One of the prayers in the Funeral Mass reminds us:
“Lord” for your faithful people, life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.”
When someone has died there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them. One of these is contacting government departments and local council services. North Tyneside and Newcastle Councils now provide a service which we hope will make things easier. This service ensures that you can just make one call and they will let these organisations know. It is called the ‘Tell Us Once’ Service. For further information please click here or you can contact them directly on 0800 0857308 (after the death has been registered)
The death of a loved one is a difficult moment in the life of a family and perhaps a community. It involves a sense of loss, as the deceased with whom we have shared life is no longer with us. In the light of Christian faith, the true significance of death is revealed and gives hope, one of the prayers of the Funeral Mass reminds us, “Lord, for your faithful people, life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.” The whole of the Funeral Mass is about holding out that hope to grieving people. As St Paul reminds us “even though we mourn, we are given hope and comfort in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
The Funeral Rites of the Church
The Order of Christian Funerals (OCF) provides distinct rites through which the Church supports the personal grief of a family from the time a loved one dies to the final committal at the graveside or the crematorium.
Funeral Mass Outside of Mass
When a baptised person dies, the Church invites the family and friends of the deceased to gather with members of the parish community for the funeral Mass/Service. This takes place in the parish church. Ministering to the grieving family and friends, the Church comforts and consoles them in the funeral rites with God’s Word and Sacrament of the Eucharist. A funeral service can also take place at the cemetery chapel or crematorium chapel.
The Rite of Committal
The funeral rites conclude with the rite of committal, celebrated at either the graveside or at the crematorium. The family, friends and members of the parish community prayerfully offer their final act of respect toward the love one’s body, which will be raised up on the last day as Jesus had promised.
It is the usual practice that the family of the deceased or person making funeral arrangements to contact the funeral director of their choice, they will then contact the priest. A date that is convenient for the director and cemetery/crematorium staff is offered to the family. Once a time is confirmed, the priest will contact the family and arrange to meet to plan the funeral. It is important to speak to the priest before any decisions are made by the family regarding the choice of music, readings and eulogies in order that the practice of the church is respected. Advice will be offered regarding any special requests.