At the death of a Catholic Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of baptism and strengthened by the Eucharist, 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. Christians celebrate the funeral rites to offer worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which has now been returned to God, the author of life and the hope of the just. The Mass, the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal celebration of the Christian funeral.
The Church, through its funeral rites, commends the dead to God’s merciful love and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins. At the funeral rites, especially at the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the Christian community affirms and expresses the union of the Church on earth with the church in heaven in the one great communion of saints.
The Funeral Mass is celebrated for active members of the parish. Persons with historic ties to the parish may have the Funeral Mass celebrated at Saint Mary's depending on the parish schedule and the availability of clergy. Those who have been inactive in the Faith may have a simpler Funeral Liturgy of the Word at a local funeral home. Please contact the parish office to discuss what is appropriate for the deceased and the family.
Why a funeral homily is about Jesus and not about the deceased: Click HERE.
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(Requiem Mass line art, public domain via Kristen Ostrowski.)