Funeral Mass of Christian Burial

St Mark has put together a booklet, Funeral Planning Guide for the Mass of Christian Burial. This handbook will discuss the three principle movements of the funeral liturgy: the vigil or wake, the Mass of Christian Burial, and the burial rites. You may click the link for a copy of this booklet, or it may be obtained from the office or from the funeral director with whom you are working.  Upon the death of a loved one, please contact the funeral home so that they may assist you in making the necessary funeral arrangements. We encourage parishioners to do pre-planning to make a difficult time easier for your family.

One area where questions have arisen is cremation. 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 rite, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites. If because of special or extraordinary circumstances cremation is chosen, this should follow the funeral liturgy. If this is not possible, the cremated remains will be placed in the church prior to the funeral liturgy. At the start of the funeral liturgy the cremated remains will be taken to the entry of the Church where the liturgy will begin. Following the opening rite, a family member or the funeral director will carry the cremated remains in procession to the front of the Church and place them on the appropriate table.

The Catholic Church commends its deceased members to the mercy of God by means of its funeral rite. The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they came. 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 the Church requires.

If the body, of the deceased is to be cremated, arrangements for the committal of the cremated remains must be made prior to the celebration of the funeral rites at St Mark. No funeral rites may be celebrated if the remains are not going to be buried or entombed as is proper and right for the Christian faithful. If committal is to take place in another state, the funeral home or family is asked to provide a letter indicating when and where the final committal will occur.

More information on Catholic Funerals, visit http://www.catholicnewsherald.com/faith/funeral or watch the video below.