Funeral Planning

As Jesus wept when his friend, Lazarus, died, we do the same and share with your family the sorrow of the loss of your loved one. As one family of God, we extend our deepest condolences to your family.

“In the fear of death, the Church confidently proclaims that God has created each person for eternal life and that Jesus, Son of God, by his death and resurrection, has broken the chains of sin and death that bound humanity.” (“Order of Christian Funerals” #1)

The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, (Order of Christian Funerals, 1989) explains beautifully the purpose in celebrating the Funeral Rites for a deceased Christian:

 “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.”

“Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of life which has now been returned to God, the author of life and the hope of the just. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian Funeral.”

Immersed in the wonder and hope of the Paschal Mystery, the Church prays for the dead, filled with confidence that God will “wipe away all the tears from our eyes and there will be no more death, no more tears, no more sadness.” Rev 21:4

Please call Carol Pavlak in our parish office to begin the funeral planning process, personally talk with your family and answer any questions.

Introduction to the Funeral Liturgy

“The Funeral Liturgy is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. At the funeral liturgy, the community 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. Through the Holy Spirit, the community is joined together in sign and symbol, word and gesture that each believer through baptism shares in Christ’s death and resurrection and can look to the day when all the elect will be raised up and united in the kingdom of light and peace.” (OCF 128-129)

A vigil/viewing in the funeral home the evening before the day of the funeral is the recommended place and time for family and friends to pay their respects; this is the appropriate time for a eulogy, if desired. A rosary may be included, if desired.

The Catholic Church’s teaching regarding cremation

The Church encourages that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites. This allows appropriate reverence for the sacredness of the body; the sprinkling with the holy water, the placing of the pall and honoring the body of the deceased with incense. A casket may be rented for presentation of the body at the funeral liturgy when cremation is chosen.

“When the choice has been made to cremate the body, it is recommended that the cremation take place after the Funeral Liturgy.” (OCF #418). If there are extenuating circumstances in which it is necessary to cremate the body before the funeral rite, the cremated should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they came. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the cremated remains (ashes). The cremated remains should then be present at the Funeral Mass.

“The practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.” (OCF #417)

It is never permitted to divide or separate a person’s remains. The proper disposition for the cremated remains is for them to be buried or entombed at a cemetery or in a mausoleum or columbarium in a manner that will provide a guarantee of perpetual care.

Once the cremation process has been completed, it is the expectation of the Church that the cremated remains will be buried or entombed without undue delay, recognizing that there may be a need to transport the remains to another location.

Guidelines for the Reception of Communion

Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life and worship. Therefore, those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ or His Catholic Church are not permitted to receive Holy Communion.

Similarly, those Catholics who are not properly disposed to receive Holy Communion (ex. have not fasted for one hour, unconfessed mortal sin on their soul, have not attended Sunday Mass, etc.) are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity of Jesus with one another. One may fall in line crossing their arms over their shoulders and ask for blessing if they wish.

“A New Beginning” - Bereavement Support Ministry

This ministry is provided to the family of the deceased and is coordinated along with other funeral arrangements.

Bereavement representatives assist the family of the deceased at the funeral Mass. Representatives typically arrive 30 minutes prior to the funeral time to assist the family and attendees with finding their way around the church and to the parish hall, if a reception follows. If you are interested in becoming a representative, please contact Pat McGrath at 480-759-5052.

Funeral Receptions

This ministry is provided to the family of the deceased and is coordinated along with other funeral arrangements.

Volunteers assist in preparing, serving, and clean-up of funeral receptions in the Parish Center. If you are interested in being added to the SignUpGenius online volunteer list to bring luncheon items (one person typically signs up to bring one type of salad, sandwich, or dessert, enough to feed 12-15 people) please contact Christy Lincoln at 480-460-8247 or christyslincoln@aol.com. Sign up opportunities also include preparation, serving, and clean up at the reception.

Grief Support Group

Support for those grieving the death of a loved one, whether recently or years ago. If you are grieving a loved one or know someone who would benefit from the support of others, please contact Deacon Phil Simeone at 480-592-9529 or sksimeone@cox.net.