Introduction

• This template provides an outline of a funeral booklet based on the Catholic Order of Christian Funerals approved for use in Australia (Sydney: E. J. Dwyer, 1989) and the revised Roman Missal (London: Catholic Truth Society, 2010) approved for use across the English-speaking world.
• This booklet was set up for those who are not familiar with the Catholic Funeral Mass. Alternative liturgical prayers to the ones provided here, in addition to scripture readings, can be located in the Order of Christian Funerals (1989) or Roman Missal (2010), and Lectionary for Mass (1981), respectively, or other liturgical preparation resources that are available via Liturgical Offices and Catholic Bookshops around Australia. Please consult with your priest celebrant.
• In the outline, the word Name should be replaced by the deceased person's name and the relevant references to his/her and brother/sister should be included where indicated.
• The pages are set up so that they can be printed firstly on A4 size paper and then reduced. Size 18 font for headings and Size 16 font for prayer texts reduce to a readable size on an A5 size order of service.
• Read through the template carefully to ensure that you can follow the overall structure and content.
• Please discuss the content of the template/booklet with the priest celebrant (and musicians) before it is printed.

Front Cover

 

Funeral Mass
or
Mass of Christian Burial

 

[Photo or Christian symbol]

 

In loving memory of
Name
Date of birth – Date of death

 

 

FUNERAL MASS

INTRODUCTORY RITES

 

GREETING (at the door of the church) (stand)

 

Priest: May the Father of mercies, the God of all consolation, be with you.
All: And with your spirit.

 

SPRINKLING WITH HOLY WATER

 

PLACING OF THE PALL

 

ENTRANCE PROCESSION (and hymn)
(Print either the words of a hymn or the number of a hymn in the parish hymn book.)

 

[ENTRANCE ANTIPHON (if hymn is not sung)
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.]

 

PLACING OF CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS
Book of the Gospels or Bible
Priest: In life Name cherished the Gospel of Christ.
May Christ now greet him/her with these words of eternal life:
All: Come, blessed of my Father!

 

Cross
Priest: In baptism Name received the sign of the Cross.
All: May he/she now share in Christ's victory over sin and death.

 

Rosary Beads
Priest: In life Name prayed the mystery of Christ through the Rosary.
All: May Christ now welcome him/her to the throne of grace.

 

COLLECT
Priest: Almighty God and Father,
it is our certain faith
that your Son, who died on the Cross, was raised from the dead,
the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.
Grant that through this mystery
your servant Name, who has gone to his/her rest in Christ,
may share in the joy of his resurrection.

 

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
All: Amen.

 

LITURGY OF THE WORD

 

FIRST READING (sit)
A Reading from . . .
The word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.

 

RESPONSORIAL PSALM (sung)
Reader: recites the response
All: repeat the response
Reader: recites the verses
All: recite the response after each verse, etc.

 

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (sung; stand)
All: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
[or, during Lent, Glory and Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!]
Cantor: sings the verse
All: all repeat the Alleluia or Lenten acclamation

 

GOSPEL
Priest: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.
Priest: A reading from the Holy Gospel according to N. . . .
All: Glory to you, O Lord.
Priest: The Gospel of the Lord.
All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

 

HOMILY (sit)

 

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL/GENERAL INTERCESSIONS (stand)

 

Introduction
Priest: God, the almighty Father, raised Christ his Son from the dead; with confidence we ask him to save all his people, living and dead:

 

Reader: For Name who in baptism was given the pledge of eternal life, that he/she now be admitted to the company of the saints. We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Reader: For Name who was nourished at the table of the Saviour. That he/she may be welcomed into the halls of the heavenly banquet. We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Reader: For the family and friends of Name that they may be consoled in their grief by the Lord who wept at the death of his friend Lazarus. We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer

 

Reader: For all of us assembled here to worship in faith, that we may be gathered together again in God's kingdom. We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer

 

Reader: For those who have fallen asleep in the hope of rising again, that they may see God face to face. We pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer

 

Conclusion
Priest: God, our shelter and our strength, you listen in love to the cry of your people: hear the prayers we offer for our departed brothers and sisters. Cleanse them of their sins and grant them the fullness of redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

 

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

 

PRESENTATION OF OFFERINGS (bread and wine)
(hymn, choral or instrumental music)

 

INVITATION TO PRAYER
Priest: Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters),
that my sacrifice and yours
may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father. (stand)

 

All: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands
for the praise and glory of his name,
for our good
and the good of all his holy Church.

 

PRAYER OVER THE OFFERINGS
Priest: As we humbly present to you
these sacrificial offerings, O Lord,
for the salvation of your servant Name,
we beseech your mercy,
that he/she, who did not doubt your Son
to be a loving Saviour,
may find in him a merciful Judge.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
All: Amen.

 

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
All: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. (sung)
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest. (kneel)

 

MEMORIAL ACCLAMATION
All: We proclaim your Death, O Lord, (sung)
and profess your Resurrection
until you come again

 

AMEN (sung; stand)

 

COMMUNION RITE

 

THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

 

DOXOLOGY
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory and yours
now and for ever.

 

RITE OF PEACE
Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you always.
All: And with your spirit.

 

THE FRACTION (BREAKING) OF THE BREAD
Lamb of God
All: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace. (kneel)

 

COMMUNION PROCESSIONAL HYMN
(The psalm/hymn can be led by a cantor. Print either the words
or the psalm/hymn number in the parish hymn book)

 

[COMMUNION ANTIPHON (if no psalm/hymn is sung)
All: Let perpetual light shine upon them,
with your Saints for ever, for you are merciful.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,
with your Saints for ever, for you are merciful.]

 

[POST-COMMUNION HYMN]

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION (stand)
Priest: Lord God, whose Son left us,
in the Sacrament of his Body,
food for the journey,
mercifully grant that, strengthened by it,
our brother/sister Name may come
to the eternal table of Christ.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
All: Amen.

 

FINAL COMMENDATION

 

WORDS OF REMEMBRANCE (sit)
A member or a friend of the family may speak in remembrance
of the deceased before the final commendation begins; there is never to be a eulogy
[OCF (1989) 170, 27].

 

INVITATION TO PRAYER (stand)
Priest: Before we go our separate ways, let us take our leave of brother/sister Name.
May our farewell express our affection for him/her;
may it ease our sadness and strengthen our hope.
One day we shall joyfully greet him/her again when the love of Christ,
which conquers all things, destroys even death itself.

 

SILENCE

 

SIGNS OF FAREWELL
(sprinkling and incensing of the coffin)

 

SONG OF FAREWELL (sung)
Priest/Cantor: Saints of God, come to his/her aid!
Hasten to meet him/her angels of the Lord!
All: Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most High.

 

Priest/Cantor: May Christ, who called you, take you to himself;
may angels lead you to the bosom of Abraham.
All: Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most High.

 

Priest/Cantor: Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him/her.
All: Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most High.

 

PRAYER OF COMMENDATION
Priest: Into your hands, Father of mercies,
we commend our brother/sister Name,
in the sure and certain hope
that, together with all who have died in Christ,
he/she will rise with him on the last day.
[We give you thanks for the blessings
which you have bestowed upon Name in this life:
they are signs to us of your goodness
and of our fellowship with the saints in Christ.]
Merciful Lord,
turn toward us and listen to our prayers:
open the gates of paradise to your servant
and help us who remain
to comfort one another with assurances of faith,
until we all meet in Christ
and are with you and with our brother/sister for ever.
All: Amen!

 

PROCESSION TO THE PLACE OF COMMITTAL
Priest: In peace let us take our brother/sister to his/her place of rest.
(The symbols of the Christian life are now removed from the coffin by those who placed them.)

 

RECESSIONAL HYMN/MUSIC

 

THANK YOU
We (names of family/friends), would like to thank you for your presence here and for the love and sympathy you have offered us. Family and friends are welcome to join with us ......

 

Copyright Acknowledgements

Excerpts from the Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL); excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass © 1981, ICEL; excerpts from the Order of Christian Funerals © 1989, ICEL. Relevant items of liturgical music reproduced with permission under (insert name of copyright holder or their Australian agent ), Copyright Licence No. (insert details). All rights reserved.

 

(NB: Please check with church office where Funeral Mass will be celebrated for relevant copyright licensing information as copyright licenses are normally location specific.)

Concordat cum originali: Paul Taylor, Executive Secretary, Bishops Commission for Liturgy, May 2014

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Ad resurgendum cum Christo: ‘To rise with Christ’

Media Release | 25 October 2016 from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Publishes guidance on burials and conserving ashes in the case of cremation

The Australian Catholic Bishops welcome a new document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published today, 25 October 2016, regarding burying the deceased and conserving ashes when cremation is chosen.

Titled, Ad resurgendum cum Christo meaning ‘To rise with Christ’, the document provides details about the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for choosing a burial. It also explains what is appropriate when conserving ashes in the case of cremation.

The Congregation highlighted that the contents of the document, ‘To rise with Christ’, are intended as a point of reference for the Church. 

Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said, “The new instruction, ‘To rise with Christ’, affirms what the Church has always held with regard to cremation, reverence for the human remains in the body or in the ashes and the following burial”.

Key points in the newly published document include: 
  • States the Church’s preference for burial of the remains of the faithful 
  • Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning. The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church: ‘Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven’. 
  • Following Christian tradition, the Church recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places 
  • Burial is above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body 
  • By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body, and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity 
  • Through the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries, in dedicated spaces within church buildings or their environs, Christian tradition has upheld the relationship between the living and the dead and has opposed any tendency to minimise, or relegate to the private sphere, the event of death and the meaning it has for Christians
  • The Church raises no doctrinal objections to the practice of cremation
  • The ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or in dedicated spaces within church buildings or their environs
  • This ensures they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community
  • Conservation of the ashes in a private residence is not permitted
  • Out of respect for the integrity and sacredness of both body and ashes, scattering or dividing ashes among family members is not favoured