Announcement of Death
When preparing an announcement of death for various
Our faith tells us that at
forms of media, Catholics are encouraged to refrain from death, life is changed not Catholics believe that the Eucharist is a sign of
terms such as “Mass of Resurrection” or “Memorial Mass” the reality of unity and is the true presence of
when announcing the Funeral Mass. The term “Mass of ended. While hope may seem the Body and Blood of Christ. While we share in
Christian Burial” better reflects the Catholic Mass. far off now, your Pastoral a common baptism, members of Christian
Care of the Body Leader and parish community churches with whom the Catholic Church is not
fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy
are ready to assist you in Communion. If the deceased has many family
When your deceased loved one was baptized, the body
was marked with the seal of the Trinity and became the various ways. Through the members from other faith traditions, it may be
temple of the Holy Spirit. Our faith teaches that we all prayers and support of your best to have a separate service instead of a Fu-
possess a natural and a spiritual body. Like a seed that neral Mass or Funeral Liturgy at the parish. This
must be planted in order to rise up, the natural body is parish, may you be consoled would be especially true if a large crowd with
put down into the earth to rise (1 Cor. 15: 37). in your grief. mixed faith traditions is expected. We hope and
Christians respect and honor the bodies of the dead and pray that some day these sad divisions will disap-
the places where they rest. It is the ancient Christian pear and that the Holy Spirit will guide us to
custom to bury or entomb the bodies of the dead. Family unity.
is encouraged to assist with the preparation and laying
out of the body. The Church recognizes this as the pre-
If you or your deceased loved
How to Plan for a
one has grown apart from
ferred way to care for the body.
the life of the Church, we What will you be remembered for after you have
Cremation as a Choice left this earth? Making a gift in your will to your
welcome you back and hope church, school, or the Diocese allows you to
If circumstances are such that cremation is the only op- that you can find peace leave a lasting memory- a legacy! Charitable
tion, it is preferable that it be delayed until after the
celebration of the Funeral. Check with your Funeral Pro- during this time. bequests can include cash, securities, real es-
fessional about the possibility of renting a casket for this tate, or other property.
purpose. Cremated remains (cremains) are to be buried
or entombed. If buried, cremains are placed in an urn
that is an appropriate and worthy container and then
placed into the burial site. When entombed, the urn is The assistance of Funeral
placed in a columbarium, an arrangement of niches in a Home Directors and other This pamphlet was made possible because of your generous donation to the
mausoleum, a room or wall for permanent memorial. The Annual Diocesan Appeal.
practice of scattering cremated remains on the water, professionals is extremely
land, from the air, or keeping cremated remains in the valuable when planning a
home of a relative or friend of the deceased is not in
funeral. The family should To Learn More…You are encouraged to seek the counsel of
W i n o n a
keeping with the respect due to the deceased.
your pastor or parish staff person or contact:
request to meet with the
The Funeral Rites Diocese of Winona
Pastoral Leader either before, Office of the Chancellor
The Catholic Church has many prayer moments surround- in conjunction with, or after P.O. Box 588
55 West Sanborn St.
ing the death of a loved one. At the Funeral and at other
meeting with the Funeral
Winona, MN 55987
times of prayer, we celebrate the life, death and resur-
rection of Christ and how through baptism, the deceased
Director. This assures that all
D i o c e s e
shares in the life of Christ. There is a communal dimen- Fax: 507-454-8106
sion to this prayer. The Funeral is offered by the Church parties involved are Website: www.dow.org
community as a memorial of Christ’s death and resurrec-
tion. Emphasis on the deceased should not overshadow
the paschal mystery of the Lord’s death and resurrection.
All content is copyrighted and used by permission
of the Diocese of New Ulm.
The Funeral Rites
Scripture Readings ber the deceased at the Funeral Mass by ask- Do not feel that it is necessary to offer a
The Catholic Church has many prayer mo- ing a member of the family or a close friend eulogy at the Funeral. In fact, it is an option.
ments surrounding the death of a loved one. There are many scripture readings for a to share some thoughts about the deceased.
Catholic Funeral that the family can choose While this can be a very fitting way to honor Writing can be especially helpful during the
At the Funeral and at other times of prayer,
from. Readings that are carefully chosen and the deceased, it is actually preferred to have grieving process. In place of a eulogy, the
we celebrate the life, death and resurrection
proclaimed well give the community an oppor- these remarks shared during the Vigil. family is encouraged to write down loving
of Christ and how through baptism, the de-
tunity to hear God speak to them in their Through the presence of Christ found in the memories of the deceased. These memories
ceased shares in the life of Christ. There is a
grief. If possible, it is best to choose a reader Eucharist, Scripture, the gathered faithful and could be given to the priest or deacon a day
communal dimension to this prayer. The Fu-
whom is a lector at his or her parish. Nonbib- the priest, the Funeral Mass moves us from or two before the funeral so that he can in-
neral is offered by the Church community as a
lical readings may not be used at the Funeral. intense grief and loss, to hopeful joy and clude those memories in the homily.
memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Emphasis on the deceased should not over- These would be better placed at some other peace. Having a sad or unrehearsed eulogy
time, such as during the visitation or at a fam- Christian Symbols
shadow the paschal mystery of the Lord’s after Communion can tend to negate the
death and resurrection. ily gathering apart from the Funeral. prayer before it. It is for this reason that the The Paschal Candle, or Easter Candle, will be
preferred place of the Eulogy, if done at all, placed near the coffin during the Funeral Mass or
Common Prayer Moments: Music Liturgy. This candle reminds the faithful of
be at the Vigil or before the Liturgy of the
Word of the Funeral Mass. Christ’s undying presence among them, of his vic-
Music serves to express what words alone can
Prayers After Death tory over sin and death, and of their share in that
not. Music that is sung by all those gathered victory by virtue of their baptism.
Steps for Preparing
Immediately after death, usually during the for the occasion unites the faithful in the
shared experience of prayer. Sacred music Remarks of Remembrance Holy Water is used during the funeral rites to re-
first meeting with the Pastoral Leader and
that is chosen also conveys the Christian mind us of the saving waters of baptism. Holy
family. What sets this person apart or what can you
meaning of sharing in the paschal mystery of Water is normally sprinkled on the casket when
share about the person’s spirit, particularly in the body is received into the Church and again
Gathering in the Presence of the Body Christ. living out the faith or bringing Christ’s pres- before the body is buried. It can also be used at
For immediate family, in the presence of the Pre-recorded music and secular music is not ence into the world? the time when the family gathers around the pres-
body, before or after preparation for burial. ence of the body.
appropriate for a Catholic Funeral. There are Be specific and brief. About 3-5 minutes is the
certain parts of the Catholic Mass that are norm. The eulogy should always be written Incense is a sign of the community’s prayers for
Vigil for the Deceased always sung. These include the Holy Holy, the deceased rising up to God. Incense may be
out for better delivery. A poorly prepared,
Memorial Acclamation, and Amen. The sing- long-winded or incoherent eulogy can be em- used after the priest reverences the altar during
For family, friends and parish community,
ing of the Lord’s Prayer by a soloist or ensem- the opening hymn. It is customary to also incense
prayed during the hours of visitation. barrassing and is detrimental to the atmos-
ble is not fitting, for it prevents the gathered the casket during the Song of Farewell, before the
phere of prayer and the proper spirit of the
assembly from expressing their faith. Instead, procession to the cemetery.
Mass of Christian Burial or Funeral Lit- occasion.
urgy Outside Mass the Lord’s Prayer is better recited or sung A Pall is used to cover the casket when it is
with a traditional chant. Your pastoral leader The eulogy should be done with decorum, de- brought into the Church. It is a large white cover-
For family, friends and parish community, the or parish musicians can direct you to music cency and with respect to the Catholic faith ing that reminds us of the white garment used at
Paschal mystery is proclaimed and celebrated. that is familiar to the parish and is directed and tradition. Referring to things such as po- baptism and as a sign of the Christian dignity of
The Mass always includes Holy Communion. toward the Christian understanding of death ems or song texts that are in opposition to the the person and of being “clothed in Christ”. As
and life everlasting. Catholic belief of Death and Resurrection are this symbol recognizes that “all are equal in the
Rite of Committal not appropriate. eyes of God” (James 2:1-9), you will find that
Remarks of Remembrance even the most decorated deceased veteran will
Done at the burial site. It is most appropriate that the eulogy or other have the flag replaced with the simple symbol of
It has become increasingly popular to remem- stories be shared during the time of the Vigil. the white pall.