The Most Holy Trinity Church, Bunclody

Guidelines For Funerals

A Funeral is a very sensitive time. We would hope that all funerals in our parish community would be dignified, prayerful and supportive. To attend a funeral is a Christian obligation and to attend the funeral of those who have very few relatives, friends or personal acquaintances is to perform one of the works of mercy (" to bury the dead").

The following guidelines will help for the smooth and sensitive organisation of funerals in the parish.

1.  Notification

On being contacted about a death the funeral director should notify the priest immediately. The time for the various rites are arranged in consultation with the priest and family. The time of arrival at the church is to be inserted in the death notice. The funeral Mass is at 11a.m.

2.  Prayers

At the appropriate time, prior to the removal of the remains (from house, hospital or funeral home) a priest of the parish will lead the Prayers.

3.  Reception of the remains

The hearse will arrive at the Church through the left gate and proceed to the gradient at the right, thereby allowing the principal mourning cars to park at the rear of the church. If possible the remains should be carried to the church door, all symbols are removed before the coffin is taken into the church. Flowers are placed near the coffin, but not on it and removed prior to the funeral mass. However, a family tribute may be left on the coffin. Mass cards are placed in a basket adjacent. Funeral Directors might lend a hand in showing people to their places so as to avoid crowding inside the door and porch. In order not to distract from the significance of the Paschal Candle, the use of other candles is superfluous.

4.  Burial

Funeral homes in their décor and appointment should portray the Christian vision of death with noble simplicity. The Christian symbols such as Cross, holy water and candle plus a copy of the Order of Christian Funerals should be provided. The coffin is placed in the grave after the words of Committal. Funeral directors should provide a public address system for the presiding minister.

5.  Funeral Mass

The celebrant of the funeral mass, who is always (except in the case of a near relative ) a priest of the parish will draw up the liturgy in consultation with the bereaved.

A booklet of suitable readings is available to the reader who may be a relative, who has experience of reading, or a member of the Ministry of the Word team.

The Offertory gifts may be brought to the altar by family members. This should be simple and dignified, and must always include the Bread and Wine for the Mass.

The Prayer of the Faithful should be read audibly by one or two readers.

An appropriate reflection may be read after Holy Communion. with the help of the celebrant and in consultation with the organist appropriate music will be chosen. [ This should not include secular or popular songs]

The celebrant will make any announcements/thanks, etc. on behalf of the bereaved before the Final Commendation– Personal eulogies are appropriate at the graveside.

6. Cremated remains or ashes may be brought into the church for suitable service, prior to interment.