From Him we come + In Him we are enfolded + To Him we return
Lord, for Your faithful people life is changed not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in Heaven.
A time of Sorrow
As memories flood in and a sense of loss seems the only real thing, our Christian faith reminds us that while death is real, life is also real, and that life is not limited. The Church grieves for the loss of one of her members - we are all part of the same body - and the sadness of one is the sadness of all. Yet our faith is also real and our faith is in Jesus the One who died and rose again.
A time of Hope and Trust
When we face the loss of someone dear to us, all sorts of feelings and thoughts arise in us - memories of times past, feelings of loss and emptiness, feelings of thanksgiving for the gift of the other person, perhaps feelings of anger that someone we loved has been taken away, perhaps feelings of regret that we had never got around to say what we needed to say. All these feelings are real and quite normal, nothing to feel awkward about. But the Christian message is that this is not the end. That we are still in touch, in contact with those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith; because we are joined through our Baptism. The Church of God includes those who have gone before us, like us, part of the Body of Christ, joined to us in a bond that even death cannot break.
A time of Prayer
The response of the Christian to death is not silent sorrow, but prayer. Precisely because we believe that those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith are part of God's faithful people, our response is one of prayer. Just as we might pray for someone who asked for prayers because they were going through a difficult time, so we pray for those who have died. We who know their failings and their weaknesses, their qualities and their goodness, can ask Our Merciful Father to look on our dear ones with love and mercy. The Church prays daily for the departed. Every Mass is offered for the living and the dead. We do that because we believe that we are still joined to those who have gone to the Lord.
And so ...
A funeral at the Church, whilst a time of sorrow, is also a time of hope and trust and a time of prayer. The funeral of a member of the Church is a time for the whole church to remember and pray for the departed one. A Requiem Mass is the fullest expression of the faith of the Church in the Resurrection - the belief that Jesus died and rose again, and that we shall rise with Him on the last day. In celebrating Mass we make present Him who, dying destroyed our death and rising restored our life. A Requiem Mass is normally celebrated when all who wish - family and friends, and all the parish community who wish to attend, can gather to pray for the departed one. Sometimes the family desire that the body should be brought into the Church the night before so that the family can receive it in with prayer and leave the body to rest in God's house overnight. For others, this nor a Requiem Mass are the preferred option, and they might feel that a simple funeral service would be more suitable for them, with readings, prayers and a final commendation.
These days it is not unusual for the departed one to be cremated. This can happen after a Requiem Mass or after a funeral service, or if appropriate, as the only service. The funeral liturgy is usually planned to reflect the wishes of the family of the departed - readings and prayers chosen as appropriate. The parish can help you arrange appropriate hymns for the service.
Above all ...
The Catholic community at St. Mary's wish to assure you of their prayers and support. The Parish Priest will be happy to talk about all these things. Please do not hesitate to contact him on anything that might concern you.
What to do
Contact the Parish Office (01527 852524) or email to arrange a meeting with the Parish Priest to discuss a date for the funeral.