Funerals at Saint Anthony

FUNERAL INTRODUCTION

The loss of a loved one often brings much pain and sorrow in which we grieve together. We as a Catholic Community come together with your family and friends asking all to join us as we prepare our loved one for eternal life in Christ.  Our expressions of sympathy for your loss are given through prayer, our expression for the eternal life of your loved one is culminated in this special ecclesiastical service we are about to celebrate.

We as a parish are here to help guide you and your family through the preparation process in celebration of your loved one.  We encourage family members to take an active part in the Funeral Mass to help strengthen and heal in our Catholic Faith. We can evangelize our Catholic Faith by witness, by demonstrating to all who attend this ecclesiastical service that our never ending love for God is present and we wish to share that love each day.

Guidelines & Information

“Because of our belief not only in the immortality of the soul, but also in the resurrection of the body, the Church professes hope in the face of death, and acts with charity in the funeral rites. The Church provides a number of prayers for the faithful to offer both to accompany the dying of a loved one and to strengthen our faith upon their death. Through private prayer and public funeral rites, we strengthen our faith and hope, comfort those who mourn, and bury the bodily remains of the deceased with care befitting what was the Temple of the Holy Spirit.” —USCCB”

“If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”   —Romans 6:8″

The following Guidelines and Advisory information has been prepared by the Parish of Saint Anthony. The information contained herein is a culmination of our Catholic traditions and doctrine as well as local input from the Parish. Information has been provided directly or in part from:

Please do not hesitate to ask for help or refer parts of the service to those in the parish if family is unable to participate. Remember that we are all one in Christ.

THE THREE PARTS OF THE FUNERAL

Preparation of three key areas of Funeral Rites are requested

The Catholic funeral rite is divided into several stations, or parts, each with its own purpose. This Overview, provided by the USCCB, will help you prepare.

1.Vigil Service (Wake)

“At the vigil, the Christian community keeps watch with the family in prayer to the God of mercy and finds strength in Christ’s presence” (Order of Christian Funerals, no. 56). The Vigil Service usually takes place during the period of visitation and viewing at the funeral home. It is a time to remember the life of the deceased and to commend him/her to God. In prayer we ask God to console us in our grief and give us strength to support one another.

The Vigil Service can take the form of a Service of the Word with readings from Sacred Scripture accompanied by reflection and prayers. It can also take the form of one of the prayers of the Office for the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours. The clergy and your funeral director can assist in planning such service.

It is most appropriate, when family and friends are gathered together for visitation, to offer time for recalling the life of the deceased. For this reason, eulogies are usually encouraged to be done at the funeral home during visitation or at the Vigil Service.

2. Funeral Liturgy

The funeral liturgy is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. When one of its members dies, the Church encourages the celebration of the funeral liturgy at a Mass. When Mass cannot be celebrated, a funeral liturgy outside Mass can be celebrated at the church or in the funeral home.

At the funeral liturgy, the Church gathers with the family and friends of the deceased to give praise and thanks to God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion, and to seek strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery. The funeral liturgy, therefore, is an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief.

3. Rite of Committal (Burial or Interment)

The Rite of Committal, the conclusion of the funeral rite, is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member. It should normally be celebrated at the place of committal, that is, beside the open grave or place of interment. In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection. The Rite of Committal is an expression of the communion that exists between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven: the deceased passes with the farewell prayers of the community of believers into the welcoming company of those who need faith no longer, but see God face-to-face.

PARTICIPATION FOR THE FUNERAL RITES

Vigil Service (Wake)

The Vigil Service is primarily handled through your Funeral Director. Your Funeral Director will be familiar with the Catholic doctrine and traditions’ and provide you with some choices. The Funeral Director will also help in the selection and process for the Pallbearers and placement of the Pall. He also can assist in any “Symbol of Christian life” that may accompany the procession of the family.

You will be asked to make choices at this point.

Readings and who may read them

Two readings plus a responsorial psalm and gospel acclamation will precede the Gospel. The family, in collaboration with the priest or minister, can select one text each from the Old Testament Readings and New Testament Readings. We have provided a list of Readings to choose from.

You will be asked to make choices at this point.

Music Selection

Funeral music needs to reflect not only the grief of the family, but the whole truth about the life and death of a Christian: “God’s love for them and the promise of eternal life.” This is why the Church insists that only liturgical music should be used and that the primary focus should be on the assembly’s song. We have provided a list of music selection to choose from. Often there is a special request, this request must be provided to the Priest for consideration in advance of the service.

You will be asked to make choices at this point.

Presentation of Gifts

The church encourages family members or friends at the Funeral Mass to bring to the altar the bread and wine. They are referred to as Gift Bearers.

You will be asked to make choices at this point.

Words of Remembrance

Often referred to as a Eulogy, the “Words of Remembrance” should be words spoken from a family member or friend and should express the appreciation of the life of the deceased, take the form of a prayer, or an inspirational story. Because of the intensity of emotions any “words of remembrance” should be written in advance and can be reviewed for appropriate content. Remember a true Eulogy, a tribute and stories through one’s life, can be given during the wake or after the committal service. Often times many gather after the funeral services with family and friends and fondly tell stories or mini Eulogies of the loved one and the positive impact they had on their lives.

You will be asked to make choices at this point.

FUNERALS AT SAINT ANTHONY

The loss of a loved one often brings much pain and sorrow in which we grieve together. We as a Catholic Community come together with your family and friends asking all to join us as we prepare our loved one for eternal life in Christ. Our expressions of sympathy for your loss are given through prayer, our expression for the eternal life of your loved one is culminated in this special ecclesiastical service we are about to celebrate.

We as a parish have published this handbook in an effort to help guide you and your family through the preparation process in celebration of your loved one. We encourage family members to take an active part in the Funeral Mass to help strengthen and heal in our Catholic Faith. We can evangelize our Catholic Faith by witness, by demonstrating to all who attend this ecclesiastical service that our never ending love for God is present and we wish to share that love each day.

Our Parish Staff along with our Bereavement Ministry are here to help you and your family through the process and preparation of the Funeral Mass. From the Vigil Service (Wake) to the Funeral Liturgy to the Rite of Committal (Burial or Interment) we are here for you. Please do not hesitate to ask for help or refer parts of the service to those in the parish if family is unable to participate. Remember that we are all one in Christ.

Contact our Bereavement Ministry

On behalf of the parish family, if desired, a member of the parish will meet with the bereaved, answering any questions they may have and aid them in selecting the prayers and music for the funeral mass. This parish member will help create a Worship Guide to be distributed at the funeral mass.  Contact our office for more information.

Funeral Handbook/Prep Form

Download the Funeral Preparation Form and/or Funeral Service Handbook:

Funeral Preparation Form

Christ By The Sea Collaborative Funeral Booklet (Effective 2021)