Planning Your Funeral

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1 St. Patrick Catholic Church 6803 Old Highway 441 South Mt. Dora, Florida (352) Planning Your Funeral Guidelines for Catholic Funeral Rites

2 The death of one of our sisters or brothers is a significant event for us as the people of God, the Church. This is a time when we, who loved the deceased person, mourn our loss. This is a time when we as the Church celebrate God s gift of life and mark, with special rites and gatherings, the return of that life to our loving God. The Catholic Funeral Rites are celebrations that enable the Christian community to mourn as well as to hope by focusing on the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ. These guidelines are offered to assist individuals and families as they plan these rites in keeping with Church teaching. The Catholic Funeral Rites consist of three parts: 1.) The Vigil for the Deceased (Wake) 2.) The Funeral Mass 3.) The Rite of Committal Only the Funeral Mass requires a priest to preside.

3 The Vigil The Vigil for the Deceased (Wake) often takes place the evening before the Funeral Mass. During the Vigil a eulogy or the sharing of memories/stories is appropriate. This is the time to invite others to speak, to play a DVD, CD and/or display PowerPoint presentations, posters, etc. The Vigil may take place in the church, the funeral home or in the home of the deceased. The Vigil should not be omitted. If circumstances do not allow for a Vigil then a short hand written eulogy may be read by one person five minutes before Mass. This request must be adhered to as there are time constraints that must be followed. When a Vigil is planned and structured it can be a very uplifting part of the grieving process. Telling stories, listening to scripture, singing a song, looking at pictures, gives the family comfort in knowing their loved one was a part of many lives. This is a time to mourn and to help one another through the grieving process.

4 The Funeral Mass The Funeral Mass reaffirms in sign and symbol, word and gesture that through baptism we share in Christ s death and resurrection. At St. Patrick Catholic Church, the funeral Masses are celebrated, as a rule, at 9:00AM so the faithful who gather at morning Mass can support those suffering the loss of a loved one and know they are not alone. Cremation is permitted, although, not the preferred method of burial in the Catholic Church. In the case of a cremation, it is preferential that the body be brought to church for the Funeral Mass prior to cremation. Should that not be possible, the cremains should be brought in a suitable urn, a worthy vessel, which is sealed. There will be a procession with the cremains from the Baptismal font to the Altar steps. Music at funerals should be sacred music, melodies and lyrics that express our Catholic Christian faith. The Directors of Music will assist you with the selection of three hymns and one psalm that are appropriate for the liturgy. These music choices can be made for you by the music directors. The music choices for the Final Commendation and Recession have already been selected according to the rites of the Church. Recorded music is not to be used within the liturgy. Readings for the Mass may be chosen from the selections provided: one from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the other from the New Testament. The

5 priest will select a Gospel reading. You may choose the readers if you have a family member who has some experience and ability. The reader should practice the reading in a slow, steady pace, keeping in mind he/she will be the only one with the text and that the family and community depend on the clarity and projection of the reader to understand and experience the blessing of God s Word. However, if you do not have a reader, one will be provided by the church Should you wish to have refreshments in the parish social hall following the liturgy, our bereavement ministers will assist in arranging that for you. We would be grateful for a donation to defray expenses.

6 Rite of Committal The Rite of Committal is celebrated at the place of burial or interment. This liturgical committal service is a gathering of the faithful for prayer. It is important to remember that the cremains of the body, due the same honor and respect that is given the remains of the body, must be buried in a cemetery, entombed in a columbarium or buried at sea. The scattering of cremated remains on the ground or on the sea or keeping any portion of them for personal reasons is not the reverent final disposition that the Church directs. It should be noted that burial at sea of cremated remains differs from scattering. An appropriate and worthy container, heavy enough to be sent to its final resting place, may be dropped into the sea. The intention is to respect the sacredness of the body. We would not bury body parts in different places. At the time of death, the Church seeks to comfort and console those who mourn the passing of a loved one into eternal life. The Bereavement Ministry is a part of the ministry of the Church. The ministry of bereavement extends beyond the time of the funeral to include the days and weeks after Christian burial. Here at St. Patrick Catholic Church, please feel free to ask any questions that you may have. The priests, the Bereavement Ministry and pastoral staff who are familiar with the Funeral Rites of the Church will strive to provide assistance in any way on this journey of sorrow and hope. You may contact us at (352) or on our website:

7 Family Choices for Funeral Mass Name of Deceased Contact Person Body or Cremains Date Who will do the Eulogy at the Vigil? Who will put the pall on the casket? Old Testament Reading New Testament Reading Will someone take up the gifts? Music Choices will be made with you by the music directors (three hymns and one Psalm) Gathering Hymn Psalm (usually Psalm 23) Presentation of the Gifts Communion Processional The songs of farewell and final procession have already been selected using standards established for the Funeral Rites by the Church.

8 Order of the Mass The Mass begins at the Baptismal font. The family should gather there. The body or Cremains is sprinkled with Holy Water from the font. The family is encouraged to help with placing the Funeral Pall on the casket. During the processional hymn, there is a procession to the Altar with the body followed by the family. The Mass continues as usual. After the gifts are brought up to the Altar, the gifts and the body are incensed. The Mass continues as usual. After the final commendation the priest processes out followed by the body and family. The pall is removed and the priest will then sprinkle holy water on the body.

9 Notes

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