“At the vigil, the Christian community keeps watch with the family in prayer to the God of mercy and finds strength in Christ’s presence.” – Order of Christian Funerals, #56
The Vigil Service usually takes place during the period of visitation and viewing at the funeral home. It is a time to remember the life of the deceased and to commend him/her to God. In prayer, we ask God to console us in our grief and give us strength to support one another.
The Vigil Service can take the form of a Liturgy of the Word with readings from Sacred Scripture accompanied by reflection and prayers. It can also take the form of one of the prayers of the Office for the Dead from the Liturgy of Hours. The clergy and your funeral director can assist in planning the service.
It is most appropriate, when family and friends are gathered together for visitation, to offer time for recalling the life of the deceased. For this reason, we encourage eulogies/reflections to be done at the funeral home during visitation or at the Vigil Service.