“In the face of death, the Church confidently proclaims that God has created each person for eternal life, and that Jesus, the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, has broken the chains of sin and death that bound humanity…
At the funeral rites, especially at the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the Christian community affirms and expresses the union of the Church on earth with the Church in heaven in the one great communion of saints. …
While proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing to Christian hope in the resurrection, the funeral rites also recall to all who take part in them God’s mercy and judgement and meet the human need to turn always to God in times of crisis.”
(From the General Introduction to the ‘Order of Christian Funerals.’)
At a time of bereavement, we would like to offer the condolences and assurance of the prayers of our parish family. Please know that those who have died are remembered at Mass, as are those who mourn. We hope the Church’s prayer will be a comfort and consolation for you at this testing time. We pray that our departed loved ones may share in the glory of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Preparing the funeral of someone who has died can be a daunting task. Please be assured that we are here to make the preparations easier and help you to understand the nature of a Catholic funeral
The purpose of the Catholic Funeral Liturgy is to offer worship and thanksgiving to God, the author of all life; to pray for the deceased, commending them to God’s loving care and mercy, and to offer support to the bereaved.
Celebrating Christian Funerals
The first choice a family will make will concern the place and form of the funeral service. The Catholic Church offers several alternatives:
- Funeral Mass in Church followed by Committal at a Cemetery or Crematorium
- Funeral Service in Church followed by Committal at a Cemetery or Crematorium
- Funeral Service in a Cemetery Chapel followed by Burial
- Funeral Service in a Crematorium (which may also be followed at a later date by a Service for the Burial of Ashes)
It is always best to discuss the options with the priest before making decisions with the Funeral Directors. The funeral will be celebrated in an atmosphere of simple beauty, in a setting that encourages participation of all present. When you meet with the priest, you will be able to discuss the various elements of the funeral service, including readings from the Scriptures, the Prayers, Hymns and Christian Music and the symbols used in the liturgy.
For whom may the rites be celebrated?
Both Baptised members and catechumens (adults preparing for Baptism)
For a child who died before baptism and whose parents intended to have the child baptised.
A baptised member of another church who was seeking to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
With permission, baptised members of other churches, when this is not contrary to the wishes of the deceased and their own minister is unavailable.
What about my own funeral?
We all have to confront our mortality, and many people do give thought to their own funeral liturgy. It can be a great comfort to your family to know what your wishes are, particularly when they are grieving. If you are making detailed plans for a funeral at St Mary’s or St Patrick’s, we would encourage you to discuss them with the Parish Priest, and, of course, make sure that your next of kin know your wishes.
Any other questions?
If you have any queries about funerals, please do not hesitate to contact us.