The Church encourages you to be as fully involved as you can in planning your loved one’s funeral liturgy. It is the final journey of your loved one. In the liturgy, we celebrate

• the life of faith of your loved one
• we commend him or her to the Lord
• we support and pray for all those who mourn
• we seek strength in the promise of the Lord that he will not forget his own.
• we commend him or her to the Lord
• we support and pray for all those who mourn
• we seek strength in the promise of the Lord that he will not forget his own.
In planning the liturgy you will need to:
1. Provide your priest with some biographical information about your deceased loved one that will help him in preparing the funeral homily.
2. Select the readings for the funeral Mass. You may decide to have either one or two readings before the gospel reading. Should you decide to have two readings before the gospel, it is preferable to have a different reader for each.
3. Select the responsorial psalm, which comes between the first and second readings.
4. Choose or compose the general inter¬cessions, which come after the homily. In the general intercessions we pray not only for the deceased and his or her family and friends but also for all the dead and those who mourn them, and for the needs of the wider community. One or more family members should read the general intercessions.
5. Choose family members or friends of the deceased to bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar. You should keep in mind, though, that the presentation of the gifts is not the time to carry up personal memorabilia or symbols of the life of the deceased. The best time is at the end of the Mass, during the final commendation and farewell.
6. Choose the hymns and music for the funeral Mass. The hymns should be selected from those regularly sung during Sunday Mass, and should express our strong belief in the resurrection, which is the basis of Christian hope.


Your priest will provide you with whatever advice or help you need in planning the liturgy.
The funeral has three principal stages or moments: the vigil and reception of the body at the church; the central funeral liturgy, which normally includes Mass; and the rite of committal. These ritual moments together form your loved one’s final journey of farewell. They celebrate our faith in Christ’s resurrection and his consoling presence with us at this time.
Reception of the body at the church (The Removal)
The rite of reception of the body at the church may take place on the evening before the funeral Mass or on the day of the funeral itself. It is the place where the community gathers to greet the deceased as one of their own.
The funeral Mass and final commendation
The funeral Mass is the central liturgical celebration for the deceased. It is similar in structure to the Sunday Mass. You will already have chosen the readings and general intercessions. If at all possible, you should also ensure that there is singing and music.
The committal
The body is taken to its final resting place. There we take our leave of our deceased loved one.
If the body of your deceased loved one is to be cremated, the rite of committal takes place at the crematorium.


The Memorial Mass
It is traditional in many parishes to have a Memorial Mass or Month’s Mind for the deceased in the weeks following the funeral. The Month’s Mind is an opportunity to once again commend the deceased to our loving God. It is celebrated in an atmosphere of prayerful remembrance, of gratitude, and of hope in the resurrection. The pain of loss is not quite as intense now, and the Memorial Mass helps us to move forward into the future.