ST. ELIZABETH SETON

BEREAVEMENT MINISTRY

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?

- John 11:25-26



"At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of baptism and strengthened at the eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting word of God and the sacrament of the eucharist" (Order of Christian Funerals, 4).


St. Elizabeth Seton is one heartfelt parish family. During the difficult moments of loss and grieving, we are honored and privileged to accompany our parish families as together we commend the souls of their loved ones into the hands of our Father in heaven through the ancient funeral rites of the Catholic Church. The Bereavement Ministry at St. Elizabeth Seton assists our priests in providing grieving families prayerful support and comfort during the funeral rituals. Our Ministers guide families in planning the funeral Mass by helping them select meaningful readings, music, and prayers to honor the deceased.




PLANNING DOCUMENTS (click on green text to access)


If you are planning a funeral and have questions for our team, please email bereavement@steseton.com.


Funeral Liturgy Planning Form

  • This master form will be completed by our Bereavement Ministers.
  • If desired, selections and readers may be filled out on this form and brought to the planning meeting.


Old Testament Reading Choices

  • This is the first reading at the liturgy, and comes from the Old Testament. These readings are poetic in nature, and speak of God's goodness and faithfulness.
  • The family selects a family member or friend to read this reading.


New Testament Reading Choices

  • This is the second reading at the liturgy, and comes from the New Testament. These readings are excerpts from letters and exhortations that speak of the theology of death and resurrection, as well as our hope in the new and eternal life that awaits the faithful in Christ Jesus.
  • The family selects a family member or friend to read this reading.


Gospel Reading Choices

  • The final reading at Mass is from the Gospels, and are stories from the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is God himself in human form.
  • The priest or deacon will read this reading during the liturgy.


Prayers of the Faithful Template

  • After the homily, these prayers are said for the deceased and their loved ones.
  • The final two petitions invite the mourners to pray for the sick, caretakers of the sick, and deceased loved ones who have gone before us in faith. These individuals are prayed for by name.


Funeral Music Choices and Recordings

  • There are seven opportunities for beautiful, comforting music throughout the funeral Mass, played by our cantor, choir, and organist. Click on the song titles to access online recordings of them. NOTE: these recordings are only samples and may have different instrumentation.
  • Sacred music is integral to the funeral rites. It allows the community to express convictions and feelings that words alone may fail to convey. It has the power to console and uplift the mourners and to strengthen the unity of the assembly in faith and love. The texts of the songs chosen for a particular celebration should express the Paschal Mystery of the Lord’s suffering, Death, and triumph over death and should be related to the readings from Scripture (Order of Christian Funerals, No. 30).
  • The music ministers will make every effort to accommodate requests for songs not found on this list, provided they are appropriate for inclusion within the Sacred Liturgy and the music is available for our use. Music for the Funeral Mass should be sacred in nature, with texts drawn mainly from Scripture. It is suggested that secular songs be incorporated into the wake, luncheon, or graveside rituals.


Guidelines Regarding Eulogies

  • We strongly encourage eulogies to be given at the wake or reception instead of the funeral Mass. In this way, they are most fitting and less time-constrained.
  • If the family desires, we allow for one 5-minute eulogy to take place after reception of Holy Communion during the funeral Mass.
  • The eulogy should speak of the virtues and faith of the deceased, and lead the congregation to a deeper contemplation of the mercy of God and an increase in the theological virtue of hope. If a eulogy does not lead someone to prayer and intimate dialogue with our Father in heaven who loves us, it is not fulfilling its purpose.
  • In keeping with the sacredness of the liturgy, profane stories and language are neither appropriate nor allowed. The presider of the funeral reserves the right to end a eulogy before or during it at any time, especially if there is a time constraint or the content is deemed inappropriate.



FEES


The $550 fee for a funeral at St. Elizabeth Seton covers the cost of a cantor, organist, and choir during the liturgy. If additional musicians are desired, an additional fee will be incurred.




PRE-PLANNING A FUNERAL


If you would like to pre-plan a funeral liturgy, we are happy to assist you. Please contact the parish office in order to schedule a meeting with a Bereavement Minister.



If you would like to schedule a funeral Mass or memorial service, join our Bereavement Ministry team, or speak to a priest, please call the parish office at 708-403-0101.