“At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of Baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end, nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting Word of God and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.”
(Order of Christian Funerals, no. 4)
The funeral liturgy is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. When one of its members dies, the Church encourages the celebration of the funeral liturgy at a Mass. When Mass cannot be celebrated, a funeral liturgy outside Mass can be celebrated at the church or in the funeral home.
At the funeral liturgy, the Church gathers with the family and friends of the deceased to give praise and thanks to God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion, and to seek strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery. The funeral liturgy, therefore, is an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief.
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.
Hospital? Are you, someone in your family, or a Catholic friend, in hospital or going in soon? Please let Fr Jimmy know. There is no other way of learning who is in hospital, to be able to offer them the pastoral care or to bring the spiritual healing of the Sacraments.