The Catholic funeral rites celebrate the mystery of our life, death and resurrection in Christ. Through Baptism we enter into this mystery. We live our lives in the hope of sharing eternal life with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit when we complete our passage through death. For us Christians, death in Christ results in life in greater abundance. This new life, like a seed, was planted in us at Baptism, flowered during our lifetime, and at death yields a rich harvest. Faith in this mystery should motivate people arranging the funeral of a loved one. With this in mind, and praying with you in this time of grief, we present to you the funeral guidelines for our parish.
This Planning Sheet is presented to family and friends as a way of becoming active in the Funeral Rite of a loved one; we care for one another in life and death, and at the door of eternal life. The Parish also provides you with this Planning Sheet so that together we can help you plan your loved one's funeral Mass. With the help of of one another and the Lord, we can celebrate their life and all the promises of the Lord for all of His people.
The Mass of Christian Burial is the primary service, customarily celebrated in the morning, reflecting the theme of resurrection. Procession to the cemetery and burial usually follows the Mass.
Funeral arrangements begin with a meeting with the funeral director. The parish will contact the family to discuss the details of the Mass of Christian Burial.
Flowers are permitted for the Wake/Rosary Service and again for the Mass of Christian Burial. Parish staff will direct the placement of the flowers. Funeral directors should take notice of flowers that are already in the sanctuary before the Mass. Please be sure to remove, after Mass, only the flowers the family has brought in. The parish welcomes donations of flower arrangements should the family wish it. Flowers arrangements are not to be carried in the recessional.
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Memorial displays are encouraged at the wake at the funeral home. If some images are to be used in church, the display is to be kept simple. They are never to block the view of the tabernacle or the music ministers.
If the deceased is to be cremated, it is permissible to celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial with the cremated remains present. Church law requires the cremains be laid to rest in consecrated ground, either buried or inurned in our Columbarium.
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The Word of God is of great importance in the funeral rite. The readings proclaim the meaning that Christ himself gave to death, teach us to remember the dead, nourish our hope of being gathered together again in God's kingdom, and encourage us to live the Christian life. Above all, the readings tell of God's design for a world in which suffering and death will be destroyed. In the readings all present have an opportunity to hear God speak to them in their needs, sorrows, fears and hopes.
To make this easier for the family, the Catholic Church has pre-selected a number of Biblical passages which are appropriate for the occasion of a funeral. Please look over these passages as part of your funeral preparations, and find those words which speak to your heart.
Note: In the celebration of the word of God at the funeral liturgy, the biblical readings may not be replaced. However, at a family prayer service, an additional reading, inspired by faith, could be appropriate as a meditation.
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Music is essential to the Funeral Mass. It allows the community to express convictions and feelings that words alone may fail to convey. It has the power to console and uplift the mourners and to strengthen the unity of the assembly in faith. The Funeral Choir and Organist of the St. Joseph Parish community supply the music for the funeral Mass. All music is sacred in nature.
Contact Rectory Office for assistance.