In the Order of Christian Funerals, the Church asks that the entire community, priests and laity, be involved in ministering to the family of the deceased. The Breavement Ministry is an outreach program for members of our Parish Community who are experiencing personal loss through death. This group has been formed to provide comfort, support and encouragement as well as educational and social opportunities for persons who share the same life crisis. Trained volunteers as well as the welcoming embrace of those who share the same difficult challenges becomes an initiation to a new outlook, renewed determination and a deeper trust in God's power and presence.
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, please consider joining our group in prayer and discussion. The group will meet on a regular basis on the second Thursday of the month. Questions?? Please call Beverly Gluhosky, 772-286-4590.
Guidelines for Catholic Funerals: What does the Church expect regarding funerals? The national Conference of Catholic Bishops has put forth the following guidelines:
Following the ancient traditions of mankind and the Catholic community, the church asks us to celebrate the funeral of those gone forth from us in a liturgy with their bodily remains present. This is to show proper and appropriate respect for the vessel indwelt by the Holy Spirit and used throughout their journey of faith here on earth. This is, after all, the body that will be raised up in glory of the Second Coming of our Lord at the end of time. This funeral Liturgy usually takes place in the church at the celebration of the Eucharist. Following this celebration, the church recommends the respectful interment or entombment of the body.
However, the Church also recognizes the desire of some to use cremation as the preferred method of disposition. In view of this desire, the church recommends the cremation take place AFTER the funeral Liturgy. Following the cremation, the cremains should be buried or entombed.
If significant reasons to depart from these guidelines exist, reasonable accommodations may be made. Please feel free to call the Parish Office, 772-286-4590, if you have questions regarding actual funeral arrangements or when planning such arrangements before the need actually arises.
for Catholic Funerals
When a family member or friend becomes seriously
ill, please notify the parish. It is important that
the sick person be able to receive the Sacrament
of the Anointing. When one is in danger of death,
Viaticum (Eucharist) is offered. All sacraments are
for the living and are to be administered when one
has the capacity to receive the strength and blessing
The time immediately following death is often one
of shock and bewilderment for those who were closed
to the deceased. The Prayers of the Church help those
who mourn express their grief as well as find consolation
through faith in Christ. The Mass, the memorial of
Christ’s death and resurrection, is the principal
celebration of the Christian funeral.
Please call Rebeca Carver at the parish office,
(772) 286-4590 before any liturgical arrangements
are made with the funeral director. This provides
the opportunity to have a clear understanding of
the meaning and significance of the rites as well
as for family members to participate in the rites
themselves. Then, the arrangements will need to be
confirmed by the funeral director. In making advanced
arrangements for the type of funeral one would like
to have, the same order of procedure is to be followed.
Funeral Rites of the Church
At the Vigil Service, usually conducted in the funeral
home on the eve of the Funeral Mass, the faithful
keep watch with the family in prayer to the God
of mercy and find strength in Christ’s presence.
The vigil is a Scripture or Evening Prayer Service.
The Rosary, or part of the Rosary, may be prayed
as well, but not as a replacement of the Vigil.
This service is often the first gathering of the
faithful and friends with the family, and some,
who cannot attend the Funeral Mass because of work
or other reasons, will attend.
The tradition of the Church has always been the celebration
of the Mass with the body present. Christians respect
and honor the body of the dead, which in Baptism
becomes the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The funeral
Mass includes the reception of the body, the Liturgy
of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and
the Final Commendation and Farewell. We are reminded
of Christ’s own words, “Whoever eats
my flesh and drinks my blood shall live forever
•Rite of Committal
For the final disposition of the body, it is the
ancient Christian custom to bury or entomb the
bodies of the dead in a cemetery, which means a “resting
place”. The rite of Committal is the conclusion
of the funeral rites, and may be celebrated beside
the open grave or place of internment. The faithful
express the hope that, with all those who have
gone before marked with the sign of faith, the
deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection and
passes into the welcoming company of those who
see God face to face.
Because of the sacred tradition of awaiting the resurrection
of the body, the Church does not encourage, but
allows cremation. Cremation is not to be seen as
the norm. If cremation is chosen, the Funeral Mass
with the body present is to precede cremation.
However, when circumstances prevent the presence
of the body at the Funeral Liturgy, it is appropriate
that the urn containing the cremated remains of
the body be present for the funeral rites, including
the Vigil for the Deceased, the Funeral Liturgy,
and the Rite of Committal. The Funeral Liturgy
should always be celebrated in a church. The cremated
remains of the body should then be reverently buried
or entombed in a cemetery or columbarium rather
Catholics believe in the communion of saints and
the resurrection of the dead. We pray for the dead,
and we pray to be prepared for death whenever it
comes. Like Francis of Assisi, may we befriend death,
little by little. Let us meditate on this hymn based
on his writings:
And you, most kind and gentle death,
Waiting to hush our final breath,
You lead to heaven the child of God,
Where Christ our Lord the way has trod.
Excerpts from “Guidelines for Catholic Funerals”,
Diocese of Palm Beach.