QUAERITUR: Can I be a pall bearer for my non-Catholic grandfather’s funeral?

From a reader:

My Grandfather died yesterday, may he rest in peace, and he was a Presbyterian. My immediate family including my Grandfather’s eldest child (my Mother) are Roman Catholics (my Mother is a convert).

As a Catholic, I am assuming that I may attend the Protestant funeral but is it permissible for me to be a pallbearer? Or would that be participating in a Protestant religious service?

Additionally, how am I to act if I am permitted to attend a Protestant Funeral?

I feel very uneasy being around anything non-Catholic.

I am sure the readers here will, as I just have, stopped to say a prayer for your grandfather.

Yes, you can go to the funeral and, yes, you can be a pall bearer for your grandfather.  That does not constitute participation in a non-Catholic religious rite.

Be at ease about this.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mjsanta83 says:

    Am I understanding correctly that as a Catholic we may not be present at a non catholic ceremony? Or are we just not permitted to actively participate? Father Z please set me straight. [You may attend funerals of non-Catholics in their churches and weddings of non-Catholics in their churches. You can attend a BarMitzvah at a synagogue. What you cannot do is have an active role in the ceremonies.]

  2. Joseph says:

    Am I pernitted to attend a wedding in a, say protestant facility, where either the groom or the bride is a Catholic, but have no dispensation to get wed there? [No.]

  3. ALL: This is not going to be a what about what about what about thread. You can also call your local parish priest. right?

  4. jfm says:

    Is serving as a pall bearer ‘non participation’ in a religious rite?

    (Working my way through high school and college, I played the organ at many non-Catholic religious rites and did so for $ — I am embarrassed to say that I had no idea this was not allowed until a few years ago, and I went to a Catholic high school and college.)

  5. catholictigerfan says:

    Funny this came up but I also attended the funeral of my non Catholic Grandfather, the service really didn’t have anything of a non catholic denomination nature to it, and also not Catholic. But all I did was a pall bearer, but I think not sure on this becuase I haven’t attended many Catholic funerals, just for cricumstances in my life and most the people that I know have died aren’t Catholic, but I would think Pall bearers are also part of Catholic Funerals as well, so being a pall bearer would just be something that goes across all faiths, so its not specifically catholic or prodastant.

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