Funeral Planning Information

As Catholics, we affirm that Christ has conquered death. Through this lens we celebrate,
even in our grief, the passing of one who has died. "This saying is trustworthy:
If we have died with Him we shall also live with Him." 2 Timothy 2:11

Bereaved Person’s Prayer
We seem to give our loved ones back to you,
Lord. You gave them to us. But just as you
did not lose them in the giving, neither do we
lose them in the return.
You don’t give in the same way that the world
gives. What you give you don’t take away.
You have taught us that what is yours is ours
also, if we are yours.
Life is eternal, Lord, and your love is
undying. And death is only a horizon. And
a horizon is nothing but the limits of our sight.
Lift us up strong, Son of God, that we may
see farther. Cleanse our eyes that we may see
more clearly. Draw us closer to yourself, that
we may find ourselves closer to our loved ones
who are with you.
And while you prepare a place for them
Prepare us also for that happy place
where you are and where we hope to be –
Forever. Amen.

Some commonly asked questions

1.Why do we celebrate the funeral rites?
In the funeral rites we pray for the deceased, entrusting them to God's mercy and care. We honor the body.
We comfort the living in their grief. We celebrate the funeral rites not only for the dead but also for the living.
 
2.Is cremation permitted by the Catholic Church?
Since 1963, the Church has permitted cremation as long as the Church's teaching on the resurrection of the body is upheld.
 
3.How are the rites celebrated for someone who chooses cremation?
The Church prefers that the body be present for the Funeral Liturgy and cremated following the Final Commendation of the Liturgy. If there is a serious reason, it may be possible to celebrate the Funeral Liturgy in the presence of cremated remains.
 
4.What rites can be used for miscarried or stillborn infants?
"Funeral Rites may be celebrated for children whose parents intended them to be Baptized but who died before Baptism. In these celebrations the Christian community entrusts the child to God's all-embracing love." (Order of Christian Funeral #237)
 
5. What rites can be used for a suicide victim?
This person is entrusted to God's love and mercy and is therefore entitled to the usual Funeral Rites.
 
6. What is done for a lapsed Catholic?
By virtue of Baptism this person is entitled to the prayers of the Church including the Funeral Rites.
 
7. What is the proper place for the Funeral Rites?
The Vigil service is celebrated in the presence of the body in the funeral home the night before. The Vigil is the first formal gathering time for the family to gather in prayer to God and find strength in Christ’s presence. Visitation of the body can take place before the Funeral Mass. The Funeral Mass is always celebrated in the Church. The Committal Rite is preferably celebrated at the grave or the tomb.
 
8. Why do we recommend viewing in the Church before the funeral?
Gathering at the Church before the Funeral Mass begins allows family and friends a time to console one another, to say final goodbyes, and to enter into the spirit of prayer.
 
9.What is the Rite of Committal?
The Rite of Committal is the conclusion of the Catholic funeral liturgy, after the Vigil (usually the day or night before the funeral) and the Funeral Mass (or Funeral Liturgy outside Mass). It is normally celebrated at the site of burial.
 
The Rite is the formal committing of the body to its resting place, at which time the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection.
 
10.Why is the grave or tomb the preferred site for the Rite of Committal?
The grave or tomb is preferred because the prayers from the ritual express clearly the finality of placing the body in the ground or in the tomb.
 

Readings for a Christian Funeral

These Readings are suggested in the Order of Christian Funerals. At a funeral, one reading from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament and a Gospel are proclaimed.
  
Old Testament:  
2 Maccabees 12:43-46
Job 19:1, 23-27
Wisdom 3:1-9
Wisdom 3:1-6,9
Wisdom 4:7-15
Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9
Lamentations 3:17-26
Daniel 12:1-3
 
New Testament: 
Acts 10:34-43
Acts 10:34-36, 42-43
Romans 5:5-11
Romans 5:17-21
Romans 6:3-9
Romans 6:3-4, 8-9
Romans 8:14-23
Romans 8:3l b-35, 37-39
Romans 14:7-9, l0b-12
I Corinthians 15:20-23, 24b-28
I Corinthians 15:20-23
I Corinthians 15:51-57
2 Corinthians 4:14 -5:1
2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-10
Philippians 3:20-21
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
2 Timothy 2:8-13
1 John 3:1-2
1 John 3:14-16
Revelation 14:13
Revelation 20:11 - 21:1
Revelation 21: 1-5a, 6b-7
Gospel
Matthew 5:1-12a
Matthew 11:25-30
Matthew 25:1-13
Mathew 25:31-40
Mark 15:33-39, 16:1-6
Luke 7:11-17
Luke 12:35-40
Luke 23:33, 39-43
Luke 23: 44-46, 50, 52-53; 24:1-6a
Luke 24:13-35
John 5:24-29
John 6:37-40
John 6:51-58
John 11: 17-27
John 11:21-27
John 11:32-45
John 12:23-28
John 12:23-26
John 14:1-6
John 17:24-26
John 19:17-18, 25-39
 

Here are other alternate suggestions for appropriate readings:

Old Testament
Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
2 Samuel 22:1-4, 7, 22-25, 47
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
Song of Songs 2:8-14
Song of Songs 8:6-7
Sirach 44:1, 10-15
Isaiah 35:1-6, 10
Isaiah 41:8-10, 13
Isaiah 43:1-4
Isaiah 57:15-19
Isaiah 61.1-3
Isaiah 65:17-21
Ezekiel 34:11-16
Ezekiel 37:12-14
Micah 6:6-8
Zephaniah 3:16-20
New Testament
Ephesians 3:14-21
Philippians 4:4-9
2 Timothy 4:6-8
1 Peter 1:3-9
Revelation 22:1-7
Gospel
Matthew 6:19-23
Luke 1:67-74
John 3:13-17
John 10:11-18
John 10:27-30
John 19:17-18, 25-30

Music for a Christian Funeral here is your guide for Music

Guidelines for Words of Remembrance
Here is a guide for a speaker at a funeral liturgy.