A funeral may be celebrated as a Funeral Mass or a Funeral Service.
Follow the links below to some useful materials to help you prepare your Mass or service.
Funeral Mass Liturgy
Service Booklet Template (Word Doc)
Service Booklet Template (Pdf)
Funeral Service Liturgy (Not a Mass)
Liturgy of the Word
Second Readings (optional)
A shorter Compilation of Readings, psalms and Gospel readings
If you are putting the text of the readings into your service booklet, please ensure you use the version of the readings given in the downloadable document.
This will be the version used in church.
For the funeral service the readings will be in a book on the lectern. It is a good idea for reader to have a look at the book before the service begins.
Music and hymns
Click here for the liturgy office hymn recommendations.
Click here for another short list of hymn.
Email the Parish Office for the words of the hymns as they appear in our parish hymnbook, to paste into your service booklet.
You may request for an organist to play at the funeral. There is a fee.
You may talk to the organist about any music needed for the service.
Click here for a useful explanation from the Art of Dying Well website of what happens at a Catholic funeral.
Christian Symbols explained
Numerous symbols are employed in Catholic funerals. Here is what each one stand for:
A reminder of the deceased's membership in the the Body of Christ through Baptism.
Holy water is used to welcome the body into the church
and at the time of the final commendation.
The Easter, or paschal candle, reminds Christians of Christ's presence among us.
Blessed each year at the Easter Vigil, the presence of the candle at the funeral also reminds the assembly of that night when, in hope, the Church anticipates Christ's resurrection.
A white cloth, called a pall, may be placed over the coffin. This is another reminder of baptism - when each of the baptised receives a white garment that signifies their dignity. The pall also symbolises that each person is equal in the eyes of an all-loving and merciful Father.
Book of Gospel or Bible
Christians model their lives on the Word of God and so it might be appropriate to place a Bible or Book of the Gospels on the coffin during the funeral Mass. It reminds the assembly of the deceased's fidelity to the Word in this life that leads them to newness of life in eternity.
A cross or crucifix may be placed on the coffin.
This reminds us of the primary Christian symbol
with which we were signed at baptism
and by which Christ redeemed the world
and won victory over sin and death.
Incense serves a twofold purpose in the funeral rites.
It is used as a symbol of our respect for the deceased's body,
which became a temple of the Holy Spirit in Baptism.
And it also represents the prayers of the assembly on their behalf,
rising to God's throne.
The choice of colour is the celebrant's
but for the funeral of an adult the usual colour is purple/violet
which expresses Christian hope.
(also used in Advent and Lent )