The funeral liturgy in the Catholic Church is a time for the family and friends of the deceased to gather with the larger church community for prayer and support. While there are many elements that lend focus and meaning to the Christian funeral, two are of particular importance: the Scripture readings proclaimed in church and the hymns, psalms and acclamation sung by the assembly. Through the Scriptures, the Word of God, the church hears anew the promise of new life. Family or friends of the deceased are encouraged to proclaim the first two readings while the priest or deacon reads the gospel. Generally, it is good to select a person who has some public speaking experience.