The death of a family member or loved one can be a very stressful time. Making funeral arrangements can be a very emotional time for family members.
Below is some information which may be useful in making some of those decisions prior to organising a funeral at St Anthony's Church or Resurrection Church. Please note the information below is specific to St Anthony's or Resurrection Church. Other parishes or priests may have different instructions of what is appropriate for their Church.
Get in Contact
The first step is to make contact with a funeral company who will begin planning the funeral arrangements and assign a funeral director to you.
The funeral director will then contact Resurrection Parish to confirm the availability of the Church, Priest or Funeral Minister to conduct the funeral liturgy.
Once general arrangements have been made, the family will then be contacted by the Parish Funeral Minister to meet to prepare the service. You may wish to organise your own priest to conduct the service. The visiting priest will need to contact the parish to ensure they have permission to conduct services in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
There are three main funeral rites available following the death of a family member.
Vigil for the Deceased
Usually conducted the night before the funeral, vigil prayers may be held. Vigil prayers give an opportunity for those not able to attend the funeral to pay their respects to the deceased and their family. Vigil prayers can include the Rosary. These prayers can be held at the Parish Church or funeral home.
Requiem Mass or Funeral Service
The time allocated for a funeral Mass or service is for a total time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. Additional prayers or eulogies are to be organised for another time, for example, the Vigil prayers or wake.
Rite of Committal
The Rite of Committal takes place at the grave, tomb or crematorium, where the priest leads a series of prayers and blesses the place of burial or interment.
Viewings may be conducted prior to the Vigil prayers or Mass or service. During the vigil prayers or mass or service, the coffin/casket is to remain closed.
Placing of the Coffin
Generally, the funeral director will place the coffin at the front of the Church before the commencement of the Mass or service.
Structure of the Funeral Liturgy
The structure of the Funeral Mass or Service is broken into parts:
Symbols - Symbols of our Christian faith are placed. These include the Paschal candle, sprinkling of holy water and placement of flowers. Other optional symbols include the white pall, rosary beads, prayer book or items that were significant to the deceased person.
Readings - Two or three readings are selected from scripture. These are taken from the Old Testament, New Testament and a Gospel reading. In addition, a psalm is ready or sung after the first reading.
Eulogy - The eulogy is optional and provides an insight into the life and qualities of the deceased person. A total time of 5 minutes is allocated for the eulogy.
Powerpoint Presentation - A powerpoint presentation presenting images of the deceased life can be presented after the Eulogy at the funeral. A total of three minutes is allocated (approximately one song). It is recommended that the multimedia presentation be tested prior to the service to ensure compatibility with our system.
Reflection - A reflection may be used in the form of a poem or song. This reflection is in place of a eulogy.
Prayers of the Faithful - The family may choose to write the Prayers of the Faithful. There are usually 4 prayers and the Parish can assist with pro-forma templates for you to use.
Eucharist - If Mass is celebrated, the gifts of bread and wine can be processed to the altar and eucharist can also be distributed by family or friends of the deceased.
Arrangements for the provision of musicians and singers are made with the funeral director. The parish has provision for the playing of CD’s or USB’s. It is recommended that the use of the sound system be tested prior to the service to ensure that CD’s or USB’s are compatible with our system.
Music within the funeral liturgy must be liturgical. Contemporary music can only be played once the funeral has ended. Four songs are required - Entrance, Offertory, Communion (if any) and Recessional. The Responsorial Psalm and Alleluia Verse may also be sung.
Order of Service Booklet
The parish can prepare a single page A4 folded booklet at no charge. A photo of the deceased will need to be provided. If you wish to have a more detailed booklet, you may wish to make arrangements with the funeral director who may provide this service.
A simple service, led by the priest or funeral minister is undertaken at the graveside or crematorium prior to interment. The funeral director will negotiate a time with the cemetery for this service. It is therefore necessary for the funeral service to be concluded within sufficient time to allow for the arrival at the cemetery at the appointed time.
A standard fee is charged for all funerals and vigil prayer services for the use of the church and for the priest. The funeral director will arrange for payment of these fees. They are as follows:
Cost for use of Church and preparation of funeral - $300 (made payable to St Anthony's or Resurrection Church, as applicable)
Fee for Priest - $300 Graveside Prayers - $100 (additional) - (both made payable to Fr Brian)