Funeral Honors

Funeral Honors – FAQ
The loss of a loved one is never expected and deeply regretted. Most Assembly.  Sir Knights often have expressed their intentions to their family and their family knows what to do.  If you are faced with the loss of family member who is a member of the Knights of Columbus; our host; Paul J. Trageser; Council 10910, or our Divine Mercy Assembly, use the following information to guide you.  If the fallen Knight is a member of a Durham County council, ensure their local council Grand Knight is immediately infomed.
  • What is a FAQ?
  • What funeral honors or assistance is available to the family?
  • What honors are provided at a wake?
  • What about the funeral mass?
  • Does the Honor Guard go to the graveside?
  • Memorial Masses

Q: What is a FAQ?

A: FAQ is an acronym for “frequently asked questions.”

Q: What funeral honors or assistance is available to the family?
A: The members of the local council, when alerted as to a loss, will participate in the wake and funeral mass.  You can get word to the Knights via the parish office. For Chapel Hill, Sir Knight Peter O’Grady is also a part of the parish bereavement ministery. “Honors” are provided based on the standing of a fallen knight. If they are a member in good standing, honors are provided based on their degree.


Q: What honors are provided at a wake?
A: “Without exception honors by the color corps will be afforded to deceased Sir Knights of the Fourth Degree currently in good standing on all counts at time of death.  A two-man honor guard may also be used for a deceased immediate family member of a Sir Knight in good standing or a Third Degree member in good standing provided the request is made by the family of the deceased member.” [Fourth Degree Color Corps Manual]  The wishes of the family are paramount and will be considered in the selection of the honor guard involved, if any; ceremony at the wake.  Ceremonials such as reciting the Rosary, prayers, etc., are done based on local custom.” Here, in Chapel Hill, the Knights always ask the family for permission to do the Rosary; When done, it is normally during and starting with the final hour of the wake.

Q: What about the funeral mass?
A: The mass is a solem religious event.  All knights will try to attend the funeral service.  Many work full-time and can not participate. The earlier they become aware of the loss, the greater the potential for their full participation.
  For a funeral of a Fourth Degree Knight, knights in regalia do not participate in the mass. They do, however, form an honor guard from the church entrance to the curb.This is done both before and after the mass.  During the mass, the knights in full regalia will uncover (remove their chapeaux) and will be seated or located in the rear of the church.. They will depart the sanctuary at the conclusion of the Prayers for the Dead by the priest. No color corps activity takes place during the mass.
  Members of the color corps (the honor guard) do not serve as pallbearers. Knights in social regalia, not part of the honors events, and other attending Third Degree Knights, may serve as pallbearers. A request for pallbearers should be made early Availability of six knights to serve as pallbearers is not considered likely  The age and availabity of attending Knights are considered in all requests for pallbearers. Families should arrange for pall bearers separately.

Q: Does the Honor Guard go to the graveside?
A: The honor guard will escort the casket at the gravesite.  They will then stand together as a group during the blessing of the grave


Q: What about Memorial Masses?
A: It is the custom of our local  councils to host or request a memorial mass for fallen knights.  Date and time for a mass will be provided to the Knight’s family.  In addition, once each year, all council knights participate in an annual Council Memorial Mass.  This is normally in conjunction with All Saints Day.  The names of fallen knights for the current year are recited and prayers are offered for them.

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