Frequently Asked Questions about a Funeral
Does the Church recommend a Funeral Mass?
Yes, a celebration of the Mass is strongly encouraged for any Catholic who has died, even though the family may not be Catholic. On days when a Funeral Mass is not permitted, a prayer service is celebrated (for example, Funeral Masses are not scheduled on Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Holy Saturday).
Can I choose the Scripture readings or does the Church choose them?
The family is encouraged to select the readings from Sacred Scripture. Click here for a selection of possible Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospel readings.
Can I choose the hymns for the Vigil Service and/or the Mass?
The family is encouraged to meet with someone from the worship office to help plan the music. Please be aware that there are a fixed number of liturgical texts at a funeral Mass, which affect what may be sung. Also note that recorded music or secular music cannot be used at Mass. A parish cantor will sing for the funeral. A list of many appropriate and commonly chosen hymns may be found by clicking here.
What times are available for funerals?
Sacred Heart will make every effort to set a funeral time convenient for your family; however, the campus can be very busy, with both an elementary school and an early-learning center. Weekday funerals normally take place at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. Funeral Masses cannot take place on Sunday.
If there is no visitation the evening before, can we have visitation one hour before the funeral?
With prior permission, the visitation can take place one hour prior to the funeral in the Narthex.
Can I have friends and family members offer a eulogy?
Yes, after communion a eulogy may be given for no longer than 3-5 minutes.
Does the Catholic Church allow cremation?
Yes, the Church permits cremation [CCC2301], but the Church still prefers burial or entombment of the deceased. Click here for a more detailed explanation.
Does the church charge for funerals?
There is no charge to use the church for a funeral or the parish hall for a meal after the funeral.
Can I bring flowers into the church?
Flowers may be brought into the vestibule of the church, but normally not into the nave and sanctuary of the church (with the exception of the casket spray or a small vase of flowers next to the cremains).
May I request a priest from another parish celebrate my funeral?
Yes, visiting priests are welcome at Sacred Heart.
Can we have a reception after the funeral?
Depending on minister and room availability, the goal of our Funeral Meal Ministry is to provide families with a light reception after the service at no charge. Please consult with the Parish Office for availability.
Will there be a program for the service?
Yes, a worship aid will be printed for the service.