Funerals (Rite of Christian Burial)
- The Funeral Mass
Funerals at Holy Faith Catholic Church
At Holy Faith Catholic Church we want to walk with you and your family through this difficult process of loss. We are here to help you and guide you along the way, and to support you in the days and weeks to come after the funeral services. The following are some points that may be helpful as you prepare for this process:
- When your loved one has passed away (expected or unexpected), you need to contact the church as soon as possible at (352)376-5405. If it is after 3:00 pm, at any time evening or during the night, an answering service will respond and will connect you to the priest on call. The priest will guide you from there on with the steps you need to take. If you have already made arrangements with a Funeral Home they are also able to contact us at any time.
- The priest or Pastoral Associate will help you arrange with your family and the Funeral Home the best time to have the funeral services. We take into consideration your family’s needs, the Church’s calendar, the Priest’s schedule, and the schedule of the Funeral Home. We will work with you on the best and most convenient date for all involved.
- Holy Faith Catholic Church celebrates funeral Masses Monday-Friday at 9:30 am, and on Saturdays at 9:00 am. These are the usual Daily Mass times and those who assist to daily Mass are always happy to be there in prayer and support to you and your family.
- The Priest will arrange to meet with you and your family to finalize the details of the arrangements and to discuss the Funeral Liturgy and the options available. The Church follows the prescribed Ritual for Christian Burial and Funeral Mass according to the Roman Catholic Church, and follows the guidelines and directives from the Diocese of St. Augustine. In this process of preparation we will also take into consideration any appropriate special adaptations or requests.
- Pictures, mementos, flowers, and other memorabilia are welcomed. The Church personnel and the Funeral Home will assist you with the placement of these items.
- Holy Faith Catholic Church does not offer Funeral Receptions, however, if the space is available, we can offer the Parish Hall for the family and friends to gather after the funeral Mass. Coffee will be provided and you can make arrangements with a caterer, or people can bring food if they wish to do so. The Gazebo, on the patio outside the Church, is also a wonderful place to gather after the funeral Mass, if weather permits. There is space to arrange any food or drink that people bring. In most instances, this is the preferred space to gather for a small reception.
- Cremation is permitted in the Catholic Church, and for many people this is the most acceptable option. The Church prefers that the funeral services be performed with the body present, leaving cremation to take place at a later time after the services or Mass has concluded. However, in many family circumstances it is not possible to wait until after the Funeral Mass to perform the cremation. In these instances, we can have the Funeral Mass with the cremated remains present. This is an acceptable practice in the Catholic Church.
- Donations & Stipends: Christian Burial for our brothers and sisters in the faith is what we do as Christians and as Church. It is the right of every baptized person regardless of their ability to contribute to the expenses incurred in the Church. At the same time gratitude is a fundamental disposition of every Christian, and Holy Faith Catholic Church never turns down a contribution or donation given in gratitude. Be assured that Holy Faith Catholic Church, will never refuse or minimize the celebration of funeral services because of financial reasons. For more details refer to Donations for Funeral Services.
- Pre-Planning of Funeral Liturgy: We will be happy to assist you in pre-planning funeral arrangements with the Church for yourself or for a family member. Please contact the office (352) 376-5405 to arrange for an appointment, or, you can contact one of our priests.
The Funeral Mass
The Christian meaning of death is revealed in the light of the Paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ in whom resides our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus is ‘away from the body and at home with the Lord’ (CCC 1681). For the Christian the day of death inaugurates, the fulfillment of his new birth begun at Baptism. The Church accompanies the Christian during the earthly pilgrimage until his or her final journey. The Christian funeral is a liturgical celebration of the Church. The ministry of the Church in this instance aims at expressing communion with the deceased, at the participation of the community gathered for the funeral, and at the proclamation of eternal life to the community (CCC 1684).
I. Reception of the Body
At the beginning of the liturgy, we gather at the entrance of the Church to welcome the deceased into the earthly church for the last time. We bless the body/cremains and recall his or her baptism in Christ where they were buried with Christ and with Christ will rise to eternal life.
The Reception of the Body consists of:
- Sprinkling with Holy Water
- Placement of the Pall (omitted with cremated remains)
- Litany of the Saints
- Procession into the Church
II. Liturgy of the Word
The Liturgy of the Word during funerals demands very careful preparation especially because it is common at funerals to have family and friends of the deceased who are not Christians or may not be familiar with the Catholic liturgy. At Holy Faith Church the priest usually selects the scripture readings after having a conversation with the family of the deceased. The sacred scriptures are chosen with the intent of illumining the mystery of Christian death in the light of the risen Christ especially as it applies to the deceased specific journey in life.
The Liturgy of the Word consists of:
- One Old or New Testament Reading
- A Psalm (sung)
- Gospel Reading
- Homily, and,
III. LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
The Holy Eucharist is the heart of the Paschal reality of Christian death. In the Eucharist, the Church expresses her communion with the departed: offering to the Father in the Holy Spirit the sacrifice of the death and resurrection of Christ, and we pray for the deceased to be admitted to participate in the Paschal fullness of the table of the Kingdom.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist consists of:
- Presentation & Preparation of the Gifts of bread & wine
- Eucharistic Prayer
- Communion Rite
- Lord’s Prayer
- Sign of Peace
- Breaking of the Bread (Lamb of God)
- Communion with the Body & Blood of Christ
- Prayer after communion
IV. Concluding Ritual: Final Commendation
“A farewell to the deceased is his final ‘commendation to God’ by the Church. It is the last farewell by which the Christian community greets one of its members before his body is brought to its tomb. By this final greeting “we sing for his departure from this life and separation from us, but also because there is a communion and a reunion. For even dead, we are not at all separated from one another, because we all run the same course and we will find one another again in the same place. We shall never be separated, for we live for Christ, and now we are united with Christ as we go toward him… we shall all be together in Christ.”
The Concluding Ritual of Farewell consists of:
- Invitation to silent prayer
- Song of Farewell
- Final Commendation
- Dismissal & Blessing
Music for the Funeral Mass
Music is an essential part of any liturgical celebration, but especially at the celebration of a funeral liturgy where the music expresses our faith in the mystery of Christ, our mourning for the loss of our loved one in the earthly dwelling, and our joy as we live in the hope of resurrection. Music, like the sacred scriptures, is selected based on the same principle of “illumining the mystery of Christian death in the light of the risen Christ, especially as it applies to the deceased specific journey in life.” The music selection must follow the directives of the Roman Catholic Church, and primarily must serve the function and prayer of the Eucharistic liturgy to facilitate and support the full, conscious, and active participation of all the faithful. If you have any special requests or selection that you would like to see included, please let the priest know about them. The priest and the Music Director will select the music for the funeral and will do their best to incorporate any appropriate music that you request, provided it conforms to the demands and requirements of our Roman Catholic Liturgy.
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