The purpose of the Catholic Funeral Liturgy is to offer worship and thanksgiving to God, the author of all life; to pray for the deceased, and to offer support to the bereaved. The Church encourages us to celebrate the funeral in three main stages:

  • • The Vigil of Prayer, usually the evening before the funeral;
  • • The Funeral Liturgy, which may be a Mass or a Funeral Service;
  • • The Committal at the cemetery or crematorium.

When it is not practical to celebrate all three stages the funeral may comprise a single act of worship either in a church, cemetery chapel or crematorium. The parish priest will help you consider what is best and practical for your particular circumstances. He will ensure the services are true to the tradition of the Church and appropriate to the one who has died, and those who gather to pray for them.

The Vigil of Prayer: This Vigil is the first stage of the farewell journey. Its mood is one of quiet support which helps to prepare the bereaved for the final leave-taking. It may be held in the home of the deceased person, in a funeral home or in the church. The body of the deceased may be present or not. The Vigil may be led a priest, but may also be led by others. It will include prayers and readings from scripture. It may include the Rosary, and appropriate liturgical songs and hymns.

The Funeral Liturgy: The Funeral Liturgy usually takes the form of the celebration of Mass, the highest form of prayer in which the Sacrifice of Christ himself is made present. In offering this Sacrifice, we commend to God the soul of the deceased in union with Christ himself. In some circumstances, it is suitable for the Funeral Liturgy to take the form of a Liturgy of the Word only. The family and friends of the deceased, if they feel able, can assist during the Funeral Liturgy in a variety of ways, for example:

  • Placing on the coffin symbols of Christian faith, such as the pall (a large white cloth which reminds us of Baptism), a crucifix and an open bible.
  • Placing a photograph of the deceased or mass cards on a table near the coffin.
  • Reading the scripture passages or the intercessions.
  • A member of the family or a friend may also speak briefly about the deceased.

The Funeral Liturgy usually takes place in a parish church but it may sometimes be appropriate to hold it in the chapel of a cemetery or crematorium.

The Committal: The final act of saying farewell takes place in a brief service at the graveside or at the crematorium. When a body is cremated it is encouraged that there be a further brief service, sometime later, for the burial of the ashes.

Some families have a special booklet produced that includes the liturgy or words of the Funeral Mass or service. This document shows the prayers and the order in which they are said to help you produce this booklet.

More News and Information

Read the May edition of the Catholic Voice

The May edition of the Catholic Voice newspaper is now available to pick up at the back of the church. There is also an online electronic edition which you can get to by clicking the image below. For the eagle-eyed among you you may have noticed a small article about...

The National Office for Vocations saying Thank you to our priests

We are all called, we all have a vocation.

Do not be afraid to become fully alive, fully yourself.

Reflecting on Vocations in our Diocese

Canon Alan reflected on the state of play of Vocations in our Diocese as he completes a year in the role as Director of Vocations. It is clear that in our Diocese there is a need for raising the profile of a vocation in the religious life. The Diocese currently has...

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for 2022 World Day of Vocations

The fourth Sunday of Easter is traditionally known as Vocations Sunday or Good Shepherd Sunday as, in today’s gospel reading, Jesus says, ‘I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd is the one who lays down his life for his sheep’. Pope Francis has released his message...

The parish hosts the fantastic Charity Concert

We were fortunate to present a Charity Concert in aid of the Parish funds on the 24th of April 2022. The audience was thoroughly entertained by a varied diet of Music sung by our Parishioner Megan Moffitt and guitarist John Forsythe MBE. Taking works from classical...

Charity Concert this afternoon

Remember our Charity Concert this afternoon! The perfect way to end your Easter week. St Therese of Lisieux is excited to present Soprano, Megan Moffitt and Classical Guitarist John Forsyth MBE, performing, “Music for a While”. Their programme includes works by...

How to use our new contactless donation system

Those parishioners who have been able to attend Mass over the Easter season may have seen our new Contactless donation device at the back of Church. This system does not replace our existing forms of donation such as in the collection basket or via standing order, but...

New Contactless and Online Donation

The Parish has teamed up with Dona to offer the ability to donate to the parish using contactless and online donations. Since our Virgin MyDonate site went offline last year we have not been able to take online donations, we now have a new way of allowing our virtual...

Get the most out of Holy Week

We are now well into Holy Week and there is a lot going on in the parish to help you celebrate this important season in the church's year. Attend Confession If you have still to attend confession during Lent then Canon Alan is hearing...

Results of Easter Raffle

Congratulations to the winners of the Parish Easter raffle which was drawn after Mass on Sunday the 10th of April. We have raised the grand total of £338 towards parish funds. The list of people to thank is long. Firstly many thanks to Kerry for organising the raffle....

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This