The Paschal (Easter) Candle:
First lit at the Easter Vigil, the Paschal Candle burns near the casket or urn during the Funeral Mass. The candle represents the Light of the Risen Christ, who has overcome darkness and death by his Resurrection.
Holy water reminds us of the saving waters of Baptism. At the reception of the body, the priest sprinkles the casket or urn with holy water; its use calls to mind the deceased's baptism and initiation into the community of faith. In the rite of Final Commendation, it may also signify farewell.
Blessing the casket or urn with incense during the funeral liturgy is a sign of honor to the deceased, which through baptism became the template of the Holy Spirit. The rising of the incense smoke is a symbol of our prayers and a sign of farewell of our departed one rising to God.
The funeral pall (a large white cloth) reminds us of the garment given at baptism and therefore symbolizes our life in Christ and that we are all equal in the eyes of God. At the reception of the body, the pall is draped over the casket following the blessing with holy water. Family members are encouraged to take part in placing the pall, as well as placing a family crucifix, rosary, or bible on the pall. An American flag (folded) may also be placed on the pall.