Funerals

In the event of a death – how to arrange a funeral

In the event of the death of a member of your family at home, please call the parish immediately. The priest or deacon will bless the body and pray together with your family.

Funeral services can be arranged to be held in the parish church on any day of the week except Sundays. All arrangements must be made in consultation with a member of the parish clergy. Please do not make any funeral arrangements without prior consultation with the parish clergy. If necessary and when special circumstances exist, the funeral service can take place at the Funeral Chapel. The parish clergy are also willing to assist with the funeral services of non-catholic spouses, parents or family members.

All arrangements for the funeral service or Funeral Mass (scripture readings, hymns etc.) must be made with the parish. Arrangements must be made for an organist to play at the Mass/Service if this is requested.

Burial or Cremation? Contrary to popular belief, the Church DOES allow cremations. The undertaker will provide all necessary information should this be your choice.

Guidelines for organising a Funeral Mass/Service

Please note that you are required to meet with and speak to the priest/deacon about the guidelines below.

Funeral Mass

The funeral mass begins at the entrance to the church. The priest sprinkles the coffin with holy water, reminding us of our baptism into Christ, and places Christian symbols on the coffin. The procession, lead by the priest, then moves to the front of the church. During this time it is appropriate to sing a hymn. The priest prays the opening prayer and then we listen to God’s word.

Depending on the circumstances the family can choose to have either one or two readings before the gospel reading. A psalm is also sung or read between the reading/s and gospel. The family is, depending on the number of readings, asked to find a suitable person to read the readings. Selections of suggested texts are available. When you contact the parish to arrange a funeral please ask for these if you so wish.

After the homily the General Intercessions are prayed. The family can choose either to write these intercessions themselves or to use a selection available, again, from the parish. Please ensure you talk to the priest about your preference. If you intend using your own intercessions please make sure that you show these to the priest before the funeral mass begins. You also need to ask someone to pray these intercessions. It could be the same person who read or a different one.

The family could also decide to have an offertory procession. Once again please talk to the priest about this and if you are to have such a procession make sure you ask those you wish to do this know what to do. It is appropriate to sing a hymn/song during the time that the gifts are brought forward to the altar.

If you so wish, the mass parts can also be sung. This is to be discussed with the priest and organist. After communion it is also appropriate to sing a hymn/song.

After the celebration of the mass the priest comes forward to do the final commendation before the coffin leaves the church. The priest then leads the coffin out of the church. During this procession it is appropriate to sing a final hymn/song.

Please make sure that you meet with the priest, preferably a day or two before the funeral, to talk about the liturgy. The priest will also be able to advise you on how to contact an organist and caterers if necessary.

Funeral Service

The funeral service begins at the entrance to the church. The celebrant sprinkles the coffin with holy water, reminding us of our baptism into Christ, and places Christian symbols on the coffin. The procession, lead by the celebrant, then moves to the front of the church. During this time it is appropriate to sing a hymn/song. The celebrant prays the opening prayer and then we listen to God’s word.

Depending on the circumstances the family can choose to have either one or two readings before the gospel reading. A psalm is also sung or read between the reading/s and gospel. The family is, depending on the number of readings, asked to find a suitable person to read the readings. Selections of suggested texts are available. When you contact the parish to arrange a funeral please ask for these if you so wish.

After the homily the General Intercessions are prayed. The family can choose either to write these intercessions themselves or to use a selection available, again, from the parish. Please ensure you talk to the celebrant about your preference. If you intend using your own intercessions please make sure that you show these to the celebrant before the funeral service begins. You also need to ask someone to pray these intercessions. It could be the same person who read or a different one.

After listening to God’s word and praying the intercession and the Our Father the celebrant comes forward to do the final commendation before the coffin leaves the church. The celebrant then leads the coffin out of the church. During this procession it is appropriate to sing a final hymn/song.

Please make sure that you meet with the priest or deacon, preferably a day or two before the funeral service, to talk about the liturgy. The priest/deacon will also be able to advise you on how to contact an organist and caterers if necessary.

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