​​​​Pre Planning for Funerals

Pre Planning for Funerals

In the difficult time of dealing with the death of a loved one, we at St. Paul and St. Elizabeth parishes are pleased to offer its parishioners and friends as much help as we can with the funeral, burial, prayers and support for the deceased and the family. The Funeral Mass is most appropriately celebrated in the parish church of the deceased, in the presence of the faith community.

Funerals are usually held at 11:00 in the morning, by arrangement with the pastor and the funeral home. The Prayer Vigil is normally held the evening before, usually at the funeral home.

The first step to take when finalizing the time for the Funeral Liturgy is to consult the pastor or to call the parish office.

The Catholic Prayer Vigil & Funeral Mass

The most common elements of Catholic Funeral has the following elements:

1. Vigil service with either the body or cremated remains present.

2. Funeral Mass or service with either the body or cremated remains present.

3. Graveside service with burial of the body or cremated remains.

Another option is a Memorial Mass or service with no remains present. Such a Mass can be celebrated close to the time of death or at some convenient time for the gathering of friends and family. This is often a good option for those deceased who live far away from our area, at times when transporting the remains to this area is not feasible.

The common forms of the Prayer Vigil Service (typically done the evening before the funeral) :

1. Prayer service (best suited for assemblies of mixed faiths)

2. Prayer service with Rosary (also suitable for assemblies of mixed faiths)

3. Rosary alone – usually five decades of the rosary. (Best suited where most in the assembly are Catholic.)

The Prayer Vigil service is usually held at the funeral home. The Prayer Vigil is the best time to have memorials, eulogies, as well as secular music and readings, such as poetry, as these options are more typically limited in the parameters of the funeral mass.

Types of Services Available

1. Rite of Christian Burial (Funeral Mass with body or cremains present):

The Funeral Mass is celebrated in the Church. Whether body or cremains are present both are treated with great reverence and dignity. At the entrance of the Church, at the Baptismal Font, the body is sprinkled with holy water and covered with a funeral pall as a reminder of Baptism. This applies to both casket and urn.

2. Memorial Mass (no body or cremains present):

The Memorial Mass is held in Church, however no body or cremains is present. This mass is very similar to a typical mass, with special emphasis on prayers for the deceased

At either parish, we welcome you to host the visitation, prayer service, etc. in the church itself. In most cases, this can be worked out so as to allow the deceased to be viewed in the Church the day/night before the funeral itself, with the remains to stay in the church overnight if feasible, followed by the funeral itself the following morning. Arrangements for this may be worked out with the pastor and the funeral home.


Realizing that one who is Catholic will want to have a funeral for a family member who themselves is not Catholic, know that this generally will be something that we can assist in. Because all of us, Catholic or Protestant, need prayers at the time of death, we are eager to help out with the prayers and rituals to pray for the eternal rest of the deceased, as well as to give comfort to the family of the deceased.

An Outline of the Mass of Resurrection

Introductory Rites

At the entrance to the church the body is sprinkled with holy water and covered with a funeral pall, a reminder of Baptism.

Gathering Song

The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading

Responsorial Psalm

Second Reading (optional)

Gospel Acclamation (sung)

Gospel Reading


Prayers of the Faithful

Liturgy of the Eucharist

The Preparation of Gifts (Bread and wine are brought to the altar)

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer and Sign of Peace


Final Commendation and Farewell (The body is honored with incense)

Song for Sending Forth

Family members and friends are encouraged to take part in the Funeral Liturgy. You may wish to ask your family and friends to:

· Place the Funeral Pall over the casket (usually the immediate family)

· Read the 1st reading

· Read the 2nd reading (optional)

· Read the Prayers of the Faithful

· Bring forward the gifts of bread and wine

· Serve as Eucharistic Ministers or Servers ( if previously commissioned)

Other Considerations

Involvement of the Family in Planning

Families are invited to be involved with choosing music and readings for the funeral Mass. The family will usually meet with the Pastor prior to the funeral. He will coordinate the plans of the family and assists the family in selecting the readings and music, if needed. The family may choose as much or as little of the readings, prayers of the faithful and music as they wish. The pastor or other parish representatives will choose those elements which the family declined to choose. We work with the family in making the funeral a celebration of life in light of our faith and belief in the resurrection.

Funeral Meal

A meal is provided by the parish funeral meal team at the family’s request. There is no cost involved, and this service is provided as a ministry of our parish. The parish hall will be available for the meal. Please let us know an approximate number that will attend.

Tributes and Eulogies

If someone from the family wishes to give a tribute to the deceased near the end of mass, they may do so. This is to be done respectfully. A more informal opportunity to share memories of the deceased is often provided at the prayer vigil.


We welcome flowers and wreaths as part of the funeral celebration, done within reason. During the season of Lent there is very little decoration in the church, but flowers may be displayed around the casket.

Advanced Funeral Planning

It is encouraged that a person make arrangements for their funeral well in advance to the likelihood of their own death. This allows the deceased to have their say in the planning of the music, readings and other elements that they would like to have at their funeral. In addition, it also saves the family the extra work of planning this out themselves at this difficult time. A person who makes their funeral plans in advance may keep these plans on file at the church of their choice.


Music is an important part of ritual, and we encourage families to make full use of the Church’s rich tradition our musical resources..

Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Songs

Four main songs are chosen for the mass: 1) Gathering Song, 2) Preparation of the Gifts, 3) Communion Song, and 4) Song for Sending Forth. We will try our best to accommodate the music that the family requests, though understand that we are limited by what we know and what is liturgically appropriate.

Know that in the mass, we are to sing songs that are of a spiritual and liturgical nature. It is not permitted in a funeral mass to have songs that are simply of a sentimental nature, but do not have a spiritual focus. Such songs are more appropriately placed in the vigil service, where there is more leeway about what to sing. If there are questions of whether we can do a particular song, please ask the pastor or music minister.

Soloists and musicians from the family

The parish will provide musicians and song leaders for the funeral service. However, if the family has someone in it who is willing to share their talent in leading or taking part in liturgical music, this can often be allowed. Often sharing your musical talents is a good way to honor your deceased loved one. This participation in funeral music will have to be done in coordination with the music ministry.

Recorded Music

We recognize the importance of certain recorded songs that may have a significant meaning to your family. Recorded music is certainly appropriate at a vigil service, reception or other family gathering, but (as with all Catholic Liturgies) never during the Mass itself.


Our two parishes presently oversee four different Catholic cemeteries. In most cases, cemetery plots have been purchased beforehand. It is necessary for the family to get in touch with the overseers of the cemetery for which the family wishes to have them buried, so as to be sure that arrangements are made appropriately, and for our own parish to keep track of burials. Please contact the following person in regards to the specific cemetery:

St. Paul Cemetery- Richard Darst ; 242-6638

St. Elizabeth Cemetery, Clarkson - Glen Campbell 230-7537

St. Mary’s Cemetery, Big Clifty- Danny Skees 242-9279

St. Francis Cemetery, Mount Hebron- Gerald Milliner 242-7520

Options and Suggestions for Funeral Music- St. Paul Parish

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus

Amazing Grace

As the Deer Longs

Ave Maria

Be Not Afraid

Blessed Assurance

Christ Be Our Light

Come to Me

Gift of Finest Wheat

Glory and Praise to Our God

Hail Mary, Gentle Woman

Here I Am, Lord


How Can I Keep From Singing

Holy God, We Praise Thy Name

How Great Thou Art

I Have Loved You

I Heard the Voice of Jesus

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

In the Garden

Isaiah 49

Joyful, Joyful We Adore You

Let There Be Peace on Earth

Like a Shepherd

Morning Has Broken

Nearer My God to Thee

Now Thank We All Our God

On Eagle's Wings

Only a Shadow

Only in God

Peace Is Flowing Like a River

Prayer of St. Francis

Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Softly and Tenderly

Taste and See

Turn to Me

We Remember

We Walk By Faith

We will rise again

Options for Funeral Readings

One reading from the Old Testament, one reading from the New Testament, and a Gospel reading are chosen for the Funeral Liturgy. The following are suggested and most appropriate readings for the Funeral Mass. (Other scripture selections of your choosing are also possible.)

Old Testament Readings

1. Job 19:1, 23-27

A reading from the book of Job.

Then Job answered and said: Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record: that with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever! But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust; whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another's, shall behold him, and from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing.

2. Wisdom 3:1-9 or 3:1-6, 9 (Words in italics may be omitted)

A reading from the book of Wisdom.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.

3. Wisdom 4:7-14

A reading from the book of Wisdom

But the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest. For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years. Rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men, and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age. He who pleased God was loved; he who lived among sinners was transported -snatched away, lest wickedness pervert his mind or deceit beguile his soul; for the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right and the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind. Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career; for his soul was pleasing to the LORD, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness. But the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account.

4. Isaiah 25:6-9

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all people. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all people, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces; the reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad, he has saved us!"

5. Lamentations 3:17-26

A reading from the book of Lamentations.

My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord. The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me. But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Good is the LORD to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him; It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord.

6. Daniel 12:1-3

A reading from the book of Daniel.

“At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace. But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.

7. II Maccabees 12:43-46

A reading from the second book of Maccabees.

Judas [the ruler of Israel] then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.

8. Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

A reading from the book of Ecclesiastes.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven: A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. For God has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without their ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

Responsorial Psalms

(Sung by Cantor & Assembly – Choose one)

1. Psalm 19

R/. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; the Lord’s rule is to be trusted, the simple find wisdom. The precepts of the Lord are right, they gladden the heart, the command of the Lord is clear, giving light to the eye. They are worth more than gold, sweeter than honey from the comb.

2. Psalm 23

R/. Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my dreams, from death into life.

God is my shepherd, so nothing shall I want, I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love, I walk by the quiet waters of peace. Though I should wander the valley of death, I fear no evil, for you are at my side, your rod and your staff, my comfort and my hope. You have set me a banquet of love in the face of hatred, crowning me with love beyond my pow’r to hold. Surely your kindness and mercy follow me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of my God forever.

2a. Psalm 23

R/. The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.

He lets me rest in open fields so green. He leads me to the quiet streams. He gives me strength and guides me in his ways. He renews his promises each day. He is my guide, my shepherd and my king, and in my fear he offers peace. Though I walk through the valley, I will not be afraid. You will protect me I’ll be saved.

3. Psalm 25

R/. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Lord, make me know your ways, teach me your paths and keep me in the way of your truth, for you are God, my Savior. For the Lord is good and righteous, revealing the way to those who wander, gently leading the poor and the humble. To the ones who seek the Lord, who look to God’s word, who live God’s love, God will always be near, and will show them mercy.

4. Psalm 27

R/. The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom should I be afraid?

The Lord is my light and my help; whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom should I shrink? There is one thing I ask of the Lord; for this I long; to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; hope in God, and take heart. Hope in the Lord.

5. Psalm 42

R/. As the deer longs for running streams, so I long for you.

Athirst my soul for you, the God who is my life! When shall I see the face of God? Defend me, God, send forth your light and your truth, they will lead me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling place. Then I shall go unto the altar of my God. Praising you, O my joy and gladness, I shall praise your name.

6. Psalm 63

R/. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines, my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. Thus have I gazed toward you in your holy place to see your power and your glory. Your kindness is a greater good than life itself; my lips shall glorify you. You have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand holds me firm; in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

7. Psalm 63

R/. O God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, your love is finer than life.

As a dry and wary desert land, so my soul is thirsting for my God, and my flesh is faint for the God I seek, for your love is more to me than life. I think of you when at night I rest, I reflect upon your steadfast love, I will cling to you, O Lord my God, in the shadow of your wings I sing. I will bless your name all the days I live, I will raise my hands and call on you, my joyful lips shall sing your praise, and you alone have filled my hungry soul.

8. Psalm 91

R/. Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble, be with me, Lord, I pray.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, Most High, who abide in the shadow of our God, say to the Lord: “My refuge and fortress, the God in whom I trust.” No evil shall befall you, no pain come near, for the angels stand close by your side, guarding you always and bearing you gently, watching over your life. Those who cling to the Lord live secure in God’s love, lifted high, those who trust in God’s name, call on the Lord who will never forsake you. God will bring you salvation and joy.

9. Psalm 91

R/. He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, who abide in his shadow for life, say to the Lord: “My refuge, my rock in whom I trust.” You need not fear the terror of the night, not the arrow that flies by day; though thousands fall about you, near you it shall not come. For to his angels he’s given a command to guard you in all of your ways; upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

10. Psalm 103

R/. The Lord is kind and merciful; the Lord is kind and merciful.

Bless the Lord, O my soul; all my being bless God’s name. Bless the Lord, O my soul; forget not all God’s blessings. The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, full of kindness. God is good to all creation, full of compassion. The goodness of God is from age to age, blessing those who choose to love. And justice toward God’s children; on all who keep the covenant.

11. Psalm 122

R/. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

I rejoiced when I heard them say: “Let us go to the house of the Lord,” and now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. For love of my family and love of my friends, I pray that peace be yours. For love of the house of the Lord our God I pray for your good.

New Testament Readings

1. Acts 10:34-45 (short version Acts 10:34-36, 42-43)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

Peter proceeded to address the people in these words, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.

You know the word (that) he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and (in) Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised (on) the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."

2. Romans 5:1-11

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

3. Romans 6:3-9 or 6:3-4, 8-9

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans. (Words in italics may be omitted)

Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.

4. Romans 8:14-23

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, "Abba, Father!" The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

5. Romans 8:31-35, 37-39

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans

What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ (Jesus) who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

6. Romans 14:7-9, 10-12

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans

None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.

8. 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: "Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

9. II Corinthians 4:14-5:1

A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians

We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

10. II Corinthians 5:1, 6-10

A reading from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians

For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven. So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

11. Philippians 3:20-21

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

12. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.

13. 1 John 3:1-2

A reading from the first letter of John

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

14. Revelation 14:13

A reading from the book of Revelation

I, John, heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” said the Spirit. “Let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.”

15. Revelation 20:11-21:1

A reading from the book of Revelation

I, John, saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. This pool of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

16. Revelation 21:1-5. 6-7

A reading from the book of Revelation

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away.” The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.”

Gospel Readings

1. Matthew 5:1-12

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

2. Matthew 11:25-30

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

3. Matthew 25:31-46

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

4. Mark 15:33-39; 16:1-6 or 15:33-39 (Words in italics may be omitted)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.” One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him.”

5. Luke 7:11-17

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, "Do not weep." He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!" The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, "A great prophet has arisen in our midst," and "God has visited his people." This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.

6. Luke 12:35-40

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

Jesus told his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

7. Luke 23:33, 39-43

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

8. Luke 23:44-49; 24:1-6 or 23:44-49 (Words in italics may be omitted)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, “This man was innocent beyond doubt.” When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events. But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.”

9. John 6:37-40

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to the crowd: “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

10. John 6:51-58

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus told the crowd: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

11. John 11:17-27 or 11:21-27 (Words in italics may be omitted)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away. And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.

12. John 11:32-45

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?” So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

13. John 12:23-28 or 12:23-26 (Words in italics may be omitted)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus told his disciples: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

14. John 14:1-6

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

15. John 15:1, 9-13

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.

15. John 17:24-26

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: “Father, my disciples are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them."

16. John 19:17-18, 25-30

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.

Jesus carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst." There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

More readings may be found at: http://www.domcentral.org/preach/funerals/

Prayers of the Faithful/Intercessions

Below are some examples for the Prayers of the Faithful. You may wish to use these or you may choose to write your own, including your own personal intentions as needed. Five or six Prayers of Intentions are recommended.

Priest: Brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and sits at the right

hand of the Father, where he intercedes for us. Confident that God hears the voices of those who trust in the Lord Jesus, we join our prayers to his:

Reader: In baptism N. received the light of Christ. Scatter the darkness now and lead him/her over the waters of death. We pray to the Lord.

R/. Lord hear our prayer.

Our brother/sister N. was nourished at the table of the Eucharist. Welcome him/her into the halls of the heavenly banquet. We pray to the Lord.

R/. Lord hear our prayer.

Many friends and members of our families have gone before us and await the kingdom. Grant them and everlasting home with your Son. We pray to the Lord. R/. Lord hear our prayer.

Many die by violence, war and famine each day. Show your mercy to those who suffer so unjustly these sins against your love, and gather them to the eternal kingdom of peace. We pray to the Lord.

R/. Lord hear our prayer.

Those who trusted in the Lord now sleep in the Lord. Give refreshment, rest, and peace to all whose faith is known to you alone. We pray to the Lord. R/. Lord hear our prayer.

For the mourners: The friends and Family of N. seek comfort and consolation. Heal their pain and dispel the darkness and doubt that come from grief. We pray to the Lord. R/. Lord hear our prayer.

We are assembled here in faith and confidence to pray for our brother/ sister N. Strengthen our hope that we may love in the expectation of your Son’s coming. We pray to the Lord. R/. Lord hear our prayer.

Priest: Lord God, giver of peace and healer of souls, hear the prayers of your people,

whose lives were purchased by the blood of the Lamb. Forgive the sins of all who sleep in Christ and grant them a place in your eternal kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen.