What do I do when a loved one is sick and is dying?
1. Contact the office of the loved oneís parish church and ask to speak to a priest.
2. If you use Hospice they will often contact the parish and request the sacraments for the sick and dying.
3. Donít wait until death is imminent before contacting the parish priest. Parish priests are most interested in being there for a family in the time of final illness, death and grief.
What do I do when a loved one dies?
1. Contact a local funeral home of your choice. He/she will establish initial contact with the parish church.
2. The priest, parish liturgy committee or bereavement committee will assist a family in making appropriate liturgical arrangements such as scripture readings, lector for the readings and musical selections.
3. If you donít already have cemetery accommodations, contact Catholic Cemeteries.
What is the proper rite of Christian burial?
1. Viewing at the funeral home or parish church
2. Mass of Christian Burial at the deceasedís parish church
3. Committal services at the cemetery (For Catholics burial in the sacred ground of a Catholic cemetery is the preferred place of burial.)
What are the options for a viewing?
You can schedule a viewing the evening before the burial and/or an hour or so before the Mass of Christian Burial. The viewing is usually held in a funeral home, however, in many instances the parish priest may authorize viewing in the parish church especially if there is a separate area of the church available for such use.
Why have a viewing?
It provides a sense of closure and allows family members who were not present at the time of death a time to express their last farewell. It also allows extended family and friends an opportunity to express their support and condolences.
What about a eulogy for the deceased?
After communion at Mass a family member or close friend may make brief remarks. These remarks should be appropriate for the atmosphere of a church, be well prepared, and be brief in length. If longer remarks are desired they should be made at some time during the viewing.
My deceased family member was not an actively practicing Catholic, can we still have a Mass of Christian burial?
Yes, the Church encourages active and inactive Catholic to take full advantage of the rite of Christian burial. Contact the local parish or Catholic Cemeteries to assist you.