Death does not end our relationship with God. Central to the Christian faith is the belief that God has destined the human family to eternal life. It is our prayer that God will bring the souls of the faithful departed into the eternal happiness of heaven: uniting heaven and earth in one great communion of saints.
Funerals with a Funeral Director
The standard procedure for a funeral at St. Brendan the Navigator is that a funeral director (funeral home or mortuary) work with St. Brendan’s staff to set up the details of the visitation, funeral Mass or liturgy, reception and interment. Funeral directors are very helpful to the parish in that they arrange for the times of the events and coordinating all activities with the parish. They also provide valuable assistance on the day of the Funeral Mass. Funeral Masses at St. Brendan the Navigator are scheduled at 11:00 a.m. Normally the procedure is that, after news of death, the funeral home is contacted first. The funeral home will then contact St. Brendan to determine possible dates for a funeral Mass/Liturgy. The family will meet with the funeral director and confirm the date. Family members should then contact St. Brendan to arrange for a meeting with the priest who will preside at the funeral. This is to choose scripture readings, hymns, and other details of the funeral liturgy.
Funerals without a Funeral Director
If the family of the deceased is not using a funeral home/director with the funeral arrangements, please call the Parish Office to speak with a priest.
Mass or Liturgy without Mass?
The standard liturgy for a deceased Catholic who was in good standing with the Church is a Mass, with the body or cremains present. There are occasions where a liturgy without a Mass may be more appropriate, such as when the deceased has not been a practicing Catholic for many years, or if most of the surviving family members are not Catholic. Speak honestly about your situation with the priest, he is no stranger to complicated family dynamics.
Funeral Home Services: A prayer service may be celebrated at the local funeral home. There are situations where a funeral home service may be more appropriated than a Mass. This is something to discuss with the priest.
Funerals after the body has been cremated: The Church prefers that the body of the deceased be present for its funeral rites since the presence of the body clearly recalls the life and death of that person. It is the Church’s recommendation that, if cremation of the body is to take place, it occur following the Funeral Mass. However, if cremation takes place immediately after death, the Church permits the cremated remains to be brought into church and must be present for the celebration of the funeral liturgy, including the Eucharist.
Funerals for non-Catholics: A Catholic funeral may be celebrated (even a Mass) for a person who is not a Catholic, as long as this would not offend the sensibilities of those who attend. This case may arise when the living spouse is Catholic, and the spouse who died practiced no religion.
A Child who has died before Baptism: A Mass can always be celebrated for a child who has died, even without baptism. Appropriate prayers are used if the child was not baptized.
The grieving process necessarily includes time to remember the life of the deceased loved one. In the Catholic funeral rite, this is most appropriately done during the time of visitation, at lunch, or even at the Vigil (Wake) Service.
Since the Funeral Mass is primarily the time for praise and thanks for God's gift of eternal life in Jesus, we discourage the inclusion of a eulogy at the Mass. Therefore, please be sure to plan for eulogies at the Vigil (Wake) Service.
If a eulogy is to be included at the Funeral Mass, there can be only one speaker, and the reflections may be no more than three minutes long.
Flowers are permitted to be placed near the sanctuary during the Funeral Mass. All flowers are to be removed following the Funeral Mass. Flowers are not permitted in the sanctuary during the season of Lent.
Memorials may be directed to St. Brendan’s. There are many projects for the family to consider with a wide range in value.
Recommended Funeral Stipends
The following suggested stipends/fees are based on services rendered by St. Brendan’s staff. The payment of stipends is normally handled by the funeral director. [In case of financial hardship, all fees may be waived.]
Servers $20.00 when school is out of session.
Funeral Reception: A reception in the Banquet Room may be possible after the funeral, depending on the school schedule and room availability. The family should make their wishes know to the priest planning the funeral so that it can be part of the overall planning. All costs associated with the reception are the responsibility of the family.
If the family of the deceased requests a guest clergy, the pastor should be consulted before the invitation is extended. Priests or deacons from outside the Diocese of Orlando will need to provide a letter of good standing from their bishop or religious superior. Taking the wishes of the family into consideration, the involvement of the guest clergy will be worked out between the presider and the guest.
Not everyone wants to leave their final arrangements to their family members. If you would like to make plans for your own funeral simply make an appointment with a parish priest.
If you would like to download a copy of these guidelines, click HERE