Arrangements to be made with St Mary’s Church

Eulogy
In many Churches it is customary for a member of the family to deliver a eulogy at the funeral service, but not in the Catholic Church. The “Order of Christian Funerals” very explicitly – and for good reason – denies the place of a eulogy at a Catholic funeral. Instead, it states, there should be a homily through which members of the family and community should receive consolation and strength to face the death of one of their members.

Organist / Choice of Hymns
There are normally 4 or 5 hymns sung at Funeral Masses: Entrance hymn; Responsorial Psalm; Offertory hymn; Communion Hymn; Recessional hymn. Every effort will be made to accommodate your choice of hymns, provided of course that these are liturgically appropriate. Secular songs (i.e. songs not of a religious nature) are inappropriate for singing at the Requiem Mass. The hymnal used in St Mary’s is “Hymns Old and New”; unless you are producing an “Order of Service” it would be preferable if you restricted your choices to hymns included in that hymnal.

Currently St Mary’s does not have a full-time Organist available for funerals. Families will usually engage an organist of their choice for the Funeral Mass.

Flowers
Although it is not essential, you may wish to provide flowers to adorn the sanctuary at the Requiem Mass. It is often a pity that so many beautiful; floral tributes are left by the graveside where they cannot be admired and appreciated. It might be an idea, instead of wreathes, that flowers in memory of your loved one could be placed on the altar where they can stand as a reminder, in the days followings the funeral, to pray for him / her.

Photographs
Again, this is not essential but merely a suggestion. You may wish to have an appropriate framed photo of your beloved deceased on a little table alongside the coffin. Apart from being a nice to do, this will often help the family members to focus their minds on the deceased as they like to remember them. It also serves the purpose of letting the wider parish know who it is we are praying for and burying, for it sometimes happens that people will not know someone by name but will recognise a face.

Cars
Families will often wish to arrange transport for the immediate family to and from the church and cemetery. Please note that it is not necessary to provide transport for the priest.

Gratuities
Sometimes organists and cantors etc from within or outwith the parish have set charges. That is something you would have to ask them.

In the case of the Church itself there is no charge for any of the Sacraments. However it is accepted and normal practice to make a donation to the Church and to the priest for his services. This may be made through the undertaker or (preferably) directly to the priest himself.


For an "Arranging a Funeral" brochure click here

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