The loss of a loved one can be one of the most agonizing and daunting experiences in life, and the planning for the service where you remember them, can be just as difficult to manage. No matter how expected it may be, the actuality of loss brings us to a moment of evaluation and recollection. At Corpus Christi, our community of faith does our utmost to be a pillar of strength for your family in this time of need.
Funeral arrangements begin with a meeting with the funeral director. Next the parish is contacted, where a priest will confirm the date and time for the funeral Mass. Later the parish will contact the family to discuss the details of the Mass of Christian Burial. Masses are generally celebrated at 11am but exceptions can be made based on the family's requests.
We believe that nothing expresses a celebration better than the involvement of family members and friends in the mass. Below are opportunities in the mass where family and friends are able to participate:
Proclaimers of the Word (1st and 2nd Readings lectors)
Intercessions / Prayers of the Faithful
Presentation of Gifts (bringing up the Bread and Wine during Offertory)
Serving as a Eucharistic Minister (if the person has been commissioned within a Catholic faith and traditions)
Words of Remembrance
Because the Mass is a public act of worship of the church, the parish is ultimately responsible for the music in the liturgy. Hymns should reflect the idea of resurrection and hope. You may have in mind some specific religious music, which would be appropriate during the Mass. The parish Worship office can help you choose music that would be appropriate for the funeral Mass. The entrance hymn, communion hymn and recessional hymn are music that the congregation should be encouraged to sing, as well as the usual service music and responses. Solos are more appropriate as a prelude, during the presentation of the gifts, and as a postlude after the recessional. A cantor and accompanist are needed for the mass. The fee is $150 each for the cantor and the accompanist. Outside musicians are allowed and must be knowledgeable on the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Outside music is also allowed. Outside musicians and music must be approved by the Church for liturgical and sacred appropriateness. Payments must be received by the Liturgist on behalf of all musicians prior to the service. The funeral mass planner with provide you with options for the service.
For the convenience of the family, all mass readings can be found online via the parish website. Family members can select the readings of their choosing or opt to have the Liturgist make the selections on your behalf. Alternate reading options may be considered but they must be scriptual and must be approved by the Church. If the family cannot provide the lectors, the parish will see that the readings are proclaimed. Below you are able to find approved readings for funeral liturgies. The funeral mass planner will provide you with reading options for the service.
Pall & Candle
The casket itself, though a center of reverence, is not the focus of attention at the Mass of Christian Burial. Rather, the focus is our hope of sharing eternal life and resurrection, promised at Baptism. During the entrance blessing, the casket is covered with a white cloth, a pall, as a reminder of the white garment used at Baptism. The Easter Candle, another symbol of Baptism, will stand ahead of the casket. Usually it is immediate family members who place the funeral pall on the casket. The American flag, a symbol of military service, never covers the casket in church during the Mass.
The order of entrance is as follows: Servers, presider, casket, pallbearers, followed by the family (if not already seated) The same order is used as we leave the Church. Musicians are not part of the procession. They are to be up front in the music ministry area leading the congregation in the entrance or recessional song.
The homily is the sermon by the priest or deacon after the Gospel. It is meant to be a reflection on Christian life, death, and resurrection. This is not the time for a eulogy on the life of the deceased. A eulogy is never appropriate where a homily is prescribed, but examples from the person's life may be used in the homily.
Presentation of Gifts
We encourage members of the immediate family to bring the gifts forward as a symbolic way of offering their loved one to God. We encourage Catholics to receive communion under both species. If you have family members who are commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, (even from another parish) they are permitted to assist. Otherwise, the parish will provide Extraordinary Ministers.
Words of Remembrance
The eulogy is not part of the Mass of Christian burial. Eulogies by family members or friends are encouraged at the wake service and at the cemetery. Some families use the wake service for a time of memories for the deceased with an open podium. This is done in the context of the vigil service. You have been invited, though, to offer some words of remembrance at the Funeral Liturgy for a person dear to you. This is a great honor and responsibility. This guide is offered to help you plan and deliver your remembrance well.
Only one person is allowed to offer words of remembrance
Use your own words and speak from your heart.
Prepare your remembrance in writing. It makes your delivery easier for you and your thoughts clearer to the listener.
You might read the scripture texts that the family has selected. It may bring to mind a specific quality or an incident or a deed which symbolizes his or her faith.
Please keep your remembrance short – between 3 and 5 minutes. That is about one page of printed text.