Funeral Liturgy (Mass)
The Funeral Liturgy (Mass) is our great “Thank You” to God who created us, died for us, and who is calling each of us back to Himself. In this step the focus shifts slightly from emphasis on the deceased to God’s saving works though Jesus Christ. The Mass, particularly at the time of death, is truly a special moment, a holy moment, a God-moment.
The Eucharist looks forward to our participation in the heavenly banquet, where we are united with Jesus, the saints, and all those who share eternal life. Jesus said, “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall live forever.” (John 6:54) The Eucharist is truly the central point in a Catholic funeral. Its effectiveness is greatly enhanced when the family participates in appropriate ways: clothing the casket with the pall, selecting the Scripture readings, serving as lectors or extraordinary ministers, singing the responses and the hymns and, most especially, receiving Holy Communion.
The funeral homily is of utmost importance in the funeral liturgy. A homily may only be delivered by a priest or a deacon, as liturgical homilies are part of the sacramental rite of the Eucharist. The homily speaks of the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection and gives the deeper meaning that is found in the experience of death and dying. The homily occurs within the context of a funeral Mass that is offered for the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of the soul of the faithful departed.
Rite of Committal (Cemetery)
The last step – the last concrete act we can do for our loved ones in this world – is the Committal, the burial or entombment of the remains of the deceased. The relationships, bonds and “communion” we build with one another in faith are not broken by death. Resting in a holy place with our brothers and sisters is a profound statement of that belief.
The Rite of Committal is the final liturgy in the Order of Christian Funerals. Like the Vigil Service, the Rite of Committal makes use of Scripture, a few words of hope by the presider, intercessions and prayers.
A Catholic cemetery is a sacred place of honor and respect for those who have died. It is a memorial to all who are interred there. It is a sacred place where Catholics come to express their grief and hope in the resurrection for their loved ones who have preceded them in death. It is blessed ground, fitting for someone whose body was a temple of the Holy Spirit on earth and now awaits the resurrection from the dead.
To have a representative of the Shrine present at this final moment is a great source of consolation to those who will now have to continue their journey in life without their beloved. While a priest may be unable to preside at the Committal Service, a deacon or a trained bereavement minister may represent the Church at this final moment.
To hold Funeral Mass, the following are required:
– If the funeral mass is of present body the family has to be contacted with the funeral home. The funeral home will be responsible for the procedures required for the celebration to take place.
– If the celebration will be with the Ashes, the family must go to the office to make the registration.
– The donation required by the Parish is $ 300.00
– The family or funeral home is responsible for acquiring a choir for the celebration.
– The days for the masses are Monday to Friday.
For funeral arrangements and other resources to the family, please contact the Shrine office at 847-294-1806.
May God and Our Lady of Guadalupe bless you and your family.