Sunday Funerals?

Q. Are funerals in the Church allowed on Sundays? Someone told me they were not.

A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin: 

The Church’s Code of Canon Law has nothing to say about funerals on Sunday. However, the text does observe, “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to … abstain from those labors and business which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body” (Canon 1247).

This suggests that Sunday should probably not be a first choice when scheduling a funeral, simply because funerals are usually rather sad affairs. On the other hand, Sunday’s special connection to Jesus’ resurrection might make it an attractive choice.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states that a funeral Mass “may be celebrated on any day except for solemnities that are holy days of obligation” (No. 380). Funerals are also forbidden on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, as well as the Sundays of Advent, Lent and the Easter season.

Sunday funerals are permitted, but is Sunday a good day for funerals? Perhaps not, simply because Sundays lay so many claims upon pastors and parish facilities. Finance, too, is an issue, and cemetery fees are bound to be considerably higher on Sunday.