ROSARY TEAM How to perform a Rosary Council 1947’s Rosary Team is available to lead and recite the rosary of Our Lady at a visitation, memorial, wake, or vigil service for a Brother Knight called to eternal rest by Our Lord. Brother Knights should make it known to their families if they desire a KC rosary at their service so the family is aware to include this wish in planning the funeral arrangements. Instructions should also include for someone from the family to notify the Rosary Team upon completion of funeral arrangements by calling Rosary team leaders, James Badger. For other related inquiries contact the Rosary Team Captain ___________________.
History of the Funeral Rosary. Catholics believe St. Dominic introduced the rosary to the Catholic world during the thirteenth century in the south of France. He claimed to receive instruction to spread the rosary prayers throughout the world in a vision from Mary the Mother of Jesus. The rosary prayers invoked Mary as an intercessor between God and the believer, and were said to confer many spiritual benefits on the individual. In Catholicism, death was one of many occasions on which to pray the rosary Vigil, The rosary service takes place on the evening before a Catholic funeral, during which family members keep vigil, usually in close proximity to an open casket. The vigil, often called a "wake" in the U.S., provides family members with an opportunity to celebrate the life of the deceased as they receive friends and loved ones. The vigil traditionally takes place in the mourners' home. Some vigils today take place in a funeral home. Churches are also acceptable locations.
What to Do? A rosary service differs from service to service. It always begins, however, with reciting ten decades (or beads) of Hail Mary while thinking about the Glorious Mysteries. Repeat 10 times: "Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death." After this, consult your prayer book, and recite the prayers indicated by the service leader.
What to Bring? You may not know whether or not a rosary service will take place when you attend the vigil. If you have one, bring a rosary so as to be prepared in the event of a rosary service. Also bring a book that includes the traditional Catholic rosary prayers, with appropriate passages marked in case you forget or do not know the words.
Who Can Participate? Unlike the communion sacrament, which is open only to Catholics, anyone can participate in a rosary funeral service. Even a priest need not attend. Christians of any denomination, as well as non-Christians, are welcome to take part. Whether or not to participate, then, is an individual decision. If you are unfamiliar with Catholic tradition but still wish to participate, learn the relevant prayers and procedures ahead of time so as not to call attention to yourself.
After the Rosary Service Remain quiet. Approach the family to pay your respects by briefly expressing the impact the deceased had on your life or on someone close to you. Do not belabor the point or give excessive detail. Simply communicate what the deceased person meant to you. The vigil celebrates the life of the deceased, so avoid questions or commentary about suffering or manner of death. Never utter jokes or speak loudly. Before leaving, proceed to the casket; if you pray, say a brief silent prayer before the open casket.
“I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life…” (JN 11:25-26)
IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER One of the most important ways the Knights of Columbus support each other is through prayer, especially at the time of death. Brother Knights demonstrate their fraternity in exemplary measure when they pray for the soul of a departed Knight and console the members of his family. In this regard, the Knights have continued the venerable tradition of praying the Rosary during the wake of a departed brother. In order to facilitate this important prayer, a Knights of Columbus Memorial Service has been developed for use throughout the Order. All assemblies are urged to use this service as they pray at the wakes of the faithful departed.
DEVOTION TO OUR LADY In keeping with the spirit of our founder, Father Michael J. McGivney, and our namesake, Christopher Columbus, the Knights of Columbus encourages devotion to Our Lady as a way of becoming closer to Christ. It is most fitting, therefore, that the Rosary of Our Lady should be prayed at the wake of a departed brother Knight. Prayer of the Rosary assures family members that Mary, the Mother of the Church, will guide the soul of the departed brother to her Son, and help strengthen the fraternal bonds of charity that exist between living brother Knights and their families.
THIRD AND FOURTH DEGREE The Knights of Columbus Memorial Service has been designed for use at the wakes of members of both the Third and Fourth Degrees. It is understood, however, that the traditions of assemblies may differ from those of councils, specifically in the presence of an honor guard and the presentation of a chalice. Nevertheless, the Rosary should be prayed at the wake of every brother Knight (family and pastor permitting). For a member of the Fourth Degree, it is desirable that councils and assemblies work together so that one jointly sponsored prayer service is offered instead of two separate ones.