Catholic funerals leave a lot open to interpretation and leave quite a bit of decision making in the hands of the family members. It is best to let the hospital know if your loved one is Catholic because they will be able steer you in the right direction if you get confused or flustered as can happen in moments of stress. Your next step should be to contact the Priest at your loved ones church if he or she attends one regularly. There are no rules or regulations regarding the embalming of the body, most people choose to embalm the body so that they can have a visitation with an open casket. Embalming allows you to make the visitation longer as well in the event that the deceased has friends and loved ones who will be coming from out of town or out of the country to attend the funeral.
At the funeral home it is entirely up to the family what they would like to do to honor their loved one. You can choose the standard visitation and eulogy in the funeral home chapel. Eulogies are not done in the church during mass so it is important that if you wish to have a eulogy period that you do it at the funeral home before hand or at the wake in the church, which ever you choose.
Following the visitation and eulogy if you decided to have one, the body (not the ashes but the complete body) is transferred to the church. The funeral home you selected will take care of the transfer of the body and usually will provide a limo for the immediate family, and flags for the hoods of the others cars joining the procession to the church. This is where you will need your pallbearers, you should select six or eight of your relatives who are ideally close to the same height. They will receive instructions from the funeral directors on how to carry the casket and where to take it. The family generally follows behind the casket. This formation is used into and out of the church. While in the church a standard mass will take place with direct references to the deceased.
Following the church some choose to go directly to the cemetery for burial, or to back to the funeral home, or directly to cremation. This again is up to the family depending on how they wish to inter the remains of the deceased. Catholics are generally proud and conservative people so it is important that everyone attend the church and the remainder of the funeral in their best outfits that are not too showy. Normally Catholics will wear solid dark colors to a funeral but that is not a religious requirement.
Catholic funerals are all about respect and dignity for the deceased and praying for their entrance to Heaven. Only good and wholesome memories of the deceased should be shared during his or her Catholic funeral. The Catholic church prefers that Catholic people be buried in designated Catholic Cemeteries but that also is not a hard fast requirement.