Funerals, how we help
When someone dies, day or night, their family is encouraged to contact the Priest/Parish Office if he is available. The Priest may recite prayers for the dead, comfort the family and address any practical matters that arise.
Since Sacraments are for the living members of the Church, the Priest cannot anoint or baptise someone who has died.
Even if the family first meets with the funeral director, it is best not to make detailed funeral arrangements until after the Priest is contacted. This includes the day, place and time of the funeral, the kind of liturgy (Funeral Mass or Funeral Service), and the form of committal (burial or cremation). The Priest or his delegate needs to be involved in these decisions.
It is wise to allow at least three days before the funeral. This allows time for family members to grieve, for travel arrangements to be made, and for suitable preparations to be made.
Any member of the Catholic Church may have a Catholic funeral. In certain circumstances baptised Christians who are not Catholic may, if they wish, also have a Catholic funeral, such as when they belong to a largely Catholic family.
For more information, contact the parish office on (07) 3391 4663.
In a similar way to most types and varieties of funeral service, planning a Catholic funeral service for your deceased loved one involves a range of different options and choices. There are many ways in which you are able to personalise the service, whilst still embracing the time-honored traditions of Roman Catholic funeral liturgy.
Reception of the Body into church the night before the funeral is still a common Roman Catholic practice, though less so than previously. Indeed, this is no longer possible in some of our local Catholic churches. Recent years have also seen a drift towards a single service held in the cemetery or crematorium chapel.
However, in the face of these modern trends, Catholics are encouraged to celebrate a funeral in three stages or movements, reflecting the Easter journey of Jesus Christ, from death to resurrection: The Vigil, The Funeral Liturgy and The Committal.
The Reception of the Body into church may be celebrated as part of The Vigil, with the deceased remaining in church overnight, or may occur immediately before The Funeral Liturgy. Additionally, many traditional Roman Catholic families choose to recieve the body of the deceased into the family home the night before the funeral liturgy, or the day before the reception of the body into church.
The Rite of Committal usually takes place immediately after the Funeral Liturgy. The final act of leave-taking is celebrated at the graveside, or in the crematorium chapel, depending on whether you choose to have a burial or a cremation.
Earth Burial has always been a traditional part of the Catholic funeral. The ceremony of burial, using prayers and symbols drawn from scripture, focuses the thoughts of the bereaved on the burial and subsequent resurrection of Jesus.
Burial allows the bereaved to face the reality of death. As the coffin is lowered into the grave, one is able to express one's farewell through the sprinkling of earth or holy water. The family are able to leave, knowing that the deceased person is 'settled' in a special place.
Cremation is a relatively new concept for Roman Catholics, with cremation only being permitted by the Vatican in 1963, and with the practice remaining much less common among Catholic familes than other Christian groups. Unlike burial, the act of cremation is not the end of the farewell process, and it is important that the natural cycle of bereavement and funeral rites is brought to completion through the act of interment of the cremated remains.
Cremated Remains ("ashes") are treated with the same reverence and respect shown to the body of the deceased person, and it is important that a resting place is reserved for them. Catholics are not permitted to retain ashes in the family home, nor are they permitted to scatter cremated remains.
The funeral ceremony is often followed by a reception. This is an opportunity for mourners to meet and console one another, and forms an important part of the leave-taking process. The reception allows for emotional release following the stressful events of the funeral, and can foster an atmosphere of reconciliation and closure on the preceding days' events.
19/09/2014Beloved Wife of Roley. Much loved Mother of Geoff, Deborah, Greg, Pauline, Rosemary, Damian and Tim. Loved and Loving grand-mother of Twenty and Great-grandmother of Thirteen. Family and Friends of Merle are invited to attend a Requiem Mass in...