Plan a Funeral or Burial
In the Catholic Church tradition, the Mass of Christ’s Resurrection is celebrated for the deceased. As believing Christians, we are united with Christ from the moment of the baptism. We live with Christ, die with Christ and rise to a glorious Resurrection.
The Mass for the Deceased
In our celebration, by means of prayers and symbols, our pilgrim journey is explained. The baptism ceremony is re-enacted at the entrance of the church using symbols to recall the essential ingredients of our initiation into the family of God.
- The blessing with holy water is a reminder of the saving waters of baptism.
- The placing of the white pall over the coffin is a reminder of the deceased’s baptism garment and a sign of the Christian dignity of the person.
- The presence of the Paschal candle, the candle that is blessed at Easter, reminds the faithful of Christ’s undying presence among them and a sharing of His victory over sin and death.
- The cross is the sign of our redemption, since it is the instrument upon which Christ sacrificed Himself and it is also a symbol of faith.
Incense is also used during the Funeral Rite. Incense was used by the priests in the Old Testament to indicate the holiness of the temple and a sign of our prayers according to God’s presence. During the Funeral Rite, it is used as a sign to honor the body of the deceased which, through baptism, became the temple of the Holy Spirit. The priest incenses the altar of sacrifice, the body of the deceased, and the congregation.
Elements of joy and hope mark the entire celebration. We rejoice in the knowledge that a loved one who was God’s gift to us all, lived in the full awareness of His presence and today returns to Him to be happy forever. We grieve over the absence of the loved one but we rejoice in the knowledge that he/she is with God in His eternity of love.
The purpose of funeral planning is to connect the family with the parish and to plan the funeral literary. In order for you to be better prepared for the planning of the funeral, consider the following questions:
– What arrangements have you made with the funeral home – burial or cremation?
– What prayers do you want at the funeral home and/or mass?
– Who will read the scriptures?
– What priest/deacon do you want to president the Mass?
– If eulogies, poems, or inspirational, who will deliver them?
– What secular music do you want at the vigil, before the Mass, or at the graveside?
– What monentos or photos do you want displayed at the entrance of the church?
– Do you want a recession hosted by the parish (we provide drinks and a room) or
you want a funeral luncheon provided by ladies of the church?
To plan a funeral to be celebrated at St. Ann, contact the Church Office to receive a phone call form chair of our Bereavement Ministry.