Funerals at the Sacred Heart
Ordinarily the church is contacted by the Funeral Director.
Funerals are either a Requiem Mass or Service.
One of the clergy will normally, if possible, meet with the family of the deceased to talk about arrangements for the service. This will include:
Readings: at Mass these are all from the Bible. At services, appropriate reflections may be used after the Concluding Prayer, after discussion with the clergy.
Hymns & music: please note that, for copyright and liturgical reasons, the playing of secular music on CD’s is not permitted. It is permitted, however, at the graveside or at the Crematorium. All music used in church must be in harmony with Christian sentiment and belief.
Any announcements the family wish the clergy to make; for example, inviting those present to join them at a reception.
Retiring collection: often, this is taken to support the upkeep and work of the church. However, it may also be taken for a charity of the family’s choosing. Please note that collections can only be taken in church for those causes which are in harmony in their aims and objectives with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
In the case of a Requiem Mass, the Order of Service is then completed by the clergy, emailed to the Funeral Director, who includes it in the booklet. In the case of a Funeral Service, the clergy can either guide a congregation through the service with the use of hymn books, or a short Order of Service can also be produced.
Military Standard bearers and buglers are permitted in church. The coffin is not, however, to be draped in a flag during the funeral liturgy, where baptism is our common and prominent identity. If, however, the family wants to have the flag placed on the coffin, it can be done when the coffin is being transported to and from the church where the main funeral liturgy is to be celebrated. The flag (which should be a suitable size) can then be removed and folded with appropriate ceremony and respect just before the welcoming of the body. The flag then becomes part of the ritual action in the liturgy. The pall or crucifix & Bible will be removed after the liturgy, and the flag can again be placed on the coffin as it is being transported from the church.
Sometimes, short eulogies are given at the end of a funeral service by a family member or friend. If a cremation follows the service, we strongly recommend that these take place at the Crematorium. However, if they do take place in church, we advise that a great deal of consideration is given. A funeral is a time of deep and varied emotions and it can be very difficult indeed to speak publicly about a loved one. If no-one is able to speak, one of the clergy will happily read something written down. In any case, all eulogies should be short and written down, so as to form a framework and anchor whilst speaking. The content should be shared with the clergy before the service itself.
Fees are set by the diocese and are paid through the Funeral Director.