The death of a loved one is a trauma and can seem like the end of the world. Suddenly, the person who is so much part of our lives is gone. We are devastated and heartbroken. But for us as Catholics we know that the death of our loved one is not the end, our destiny is life. We pass from death to eternal life. Death is that moment when Christ, who is life, finally takes us to himself forever, when we can never be separated from God.
“I am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me even though he dies, he will live forever, and who ever lives and believes in me will never die. - John 11:25 – 26.
Funeral arrangements are made with the priest. The usual time for a Funeral Mass is 11am. If there is to be a removal to the church on the evening before the Funeral Mass, the usual time is 7pm. The funeral will arrive punctually at the agreed time. The priest will meet the funeral at the door of the church, bless the coffin and the procession to the altar will begin.
The Funeral Mass
In offering the Mass, we are praying the greatest of all prayers. In this liturgy, we also commend our loved one to the mercy and love of God. You are encouraged to be involved in the preparation of your loved ones funeral liturgy, as we seek strength in promise of the Lord that he will not forget his own.
The Readings at the Mass are always from the Bible, including the Responsorial Psalm which is from the Book of Psalms, and in the Prayers of the faithful, we pray for the deceased, the bereaved and the wider faith community. Members of the family at the Offertory Procession may bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar which will become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. To comply with the regulations of the Diocese of Meath, eulogies are not permitted in the church.
The church is a sacred place, and as such all music at the liturgy must be sacred and appropriate to the particular Rites of the Mass. The contact person for music and singing at all funeral liturgies is Sean Tunney. He is our Parish Director of Music. He will guide you to choose appropriate music for the funeral liturgy of your loved one. He, and our resident singer Emily, are both trained and qualified liturgical musicians. The parish has appointed them to provide music for all our ceremonies, including funerals. If in exceptional cases, a family wishes to bring in other musicians, this must be done in conjunction with the Parish Director of Music, who will assist him/her in the selection of appropriate liturgical music, with displacement conditions attached.
When choosing music for the Funeral Mass of your loved one, it is important to remember that Christian funeral liturgies celebrate the life and death of a Christian as a sharing in the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection.” (Singing the Mystery of Faith. Pg 29). The Funeral Mass is more than recalling the person’s life lived on earth, it is about giving thanks to God for the gifts received during the person’s life and we pray that God’s work will come to completion in the resurrection from the dead and a sharing in Christ’s glory.
At the end of the Rite of Final Commendation, the congregation will be invited to sympathise with the family before the coffin leaves the church. This should be done in a dignified and reverend manner as befits the occasion of a funeral.