Funeral arrangements may be made for Saint George Parish parishioners or those who make a special request. Generally initial arrangements are made through the funeral home.
Funeral Masses and chapel services are offered.
Praying for the dead is a primary ministry of the Church. We are called upon every day to pray for the souls of those who have died. Our prayer is that they may be welcomed into eternal life. With the death of a loved one, Saint George wants to do all we can to assist you in the time of grief. Through the wake, funeral and burial, the rituals of the Church can help carry a family through a difficult time.
Planning A Funeral
As Catholics, we believe that God has created each person for eternal life. Our physical death, therefore, is really a preparation for eternity. It is with this belief in the promise of eternal life that we celebrate the Catholic Funeral Mass.
It is during the Funeral Liturgy that we remember not only the life of the one who has died but also the presence of the Lord Jesus in that person’s life. The Church also ministers to those who grieve the loss of a loved one and aids them in finding consolation through the funeral rites and the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Typically, here at Saint George, a member of the Bereavement Ministry will contact you to arrange a time to meet and assist you with planning the Funeral Liturgy. This website has been designed to help you with questions you might have when planning a Funeral Mass. It also serves to provide you with selected readings, psalms, prayers of the faithful and song selections to review prior to meeting with the Ministry of Consolation. Here you will find helpful links to the following:
The Funeral Mass
At the Funeral Mass we offer worship, praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which has been returned to God. We are strengthened by our belief in the resurrection and find strength and consolation through our faith in God. During the Mass we are united in a living memorial of the suffering and death of Jesus in the Resurrection.
The Placing of the Pall on the casket serves to remind us of the baptismal garment of the deceased. It is a sign of the Christian dignity of the person and also signifies that all are equal in the eyes of the Lord.
Family members have the choice of placing the pall on the casket themselves or allowing the funeral director or pallbearers to place it. If the family chooses to do this the funeral director will assist.
The Readings, Prayers and Psalms proclaim to us the promise of eternal life, convey the hope of being gathered together again in God’s kingdom and support the witness of Christian life. Family members also have the choice of choosing the readings and the psalm appropriate for their loved one. During the Funeral Mass a total of three readings are recommended. Family or friends of the deceased are welcome to proclaim the first two readings while the priest or deacon proclaims the Gospel.
The Prayers of the Faithful are a series of prayers which are said at the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Word. These prayers are the way in which the faithful respond to the Word of God and offer prayers for the salvation of all.
The Presentation of the Gifts is the ritual in which bread, wine and water are brought to the altar. Family members or friends of the deceased are invited to serve as gift bearers.
Out of respect for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, Reception of Holy Communion at a Catholic Mass is reserved for those of the Catholic faith. The priest will invite non-Catholics to come forward and to cross their arms over their heart to receive a blessing.
While the liturgy is focused on the theme of new life and hope in the Resurrection, the following are our Eulogy requirements:
- One person to give Eulogy.
- Eulogy will take place immediately following the opening prayer.
- Stories and language appropriate for church.
- Keep it to three minutes.
- Have notes/script prepared
Music is essential to the funeral rites. It allows the community to express convictions and feelings that words alone may not convey. Music has the power to console and uplift the mourners and strengthen the unit of the assembly in faith and love.
In the funeral liturgy there are four opportunities for hymns: The Gathering Song, the Song at the Presentation of the Gifts, the Song at Communion and the Recessional Song at the end of the Mass.
Our Music Director is prepared to do the music for the Funeral liturgy.
With this in mind, we present to the bereaved family a list of Song Selections that are appropriate to a funeral Mass. Special requests for a song that is not on the list will be considered providing that it is an appropriate Christian song for a funeral Mass and that we have the music for it.
Although cremation is now permitted by the Church, the Church clearly prefers that the body of the deceased be present for the Funeral Mass since the presence of the body better expresses the main beliefs that the Church affirms during the funeral ritual. At times, when circumstances recommend that the cremation of the body occur before the funeral mass, the cremated remains should be present.
The cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. The practice of scattering cremated remains or keeping them in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased is not considered the reverent disposition that the Church requires. After the Funeral Mass, the cremated remains should be reverently taken to the place of burial or entombment in a timely manner.
A Final Word
We hope these explanations of the rites and symbols of the Funeral Mass and other information are of help to you during the preparation of your loved one’s funeral.
If we at Saint George can offer any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.