I'm attending my friend's funeral tomorrow. It will be at a Catholic Church, I'm not Catholic. I'm not sure what the form will be, however, if there's communion can I participate? - Been looking at a few websites and some mention this happening. Do I have to cross my hands over my chest just for a blessing? Least of my worries really, but just want to get it right on a difficult day.
Things are a lot better these days in most catholic churches from the point of view of the priests understanding there will be non catholics present.
Don't worry about crossing yourself etc when you go in unless you want to. If I was you I'd just go in and take a seat.
Probably the priest will say when to stand/sit/kneel - at the last funeral, 2 weddings and 4 christenings I've been to the priest has given very clear directions about what's going on which is really good.
Holy communion - I was raised catholic and had my first holy communion but have lapsed and would not take communion now. Many people don't take communion, no-one will look at you if you don't. In fact if you're not catholic and your friends know that and you take communion that would be a bit odd. Just stay seated for that bit is my advice.
On top of everything try not to get worried about the protocol of the catholic church - you are there to mourn your friend's passing and celebrate her life, which is what everyone is there for. Some people will just use the catholic traditions more.
Hi, Really sorry for your loss. Sit at least three or four rows back and then just stand/sit/kneel when everyone else does. When it's time for communion, you shouldn't go up. You also don't have to kneel. You can just sit back in the pew and no one will care either way. It's a time for quiet reflection and people certainly understand at a funeral that there will be non-Catholics and non-practising Catholics there. No one will find it strange. There may not even be communion; depends on what sort of ceremony the family has elected. (But, probably there will be.)
If prayers are recited, or songs are sung that you do not know, it's fine just to stay quiet. Again, no one will care or notice.
Usually you would turn to the person either side of you and shake hands when the Priest says, "now let us offer a sign of Peace." You don't need to kiss or embrace. Just be sure to turn to both sides, and don't be surprised if the people in front of you turn around to shake your hand, too. YOu can do the same for the people behind you, if you want to (you don't have to).
They may read out the "prayers of the faithful," to which the proper response is usually "Lord, hear our prayer." But some churches have other responses that they use. Just follow along... by the second prayer you'll know what to say. Or say nothing, that is fine, too.
Really, just focus on your friend and take the time and space you need to grieve. That's what the service is for.