The celebration of Christian Funerals is one of the most important ministries that a parish offers to its members, both living and deceased. The gospel of (eternal) life and faith in the resurrection of the body animate all the rituals of the funeral liturgy. Catholic funeral liturgies focus on prayer for the deceased and on proclaiming the faith in the Risen Lord to all those who participate. In our world, many have become unfamiliar with these core principles and foundations of the Christian faith, which therefore are to be expressed in simplicity, humility, and clarity. For this purpose, adherence to the Church’s pastoral and liturgical norms is essential.

At St George‘s, funerals are normally celebrated at 11 a.m. on weekdays. For these Masses, the body of the deceased should be brought into the church, where it will be received at the entrance. The church can be appropriately decorated, and the parish will make arrangements for liturgical musicians and other ministries, in agreement with the family of the deceased.

Families are encouraged to suggest biblical readings for the funeral mass and select readers who are comfortable proclaiming these sacred texts in the course of the celebration. There are various websites that offer the official texts from which the readings can be chosen; here are a few links

www.stjohnnb.com/funeral_readings.aspx
www.stjamesparish.org/FuneralReadings.htm
http://fathergilles.net/GoodNews/Funeral_Rdgs_Ord_Time_Ref.pdf

Praying for deceased members of our parish, especially family members and friends, continues beyond the day of the Requiem Mass and the burial. For this purpose, in addition to the Mass of Christian Burial, masses for the deceased whose Funeral (or Memorial) Mass is held at St George’s are scheduled at certain times after their burial, namely one month and one year after the funeral. These masses are traditionally called Month’s Mind and Year’s Mind. Celebrating this masses can be a help to families in the process of grief and to all parishioners in remembering and praying for our deceased brothers and sisters in Christ.

Throughout the year, masses (mass stipends) for the deceased, announced or unannounced, can always be requested from our parish office.

Our stories are important and give comfort. A Catholic funeral focuses on our role of the Resurrection story: eulogies, however, are not an integral part of the Catholic funeral liturgy, and no family should feel obliged to include one in the funeral liturgy. Families and friends are encouraged to share their memories of the deceased in “Words of Remembrance” during the wake or visitation at the funeral home, after the Burial Rite at the graveside, or at the reception.

If this seems impossible or inopportune, Words of Remembrance can also be spoken in the church, before the funeral begins, with or without the presence of the body. If this is the case, the length of the contributions (normally from one speaker) are to be agreed upon with the celebrant. See the Archdiocesan guidelines and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ position on eulogies.

St George‘s also offers the possibility of having a reception in the new parish hall, either immediately after the funeral mass or after the burial. This venue can be booked and catering arranged through the Parish Manager.

If you wish to organize a funeral at St. George’s, please contact the parish office to arrange a meeting of the family and the pastor.

If you need music we have a Funeral Choir that can be arranged.

For practical arrangements and hall booking, please contact the Parish Manager.

The policy of the Archdiocese of Ottawa concerning fees for (Weddings and) Funerals can been consulted here.