When a Catholic dies it is possible to arrange a Funeral (Requiem) Mass to be celebrated, If a Requiem Mass is not requested, then a short funeral service can be celebrated in the church, or at the crematorium or cemetery.

It is probably best in the first instance to arrange the funeral through your undertaker. This is because it is necessary to co-ordinate the availability of the priest, the Church (if required) and the cemetery or crematorium.

The undertaker should be aware (but may need reminding!) that no firm arrangements should be made for the funeral until he / she has spoken to your priest. Especially in these days when priests are fewer than they used to be, your priest may have other arrangements which he cannot change for the time you would like the funeral, or the Church may already be booked for something else.

In planning the service, bear in mind that secular music and readings are not normally permitted in a Mass, and that the homily is primarily an exposition of Catholic faith in the Resurrection rather than a tribute to your loved one. If you wish someone to speak briefly about the deceased, this is more appropriate after Holy Communion, while secular music or readings should be left to the service at the cemetery or crematorium.

An information leaflet, produced by the Archdiocese and giving guidelines on how to plan a funeral liturgy in the Catholic Church, is currently being made available at our churches at this time.