1. The Vigil is referred to as the wake and is a time for grieving. The only death people can really prepare for is their own. The death of a loved one has a finality that cannot be experienced beforehand. The Vigil is the first ritual event after death. It deals with the rush of grief that death brings. It is a time to look back at all that will be missed, and to tell stories of all kinds, with tears, laughter, savored memories, and prayers.
2. The Funeral Liturgy is a time to reach down to the depths of one's faith and come to terms with belief after death. The dying and rising of Jesus is celebrated — made present — in the Eucharist, and the death of this person is joined to his. Those grieving not only look back to what was, but ahead to what is. There are few moments of liturgy that touch so deeply on the truths of Christianity.
3. The Rite of Committal —Held at the Cemetery: After the tears, memories, and laughter, it is time to let go and know that it can never be as it was. One has to summon the strength to say goodbye to what was and maintain the faith to look ahead to a future that is better, but so hard to accept right now.