"There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too" John 14:2:3
A Catholic funeral commends the deceased to God, re-affirms our faith in the Resurrection, and provides hope and support to the grieving.
Our principal prayer for the deceased is the Mass, which makes present for us Christ’s own death on the cross as a sacrifice to wipe away our sins. We take solace in the word of Sacred Scripture, give thanks for Christ's victory over sin and death and celebrate the Eucharist, sharing in the “bread of eternal life”.
The funeral rites conclude with the Rite of Committal at the cemetery or crematorium. It consists of a brief Scripture reading, a prayer over the place of committal, intercessions, the Our Father, concluding prayer and a prayer over the mourners.
There may also be a “Reception and Vigil” the night before (or the deceased may simply be brought into the Church at the beginning of Mass). The Vigil consists of Scripture readings, a short litany, the Lord's Prayer, concluding prayer and blessing.
The parish also has a “Bereavement Group” which contacts families after a funeral to let them know that the community is still thinking about them and praying for them. It also arranges an annual memorial Mass in November for those whose funerals have taken place here during the previous twelve months and will invite you nearer the time.
The clergy should be notified promptly by telephone (01389 762 709) when someone in the parish dies to allow arrangements to be made smoothly. (He should also be consulted before any order of service is prepared.)
There is no fee for a funeral service but most families make a donation towards the upkeep of the church and the clergy. Organists and cantors add to the dignity of the occasion and should be shown suitable appreciation.