How Long Does a Catholic Funeral Take?

The service for a Catholic funeral lasts anywhere from half an hour to an hour. Attendees of the vigil or viewing before the funeral service should plan to stay for at least 10 minutes. A graveside ceremony, which follows the mass, takes another quarter hour or more.

Attendees can expect a Catholic funeral service to be longer than the stated minimum, but not shorter. The church dictates a strictly formal, liturgical pattern of prayers, scripture readings, a sermon and Holy Communion. A slightly less formal service may also include personal reflections and remembrances of the deceased, special music performances and other shared acts of remembrance.