The Rites of the Church
All baptized are entitled to the full Rite of Christian Burial. You and your family will experience the Rite of Christian Burial in three distinct and important parts:
The Wake Service
Ordinarily this will take place prior to the public viewing or during the visiting hours at the funeral home . A member of the clergy will lead this service of prayer and Scripture.
The Funeral Liturgy
This is the most important part of the celebration of Christian Burial. This is celebrated within a Mass. The bodily remains are honored by being brought to the Church. We celebrate the life and pray for the deceased within the context of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
A parish priest or deacon will accompany the remains and the family to the cemetery, where the Rite of Christian Burial will conclude with the prayers of Committal and Final Commendation. Should one wish to speak in memory of the deceased, as in a eulogy or a remembrance, the Funeral Rite allows for such to usually take place as part of the Prayer of Commendation that will be prayed at the cemetery.
Words of Remembrance/Eulogies
It is customary at St. Thomas More Parish that all words of remembrance /eulogies are offered at the collation/family gathering following the burial. They may be offered at the wake or cemetery but never during the funeral mass. The priest will meet with the family prior to the mass to ensure that personal attributes and stories are woven into the homily with the guidance of the family.
All funerals are podcast live here.
The Time and Place of the Funeral Liturgy
A funeral may be celebrated on any day of the week except Sundays and Holy Days. There are also some restrictions concerning funerals during Holy Week. The priest will discuss these restrictions as they apply. The funeral liturgy is ordinarily celebrated in the parish church.
Planning the Funeral Liturgy
The funeral liturgy is one of the most beautiful and meaningful celebrations of the Church. Your family has the option of personalizing the Mass by choosing the Scripture readings and by requesting specific hymns.
When choosing scriptures, there should be one reading from the Old Testament, and one reading from the New Testament. Although you can choose from the whole Bible, the texts contained within this booklet are especially appropriate.
Music at the Funeral Liturgy
St. Thomas More Parish will provide an organist for the funeral liturgy at the Church. As liturgical music magnifies the spoken word, music is a beautiful offering within the Mass of Christian Burial bringing comfort and peace to the loved ones attending the Funeral Mass. Family members are welcome to request specific sacred hymns or music but please be aware that only sacred music may be used at a Funeral Liturgy; no secular music is not allowed. Sometimes a particular hymn, perhaps a favorite of the deceased, will be requested. If you have any preferences, please indicate this to the priest when you are planning the mass.
It is not incumbent upon the loved ones of the deceased to choose music for the liturgy. Our music ministers will guide you in selecting appropriate hymns. If no particular music is requested, we will choose appropriate music based on the liturgical season, readings, and theme for the liturgy. Because mass is a live celebration of faith, pre-recorded or secular music is inappropriate.
St. Thomas More Funeral Hospitality Committee Mercy Meal
In order to assist you in your time of bereavement, the St. Thomas More Parish Funeral Committee would like to help by offering you the use of our Parish Hall for your funeral reception. We will provide set-up of the room, food, non-alcoholic drinks, coffee and clean-up. Our menu offerings can include: cold meat and cheese platters, cold salads, hot casseroles, dessert, coffee, tea and (non-alcoholic) punch. To make arrangements, please contact Deb Rowley at 401-474-6505.