Perhaps the simplest and most meaningful part of the Rite of Christian Burial is the Rite of Committal, that final ceremony at the graveside where the body is laid to rest. Here, the family and friends of the deceased gather to take their final leave, and the body is committed to the ground and to the hope of the resurrection. Here, the fundamental reality of death and the most basic truth of faith take their place side by side.
RITE OF COMMITTAL
218 When the funeral procession arrives at the place of committal, the minister says the following or a similar invitation.
Our brother/sister N. has gone to his/her rest in the peace of Christ. May the Lord now welcome him/her to the table of God's children in heaven. With faith and hope in eternal life, let us assist him/her with our prayers.
Let us pray to the Lord also for ourselves. May we who mourn be reunited one day with our brother/sister; together may we meet Christ Jesus when he who is our life appears in glory.
219 One of the following verses or another brief Scripture verse is read. The minister first says:
We read in sacred Scripture:
A Matthew 25:34
Come, you whom my Father has blessed, says the Lord; inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.
B John 6:39
This is the will of my Father, says the Lord, that t should lose nothing of all that he has given to me, and that I should raise it up on the last day.
C Philippians 3:20
Our true home is in heaven, and Jesus Christ whose return we long for will come from heaven to save us.
D Revelation 1:5-6
Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the dead; glory and kingship be his for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE PLACE OF COMMITTAL
220 The minister says one of the following prayers or one of those provided in no. 320. If the place of committal is to be blessed:
A O God,
by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest,
Bless this grave, and send your holy angel to watch over it.
As we bury here the body of our brother/sister,
deliver his/her soul from every bond of sin,
that he/she may rejoice in you with your saints for ever.
B Lord Jesus Christ,
by your own three days in the tomb,
you hallowed the graves a sign of hope
that promises resurrection
even as it claims our mortal bodies.
Grant that our brother/sister may sleep here in peace
until you awaken him/her to glory,
for you are the resurrection and the life.