Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women and blessed is the Fruit of Your Womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death!

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Funerals and Memorials

We are working on a complete guide for planning funeral services and memorial Masses. The funeral rites of the Church are adapted to the particular circumstances of the deceased and the people who gather in prayer and remembrance. The three primary rites that may be celebrated after death are:

  • Vigil for the Deceased (wake/visitation)
  • Funeral Mass (or a liturgy without Mass)
  • Rite of Committal (burial or interment)

The Funeral Mass is the principal celebration of the funeral rites. It has the following parts:

Greeting and Entrance Procession
Opening Prayer
First Reading from Sacred Scripture
Responsorial Psalm
Second Reading (may be omitted)
Gospel and Homily (proclaimed by a priest or deacon)
Universal Prayer (Prayer of the Faithful)
* Offertory (presentation of bread and wine)
* Eucharistic Prayer
* Communion Rite
* Prayer after Communion
Final Commendation / Farewell

If circumstances suggest that the celebration not include Holy Communion, the funeral liturgy outside of Mass may be celebrated in the church instead, omitting the parts marked with a *.

Family and friends of the deceased are encouraged to have an active role in both planning the celebration and participating in it. In particular, they may select and proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture that precede the Gospel. They may also help compose and lead the Universal Prayer (also known as the Prayer of the Faithful) that follows the presider's homily. Guided by the parish's music director, they may select hymns, a responsorial psalm, and other sacred music for the celebration. Up to four volunteers may bring up the gifts of bread and wine as the altar is prepared for the Eucharist. And one person may optionally give a brief presentation in remembrance of the deceased.

Some guidelines for this optional presentation follow:

  • It may be given at the beginning or end of the funeral celebration.
  • It should be prepared in advance, in writing and not much longer than five minutes.
  • Given the religious setting, please focus on the faith life and relationships of the deceased and avoid any stories or language that would not be appropriate for church.
  • We understand that these guidelines are rather restrictive. Please consider other opportunities besides the funeral celebration in church when words of remembrance or an eulogy may be shared more freely, such as in a funeral home, at the cemetery, or in an informal gathering with family and friends.

Father Gregory, Lori, and other members of our community are happy to guide you through all of the preparations and offer solutions to any concerns you might have. Please contact Lori directly to plan the music for the funeral Mass (or a liturgy without Mass in the church), including the Responsorial Psalm. The readings from Scripture and the Universal Prayer may be selected using the following guides:

Readings for funeral and memorial liturgies

Guide for composing the Universal Prayer

Additional guides and a planning form will be posted here as they are developed by Fr. Gregory in consultation with parish leaders.




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