“I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me will live forever.” (John 11:25)
Funeral Liturgy Preparation
“At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of Baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end, nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting Word of God and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.” (Order of Christian Funerals, no. 4) United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
As Roman Catholics, the Mass is the highest and most perfect prayer that we as humans can offer to God. Celebration of the Funeral Mass commemorates Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection and our belief in the Resurrection and eternal life. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints we believe that death is a transition, not an end. We believe that Jesus rose from the dead. We believe that by dying, He destroyed our death and that by rising, He restored our life. We are participants in the Resurrection, not spectators. This participation began with our Baptism and will continue through the transition of death. As members of the Catholic Faith, we believe in the Resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, which we recited in the Nicene Creed at Mass every Sunday.
Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones. May the passage of time and the hand of the Lord soothe your grief, and may you find comfort in the hope of the Resurrection. The parish family of St. Joseph extends its deepest sympathy.
The following link may be helpful:
Scripture Options – Suggested Funeral Readings
Abridged excerpt from the ARCHDIOCESE OF NEWARK’s Guidelines for Words of Remembrance
To the family member or friend who will be delivering Words of Remembrance at a funeral liturgy:
The family has entrusted you with a sacred task in asking you to “speak in remembrance” of the departed on their behalf. Only one person may deliver the Words of Remembrance at the funeral liturgy, and you will be called forward by name by the celebrant after the prayer after communion. To “speak in remembrance” at a funeral liturgy means to offering a brief reflection on the life of the deceased in the context of his or her life of faith. These liturgical Words of Remembrance are not the same as the secular understanding of a “eulogy,” which is a reminiscing and toasting of the departed. In preparing Words of Remembrance, it might be helpful to reflect on the qualities of the deceased that made him or her a good person. A brief story or example could help to illustrate a particular point. The spoken Words of Remembrance should be 3-4 minutes in length (approx. a single typed page), but note that lengthier and more personal memories can be shared at the wake or repast.