Upon the death of a loved one, please contact the mortuary that you have selected to handle the services. The mortuary will then contact the Parish Office to make the final arrangements. Once the office has been contacted by the mortuary, a Bearevement Minister will be contacted and they in turn will reach out to the family of the deceased to coordinate the vigil service and funeral liturgy.
The vigil service is a combination of structured and unstructured moments. The ritual should be in continuity with the less formal moments of gathering and greeting, sharing stories and memories, offering sympathy. The vigil is often more intimate than the funeral, and it is more clearly centered on the one who has died. The vigil can be a good beginning for the long process of coming to terms with life now that this person is gone. The community shows its support at the vigil, the support that will be there in the weeks and months to come.
The funeral liturgy, which usually includes the celebration of the eucharist, allows for scripture readings and liturgical music and various other elements to be chosen by the family or other mourners. In this liturgy and in the rites that take place at the side of the grave, the church holds parting and communion in tension: There is the final commendation of the deceased to the Lord, and the reality of the grave itself, as we console ourselves in faith in our communion with the saints and our waiting for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. The rites take these things and give them powerful expression in song, word and gesture.