The Church encourages you to be fully involved in planning you loved ones funeral liturgy. It is the final journey of your loved one. In the liturgy, we celebrate the life of faith of your loved one; we commend him or her to the Lord.
Your local priest is there to help and guide you at this difficult time. In planning the liturgy, you will need to:
Provide your priest with some biographical information about your deceased loved one that will help him in preparing the funeral homily
Select the readings for the funeral Mass. Depending on the circumstances, you may decide to have either one or two readings before the Gospel reading. The first one is normally from the Old Testament and the 2nd reading is normally from the New Testament. You will find a large selection of suitable readings in the booklet to help and guide you. But you are free to choose your own. Should you decide to have two readings before the gospel, it is preferable to have a different reader for each.
The responsorial psalm comes between the two readings and can either be read or sung by your singer. You will find a number of responsorial psalms in this booklet, but, again you are free to choose your own. In making your choice, you should take into account the Church’s recommendation that, if at all possible, the responsorial psalm or the response to it should be sung.
General intercessions / Prayers of the Faithful
Choose or compose the general intersession, which come after the homily. In the general intercessions we pray not only for the deceased and his or her family and friends but also for all the dead and those who mourn them. We pray also for the wider community. One or more family members should read the general intercessions.
Choose family members or friends of the deceased to bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar. You should keep in mind that the presentation of the gifts is not the time to carry up personal memorabilia or symbols of the life of the deceased. The best time for this is at the beginning of the Mass, though some churches prefer to do it at the offertory. Talk this through whit your priest as to which way it is done in your church.
Hymns and Music
Choose the hymns and music for the funeral Mass. The hymns should be selected from those regularly sung during Sunday Mass, and should express our strong belief in the resurrection, which is the basis of Christian hope. You can find a selection of suitable hymns in this booklet to help and guide you, and your singer will also be a great guidance to you on helping to choose your selection.
After communion time you might decide to have a little reflection read. You can find a selection of these in this booklet.
If you decide to have a eulogy in honour of your deceased loved one, there are a number of things to keep in mind. It should be short, no longer than 5 minutes. It should be delivered by a family member or close friend of the deceased. It should contain only words of tribute to the deceased and thanks to those who have helped or supported the deceased’s family during this sad time. The eulogy usually takes place after communion, before the final commendation and farewell.