FUNERALS AT ST. ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY PARISH
The death of a loved one can be a sad time. Planning the funeral should not be difficult and challenging.
This information will help to guide you through the process.
The funeral liturgy consists of three parts:
- The Vigil for the Deceased: This is the wake that takes place at the funeral home. Scripture readings and prayers are part of the vigil service. It is also the opportunity for friends to visit and offer comfort.
- The Mass of Christian Burial: The body [or the ashes] is brought to the church. The body is blessed with holy water and covered with a white pall. The Easter candle burns in the sanctuary. These are all symbols of Baptism. The celebrant will deliver a homily that reflects the promise of eternal life.
- The Rite of Committal: The Cemetery. The casket is brought to the place of burial or entombment. Prayers are offered. Sometimes military honors are conducted.
Funeral planning sheets are provided by the church through the funeral home.
The family may choose to participate more fully in the Mass by selecting the readings; one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. The family may choose to have readers to do the readings. The celebrant will call each reader forward at the right time.
The family may also choose the music for the Mass. Since the funeral is a religious ceremony, it is expected that music selected be religious preferably with references to our Lord’s death and resurrection. Secular or popular music, however beautiful, is not permitted. Music should be appropriate to the liturgical season. Songs with “alleluia” are not permitted during Lent.
The gifts of Bread and Wine may be brought to the altar by two people. The celebrant will call the two people at the given time.
One person and only one person may deliver words of remembrance. This is not to exceed five minutes. Words of remembrance are not necessary. The words of remembrance should be a serious reflection of the person. It should not be a series of humorous anecdotes. It is not permitted to invite others to the microphone.
A more proper time to deliver a eulogy would be at the wake or at the reception after the burial.
“At the funeral Mass there should be, as a rule, a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind.”
General Instruction of the Roman Missal
Funerals cannot be celebrated on Sundays or Holydays of Obligation. On the solemn days of Holy Week, funeral Masses cannot be celebrated on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. During these days a Liturgy of the Word is celebrated and Communion is not distributed.
Flowers may be brought to the church for the Mass. During Lent the flowers are removed immediately following the Mass because it is a season of penance.
If you have questions or concerns, you may contact the parish office at 203-239-5378.