Funerals

At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of Baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end, nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting Word of God and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.”

Order of Christian Funerals, no. 4

The funeral liturgy is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. When one of its members dies, the Church encourages the celebration of the funeral liturgy at a Mass. When Mass cannot be celebrated, a funeral liturgy outside Mass can be celebrated at the church or in the funeral home. At the funeral liturgy, the Church gathers with the family and friends of the deceased to give praise and thanks to God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion, and to seek strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery. The funeral liturgy, therefore, is an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief.

You may want to consider pre-planning parts of your own funeral to aid your loved ones after your passing. Or you may be planning the funeral for a loved one who has just passed. The readings and music that will be read during a funeral Mass are chosen by the family during a meeting with the priest. It can be helpful to read through these prior to the meeting to allow you time to fully consider each piece of scripture. While selecting the readings, think of family members or friends who would be willing to read the first and second readings during the Mass.

Please select an Old Testament reading (on pages 1 – 10), a New Testament reading (beginning on page 11) and a Gospel reading (beginning on page 36)  from this list: Funeral Readings (note that during the Easter season, from Easter Sunday through Pentecost, two New Testament readings should be chosen and the Old Testament reading omitted.)

Music, including the Responsorial Psalm which is sung between the first and second readings can be chosen from this list: Funeral Music List Suggestions Typically, 5 songs are needed, plus the Responsorial Psalm.