What do I do when a loved one dies?
Whether your loved one dies at home, at the hospital, or at hospice or a nursing home, the first call to arrange the funeral should be to the funeral home of your choice. The funeral director will transfer the body to the funeral home in preparation for the funeral itself. Then he or she will meet with you to make final arrangements.
Once a specific church and time are chosen, the funeral director will notify the parish office. The parish Funeral Minister (volunteer) will then call you to set up a time to sit down and plan the Funeral or Memorial Mass, by selecting readings and music.
Catholic Funeral FAQs
May I be cremated?
The Catholic Church prefers that the body itself be buried. This is more in keeping with honoring the dignity of the human body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and follows the example of Jesus’ burial.
However, cremation is permitted. Cremated remains should be treated with the same dignity and respect as the body. It is preferred that the cremation take place after the funeral Mass. Cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. The cremated remains should not be kept at home.
May my ashes be scattered?
The Catholic Church does not permit the scattering of ashes. Cremated remains or the body of the deceased is to be buried in sacred ground or another designated area at the cemetery. Burial at sea is permitted. The body or ashes are lowered into the ocean. Scattering of ashes at sea is not permitted.
May I plan my funeral in advance?
Absolutely! Both the parish and the funeral homes are happy to help you plan your funeral ahead of time. This relieves your survivors of a great burden and assures you have the funeral you wish.
Are there times when funerals are not permitted?
Yes. Funeral Masses in church are not permitted on Sundays at any time, Saturdays after 1:00 pm, on Holy Days of Obligation, on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday. Weekday evening funerals are permitted.
May I choose scripture readings and songs?
Yes! There are choices here. Our Funeral Ministers can assist you with these selections.
May family members participate in the funeral?
We welcome the participation of practicing Catholics at appropriate points in the funeral rites. Family members can read a reading, bring up the gifts, act as Extraordinatry Minister of the Eucharist (if qualified), place the funeral pall on the casket, etc.
May family members eulogize our loved one at the funeral?
Eulogies should be reserved for the funeral parlor. However, we do have the option to have family members give Christian Remarks. Christian remarks during Mass, should offer a loving glimpse of the deceased person’s life, Christian character and how the person touched the lives of others and will be limited to 3-5 minutes. Please see below for the Diocese of Albany Guidelines for the Reflection on the Life of the Deceased.
For more information contact: Parish Office 518-456-3112