The loss of a family member, friend or loved one brings a sense of grief, loss and change to all our lives. We wish to be there in whatever way we can to support people who are bereaved.
Contacting the Priest
Once a loved one has died whoever has responsibility for making the funeral arrangements should make direct contact with the priest of the parish where the funeral is to take place. At this stage both the priest and the family can make preliminary arrangements that are convenient to the family and fit the availability of the priest, the church, and the church staff. In a growing number of parishes volunteers are involved in aspects of funeral planning as well as leading prayers and their availability also has to be taken into consideration. Many parishes for good reason have guidelines governing the timing and celebration of funerals. Many churches have local musicians and singers who are ready to assist at funerals and should not be passed over readily. Some church organs are very valuable and expensive to upkeep and repair and only experienced, designated people properly trained should use them. Funerals in church can either be celebrated inside the context of Mass or with scripture readings and hymns outside of Mass. At all times the dignity and the purpose of the church itself as the house of God must be respected and all aspects of these liturgies should be in keeping with our Christian tradition, faith and culture. The church cannot be used like an assembly hall or a gymnasium or auditorium. The priest and parish staff are willing to assist families with the proper preparation for a Christian funeral liturgy or funeral Mass and endeavour to make this experience a comforting and consoling experience for the loved ones of the deceased.
Removal to the Church
A team of volunteers are available to lead the praying of the Rosary in the mortuary prior to the removal to the church. Where the removal takes place from a private residence, a priest will visit during the day to lead prayers. The removal to the church normally occurs in the evening time. The parish is anxious to accommodate the wishes of the family in regard to the removal ceremony in the church. When the coffin is received at the front door, the Pall (large white cloth) is placed over it and is removed at the door of the Church after final prayers of the Funeral Mass. The Pall is meant to symbolise firstly, the dignity of the deceased person as a child of God, and secondly, that in God's eyes we are all equal in death. It means that no flags or emblems are displayed on the coffin during the period of prayer within the Church. Relatives or organisations are welcome to place these emblems on the coffin on its way to the Church, and again, as it leaves the Church. Should a family prefer that the Pall not be placed on the coffin, they can make their wishes known to the priest receiving the remains. The Christian symbols of a Crucifix and Bible will be placed on the coffin when it arrives at the Sanctuary. Family members are invited to do this.
Funeral masses will be celebrated at 11 o'clock, including Sunday's. During weekdays, if there is a funeral at 11 o'clock, the scheduled 9:30 mass will be cancelled.
To see all information on Readings, Psalms and Prayers of the Faithful for the funeral mass please click on the link below: