Christian Funeral Care


“Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” – The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to Saint John, Chapter 11, Verses 32 to 36


20.1% of the local Chinese population are Christian, of which they are almost entirely of the Latin Rite; 67% of them are Protestant and 33% are Catholic.

Western Christian (Latin Rite), Catholic/Protestant Branches

[Mar Thoma Syrian Church]


There are various cultural groups within Singapore Christians, with specific orders of service that must be both understood, respected and supported.

Evangelical Reformed English Denominations:

  • Anglican
  • Baptist
  • Methodist
  • Adventist
  • Pentecostal

Evangelical Reformed Scottish Denominations:

  • Presbyterian

Evangelical Reformed Dutch Denominations:

  • Evangelical Reformed

Evangelical Reformed Nondenominational Churches

  • Plymouth Brethren (English)
  • Restoration Movement (Scottish)
  • Neo-Charismatic Movement (English)

Evangelical Lutheran German Denominations:

  • Lutheran

Evangelical Lutheran Scandinavian Denominations:

  • Evangelical Free

The Catholic Episcopal See:

  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore

Catholic Mendicant Religious Orders:

  • Order of Friars Minor
  • Order of the Discalced Carmelites of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel

Catholic Clerics Regular Religious Orders:

  • Society of Jesus

Catholic Religious Congregations:

  • Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer
  • Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and of the Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar

Catholic Associations of the Faithful

  • Society of Saint Pius X [Excommunicate]


A Christian universal, in terms of design, is the distinction between the back area where the people gathered stay (Nave) and the front area which the ministers conduct the service from (Chancel), which is, as far as possible, facing Eastward. The layout of the front area must follow either of the following formats:

  1. Seats placed beside a Table, flushed to the backdrop, with an altar Cross or Crucifix and occasionally Two Candles, a Bible, or both.
  2. Seats, flushed to the backdrop, occasionally with a Cross or Crucifix on the backdrop, behind a table, occasionally with an altar Cross, Two Candles, a Bible, or any combination of the three.
  3. Seats placed on an elevated Platform, occasionally with a Cross or Crucifix on the backdrop.

Then, the casket, the picture, or both, of the deceased person is to be placed between the back area and the front area, with his feet pointed to the front, if he was a layperson, or feet pointed to the back, if he was clergy. Frequently, if a tent is used, it should cover the front area as well as the casket.

This set up contains significant meaning in the Christian religion. The Table or Platform is the holiest part of the space, where the worship of the people are concentrated. The Cross or Crucifix represents the presence of God in his Divinity (Cross) or Divinity and Humanity (Crucifix) in the space. The Bible and Candles represent the incarnation and resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ, both of which are important themes in a funeral setting. The direction of the casket also signifies either the loyalty of the layperson to Christ in his willingness to continue adoring Him even in death or the loyalty of the clergyman to Christ in his willingness to continue facing his congregation as a role model even in death.


Funeral Guide and Policy

Policy for Funerals in the Archdiocese of Singapore

  1. As a principle the funeral is normally arranged at the parish of the deceased.
  2. The parish of the deceased is determined by the parish that he/she normally had been attending for their Masses and liturgical services.
  3. Before arranging a time or day of funeral and cremation, do contact the parish concerned to determine the availability of a priest.
  4. In the event that the parish that was contacted is not the parish of the deceased, it would be the duty of the secretary to forward the information to the relevant parish and inform the families concerned.
  5. The parish secretary will assist in sourcing a priest of the parish or another priest for the families to conduct the funeral rites.
  6. For all other logistics in relation to the funeral day and rites, it will then be directed to the parish that will be conducting the funeral.
  7. In the case of dispute, the territorial parish will assume responsibility for the funeral.
  8. If the parish venue is not available, the parish should arrange for an alternative venue.
  9. In exceptional cases, the Mass for the funeral can be held at the venue of the wake.

Senate Communications – August 2018

Masses During Funeral Wakes
Masses during funeral wakes are not allowed. (Senate Minutes, Nov 2016)

Funeral Arrangements in the Parishes
In exceptional cases, funeral Masses are permitted outside the church (e.g. in a wake hall or in a void deck where the wake is held) when the church itself is not available (e.g. when occupied by Sunday Mass). (Senate Minutes, Jun 2018)

Funeral Mass on Sundays (Discretion)
The prohibition of ritual Masses on Sundays does not necessarily preclude the celebration of some rites, including funeral rites. Funeral Masses are allowed on Sundays according to liturgical norms as published in the Ordo, but the details of the implementation are left to the discretion of the parish priest, who will formulate the policy for the parish. (Senate Minutes, Sep 2018)

Funeral Rite at the Crematorium
Each parish is to make its own policy as to whether priests are to go to the crematorium to perform the last rites. (Senate Minutes, Aug 2018)

Funeral Wakes for Priests
All funeral wakes of priests should be held in the church premises. (Senate Minutes, Jan 2018


Colours used are restricted to:
Black – Mourning
Purple/Blue – Repentence
White – Hope

Catholic Backdrops

  • Blessed Sacrament
  • Christ the King
  • Divine Mercy of Jesus
  • Holy Spirit
  • Holy Trinity
  • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • Resurrection of Jesus
  • Transfiguration of Jesus
  • True Cross

Supplementary Decorations

  • Holy Family
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Our Lady of Lourdes
  • Our Lady of Peace
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help
  • Our Lady, Queen of Angels
  • Our Lady, Star of the Sea
  • St Alphonsus Liguori
  • St Anne
  • St Anthony of Padua
  • St Bernadette Soubirous
  • St Francis of Assisi
  • St Francis Xavier
  • St Ignatius of Loyola
  • St Joseph
  • St Laurent Imbert
  • St Michael
  • St Stephen
  • St Therese of Lisieux
  • St Vincent de Paul
  • Sts Peter and Paul