result.

Peruse that and see if you can find it, then tell us what it is and we'll interpret it for you.

This might help too:


Anita replied:

Thank you.

I certainly appreciate you guys going to any lengths for an answer. I really don't need any further explanation.

Thank you,


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