Planning your Loved One’s Funeral
Funerals are usually booked through contact with the undertakers, who will in turn contact the parish office and the Parish Priest
Planning the Funeral Liturgy
The Church encourages you to be as fully involved as you can in planning your loved one’s funeral liturgy. It is the final journey of your loved one. In the liturgy, we celebrate the life of faith of your loved one; we commend him/her to the Lord, we support and pray for all those who mourn and we seek strength in the promise of the Lord that He will not forget his own. In planning the Liturgy, you will need to:
Provide your priest with some biographical information about your deceased loved one that will help him in preparing the funeral homily.
Select the readings for the funeral Mass. Depending on the circumstances, you may decide to have either one or two readings before the gospel reading. You will find a large selection of suitable readings in the booklet that can be downloaded from this site or is available at the parish office.. But you are free to choose others. Should you decide to have two readings before the gospel, it is preferable to have a different reader for each.
Select the responsorial psalm, which comes between the first and second reading. You will find a number of responsorial psalms in this booklet, but again, you are free to choose. In making your choice, you should take into account the Church’s recommendation that, if at all possible, the responsorial psalm should be sung.
Choose or compose the general intercessions/prayers of the faithful which come after the homily. In the general intercessions we pray not only for the deceased and his/her family and friends but also for all the dead and those who mourn them, and the needs of the wider community. One or more family members should read the general intercessions.
Choose family members or friends of the deceased to bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar. You should keep in mind, though, that the presentation of the gifts is not the time to carry up personal memorabilia or symbols of the life of the deceased. The best time is at the beginning of the Mass or during the final commendation and farewell.
Choose the hymns and music for the funeral Mass. They hymns should be selected from those regularly sung during Sunday Mass, and should express our strong belief in the resurrection, which is the basis of Christian hope. They should not include favourite secular songs or music of the deceased, these are not appropriate for a funeral liturgy.
If you decide to have say a few words in honour of your deceased loved one, there are a number of things to keep in mind. It should be short, no longer than 5 minutes; it should be delivered by a family member or close friend of the deceased; it should contain only words of tribute to the deceased and of thanks to those who have helped or supported the deceased’s family during this time; it should take place after communion, before the final commendation and farewell. If possible, it should be written out in full and a copy given to your priest beforehand. It is important to note that many churches do not allow a eulogy to take place in the Mass. If this is the case it could be done at the reception, before the Mass begins or at the grave-side.