Planning a funeral for yourself or for a loved one can be a stressful process. Thankfully, the Church provides a great deal of guidance in planning a funeral liturgy that is both solemn and beautiful. While the funeral liturgy may focus on the life of the deceased, remembering with joy the blessing that they were to us in this life, the Catholic Church does not consider a funeral liturgy merely a “celebration of life,” as some other Christian traditions do. The true spirit of the Church’s funeral liturgy is meant to acknowledge the sadness that death brings while at the same time emphasizing our joyful hope in eternal life. Consequently, the main purpose of the Church’s funeral liturgy is to provide comfort and consolation to the grieving family and loved ones and to encourage them to continue to pray for the deceased as they make their final journey towards eternal life in heaven.
The following directives will guide you in making decisions regarding liturgical selections and other practical matter so that the funeral liturgy and subsequent disposition of remains will truly be appropriate and respectful. The selections for readings are numerous; please do not feel compelled to review all the different possible selections. If you would like the priest or deacon to choose some of the more common readings, please let him know.
If you are planning a funeral for a loved one who has recently died, please contact the parish office as soon as possible to begin making arrangements. If there is any other assistance you need, please feel free to contact me by phone, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family during this difficult time of loss.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. John Matejek