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When someone dies there is so much to do and so many things to think about—and at a time when things are so difficult and trying.


But there are lots of people to help you and to assist you in making all the arrangements that need to be made. This page will help to explain some of the things that happen before the funeral as well as what happens during the Funeral Service itself.






The Funeral Service may occur in church, at someone's home, at the Crematorium, or at the Funeral Home.


Reception of the Body into Church

The priest will lead the coffin into church, often reading out some comforting sentences from the Bible. The coffin may be sprinkled with holy water. On some occasions (especially if the person who has died has been a practicing Christian) the family may want the body to be received into Church the night before. This, too, is possible if it is arranged with the priest and undertaker. It is accompanied with a short service of prayers.



The priest can help you choose some suitable hymns for the service.  It is becoming ever popular for people to request CD music to be played at a funeral.  However, it needs to be remembered that this doesn’t replace hymns and the selection of music should always be discussed with the priest as should the most appropriate time for it to be played.


Ministry of the Word

There will be one or more readings from the Bible and a few words from the priest. He will talk about the Christian meaning of death and eternal life and the message of hope we discover in Jesus.  You may want to discuss with the priest any particular Bible Readings you have in mind.



or the person who has died, for the family and friends and all who are bereaved.


Words of Remembrance

ometimes, a member of the family may wish to speak about their loved one who has died. This happens just before the Commendation.   If this is the case, then it may be helpful to write things down. Even though you may feel confident about speaking, when it comes to the funeral you may discover that all kinds of emotions take over. Give a copy of what you want to say to the priest in case you want him to stand in for you.




This is where the priest commends the person who has died to God’s safe keeping. It is the most important part of the service. If the service has taken place in church, then the coffin is then carried out of church and we journey to the place of committal, either the cemetery or the crematorium. The service at the graveside or in the chapel at the crematorium is usually short and simple. You can also choose a hymn to be sung at the crematorium.

Committal The priest commits the person’s body either to the ground or for cremation.


Burial of Cremated Remains

The priest, too, can assist in the burial of cremated remains. We are unable to assist in the scattering of the ashes. The Burial of Cremated Remains is accompanied by a short time of prayer.


Of course if, at any stage, you would like to talk to the priest either before or any time after the funeral has taken place then please get in touch. We are here to help as much as possible and we understand how difficult things can be.






The priest will contact you to arrange to meet with you at a convenient time. He may arrange to meet you at home or the church.  You may also want other members of your family to be present.


This is for several things: first, he will want to offer you comfort and sympathy and offer you prayerful support and assurance.  Your departed loved one will be remembered in the prayers at Mass, and we will also be praying for you, too.

The priest will also discuss the Funeral Service with you: he is help you to choose appropriate hymns. and also to talk with you about the person who has died, so that their life can be reflected in the homily and expressed, as well as possible, in the eulogy.  Sometimes, a member of the family may want to speak in remembrance of the person who has died and the priest can offer helpful advice with this.  Please be assured that we are here to help and offer whatever support we can.





Each November, as well as the usual Commemoration of All Souls on November 2, there is a special Service of Remembrance when we pray for and remember all those whose funeral has been celebrated at St  Mary's.  


All are welcome but the families of those who have died in the past year will receive a special invitation to the service closer to the date.  During the service you will be invited to light a candle for your loved one.


For many people this service is a great comfort and we hope that, if you have been saddened by bereavement, that you will be able to join us.


We pray for the recently departed every day at Mass.