To arrange a meeting for funeral planning, please contact Fr. Brian or Dcn. Ken Kabat at the Parish Office. To begin, however, feel free to begin thinking about Scripture readings and music (see below), or you can wait until meeting with Father or Deacon.
The Funeral Rites of the Catholic Church reflect the deep need within the human soul to love and honor those who have died, and to turn to God our Maker for assistance, consolation, and reassurance. These Rites consist of a Funeral Vigil (also known as a wake), the Funeral Liturgy, and the Rite of Committal (burial).
At the Vigil, the community gathers to pray to God for the deceased, as well as for those who mourn. This is also the primary time for remembering our loved one: stories are told, memories are shared, laughs are had, tears are shed, photos are exchanged, and so on. At the Vigil, the faithful keep the deceased in prayer as they wait for the celebration of the Funeral Liturgy. Oftentimes, the Vigil is celebrated the evening prior to the Funeral Liturgy, at the funeral home or, sometimes, at the church itself. This can be discussed with the funeral home and the parish.
At the Funeral Liturgy (whether it is a Mass, or a Liturgy of the Word with Commendation) the community brings the body of the deceased before God, asking God to take their loved one to himself. The Funeral Liturgy is a significant turning point, in that the mourners begin to ritually "let go" of the deceased, and entrust the person to the loving mercy of Almighty God. It is a time of great faith, mixed with sorrow and hope. Additionally, the Eucharist is celebrated, reminding all those gathered that the Body and Blood of Christ is "food for the journey:" the journey through this life, through death, and into the fullness of life beyond death.
The last of the Funeral Rites is the Rite of Committal (also known as the Burial Rite). Many times this Rite takes place later on the same day as the Funeral Liturgy. However, the Rite of Committal can occur the day after the Funeral Liturgy, or even further beyond that. At the burial, the body of the deceased is committed to the ground: "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust." This Rite can be the most difficult for mourners, as the reality of death and separation becomes very real. But we pray at the graveside that, because Jesus died, was laid in the tomb, and rose from there, we have hope that those who are buried with faith in Christ within their hearts, will also rise with him. And so, for the faithful, the grave is a sign of hope because it was the path that Jesus himself took.