Dear friends in Christ:
The St. Raymond community extends its prayers and condolences on the loss your loved one. As Christians, we celebrate the Christian funeral as an offer of worship, praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of life which has now returned to God’s kingdom. The celebration of the funeral rites is a way to remind us of God’s mercy and to bring hope and consolation in a time of crisis.
The death of a family member can leave behind a feeling of loneliness and loss. Grief places a great burden on the close family members and friends; therefore, making the necessary funeral arrangements and Mass an even greater chore. Remember that the deceased person, by Baptism, is entitled to a Mass of Christian Burial, and St. Raymond thanks you for offering this Mass in their name.
The family is invited to call and make an appointment to meet with a parish priest and receive guidance and assistance with the plans for the Funeral Mass. This is a very delicate matter to deal with and the family members of the deceased may not feel comfortable with the planning and participation of liturgies, especially at such a difficult time. Please feel free to do as much or as little in the planning phase, depending on your personal comfort level. If you or your family members do not wish to participate in the selection of music or readings at the Mass, please let us know and the priest will coordinate this for you.
We pray that as you go through these difficult emotional times that you remember to have us keep your loved ones in our prayers.
May the peace and consolation of Christ be yours, and may the Lord continue to always bless you and yours. On behalf of the pastoral staff and parishioners of St. Raymond Catholic Church.
St. Raymond Catholic Church complies with the standards of the Rite of Christian Burial for the Universal Church and the Archdiocese of Miami; therefore, follows the Church’s teachings on matters of funeral rites.
Traditionally, full Catholic funeral rites are celebrated in three phases and each phase is an important part of the funeral liturgy of the Catholic Church:
1. Vigil or Wake Service
2. Funeral Mass
3. Committal Service at the graveside or mausoleum
VIGIL OR WAKE SERVICE
The Vigil or Wake Service usually takes place at a funeral home and consists of a Scripture Service wherein readings, reflections and prayers are said.
At the Vigil or Wake Service, attendees usually share stories and eulogies about the deceased. It may be possible to also include the favorite music of the deceased, whether sacred or secular. This is something to be coordinated with the Funeral Director.
Consult with the priest about the readings for the Funeral Mass. This can be discussed at the meeting for the planning of the Funeral Mass. You may also have some favorite sacred scripture passages from the New American Bible that you might wish to be read. Secular readings (poems, short stories, etc.) are not permitted at funeral liturgies.
If you select the readers, they are to come prepared and should bring their own copy of the readings for the Funeral Mass. The readers are to sit with the family members and the Priest will invite them to come forward at the proper time to proclaim the readings. It is customary at St. Raymond to have the organist sing the psalm and the priest selects the Gospel for the reading. You may choose one, two or three readers to proclaim the readings and the prayers during the Mass. It is suggested that only Catholics perform the readings and to have:
- one person for the reading from the Old Testament
- one person for the reading from the New Testament
- one person for the prayer of the faithful
- the same person may proclaim multiple readings.
The Committal Service usually takes place right after the Mass; however, this does not apply if the burial is to take place at another city, or if the body is to be cremated after the Mass.
CREMATION AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
The Funeral Mass of Resurrection is a Mass offered to God for the intention of a deceased loved one with the body of the deceased present, either in:
- Flesh, inside a coffin
- Ashes, in a cremation coffin
NOTE: The Catholic Church requires that our human body’s remains be interned: “From ashes we come and to ashes we shall return.” Ashes may be interned in a cemetery or intact at the bottom of the ocean. The Catholic Church does not permit that ashes of a loved one be kept at home or thrown to the wind or scattered in the waters.
- Music Selection
- Military Honors
- Offering the Bread and Wine during Mass
St. Raymond Church can provide the services of an organist and/or singer. Please inform the Priest during the meeting for the planning of the Funeral Mass. There will be an additional charge for this optional service.
USE OF PRE-RECORDED MUSIC
Playing pre-recorded music (CD’s, tapes, DVD’s, etc.), whether secular or popular music that could be meaningful, may take place during the Vigil/Wake or at the Committal Services; however, pre-recorded music is not permitted at the Funeral Mass.
Eulogies must comply with Liturgical Guidelines # 141 – Order of Christian Funerals, the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1688, as well as the Catholic Rite of Christian Funerals. These documents provide guidelines for personal eulogies as a Funeral Mass. The Catholic Rite of Christian Funerals states: “A brief homily based on the readings is always given after the Gospel reading at the funeral liturgy and may also be given after the readings at the Vigil Service, but there is never to be a eulogy at this time.”
In accordance with the most recent instructions for the celebration of Mass and the Funeral Rites of the Church, the appropriate place and time for eulogies is at the Vigil/Wake Service. This one usually takes place at a funeral home on the evening prior to the Funeral /Burial. Eulogies may also be presented at the cemetery or perhaps at the post-funeral gathering.
Please feel free to send some words of special remembrance to the priest who will be celebrating the Funeral Mass. It is proper for the priest to include in his homily at the Mass some personal information about the deceased.
Thank you for understanding that the primary focus of a Funeral Liturgy, like in all Masses, is about Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, the Eucharist and God’s Loving Mercy on all of us sinner, it is the promise for those who have died in his Grace.
If any military honors will be taking place at the cemetery, it is necessary to coordinate this celebration with the Funeral Director.
If the casket comes to the Church draped in a flag, the flag is to be removed before the liturgy begins and then placed back over the coffin after the pall has been removed at the end of the liturgy.
Offering the Bread and Wine at Mass
Two or as many as four family members may be asked to participate in the offering of the bread and wine at Mass, which becomes the Eucharist of the body and blood of our Lord. The participants carrying the offerings should be Catholics, as this is a very important symbolic ritual of the offerings from the members of the Church to God, almighty.
FUNERAL EXPENSES/ DONATIONS
Following is a list of the cost for funeral services from St. Raymond Catholic Church. All of the local funeral homes have been provided with this same list.
- Vigil/Wake Service, Mass of Resurrection (with body or ashes present) and Cemetery Service: $250
- Mass of Resurrection (with body or ashes present) and Cemetery Service but NO Vigil/Wake Service: $250
- Vigil/Wake Service and Mass of Resurrection (with body or ashes present) but NO Cemetery Service: $250
- Mass of Resurrection (with body or ashes present) but NO Vigil/Wake or Cemetery Service: $250
- Vigil/Wake Service and Cemetery but NO Funeral Mass: $250
- Memorial Mass Service (without body or ashes present): $250
As a norm, St. Raymond Catholic Church only performs services for members of the parish or those living within the jurisdiction of the Church; however, everyone is always welcomed at St. Raymond’s Church.
St. Raymond Church would like to inform everyone that needy persons will never be turned away. There are other available means to help, so lack of funds should never become the subject of additional emotional pain.