Preparing the funeral service of someone who has died can be a difficult thing to face.
Cardinal Vincent asked that resources be prepared to make it easier for people to prepare for the celebration of a Catholic funeral.
Two resources have been prepared.
1. Guide for Preparing a Catholic Funeral
This is a leaflet prepared to help people who have the responsibility of arranging for the funeral of a family member or friend. It indicates the purpose and nature of a Catholic funeral and offers simple guidance to family and friends before they meet with those who will prepare the funeral liturgy with them.
The Church’s ministers will help the family consider what is best and practical for their particular circumstances. They have the task of ensuring that funeral services are true to the tradition of the Church, as well as appropriate to the one who has died, and those who gather to pray for them.
2. Preparing for my funeral
This is a simple A4 sheet designed to help people indicate their preferences for their own funeral.
Catholics will want to ensure that their funeral service reflects their faith, the faith of the Church.
However it can be difficult for our next of kin make detailed arrangements for our funeral at the same time as dealing with the grief and loss they will experience at our passing. They will be especially hard-pressed to prepare the funeral as we would wish if they do not share our Faith.
It can therefore be a real help to others when we ourselves give thought to our funeral arrangements ahead of time, and let them know what our preferences are, so that when the time comes they can be taken account of to the fullest degree practicable.
Parish priests have been asked to distribute copies of both documents to local funeral directors for the use of Catholics arranging a funeral or taking out a funeral plan.
The two documents can also be downloaded from the Resources area, below.
Guide for Preparing a Catholic Funeral is available in two formats. One is is arranged for easy reading on-line. The other is arranged for easy printing by parishes and others.
The leaflet Cremation and the Church, also in the Resources area below, provides additional guidance when Cremation is being considered.