Catholic Funerals


Christians often consider that in the face of death they should have greater faith and not be racked with doubts, anxieties and questions. We are all very different. Sometimes the death of a loved one can bring consolation and peace. At other times we can be surprised at how traumatised we are by the whole experience. It is important to know that such feelings are normal and just to be able to talk them through with someone else can bring peace and consolation. 


The parish priest is the ordinary minister for a funeral. In some parishes it may be a deacon or a specially commissioned lay person. A Requiem Mass is the normal way for a Catholic Christian's funeral and, of course, the parish priest or another priest will preside. It may be that the priest, deacon or lay minister has been attending the deceased person before they died, in which case the planning for the funeral will be part of a continuing ministry to the deceased person and to their family.


It is important to contact the priest as soon as possible after a death so that he and the funeral director can liaise with you over times, venues, whether it is to be a burial or a cremation etc. The priest and the chief mourner(s) can then plan the Requiem Mass: the readings, the hymns, the eulogy etc.