Funerals: Hope and Consolation
Please know that your parish family is here for you in your time of need, and we will be happy to assist you in the planning of a Catholic funeral for your loved one. Please call the parish office at 480.279.6737 to start this process.
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.
Introduction to the Funeral Liturgy
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 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)
The Church prefers that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites. “Although cremation is now permitted by the Church, it does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body. The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites.” Order of Christian Funerals Appendix 2, Cremation, # 413.
Many times we get a call from a family member requesting a funeral Mass for a loved one who has already been cremated. In this case the Church gives us some clear directions, “The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition.” OCF # 417.
It is never permitted to scatter the ashes of one who has been cremated or to keep them at home. “The cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. 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. Whenever possible, appropriate means for recording with dignity the memory of the deceased should be adopted, such as a plaque or stone which records the name of the deceased.” OCF, # 41.
The Grief Recovery Method: Guide for Loss
Tips on the experience of Grief and how to help people through it.