WHAT TO DO AT THE TIME OF DEATH
The Clergy and Staff of St. Sebastian Parish are here to assist you during your time of sorrow. If we can be of any assistance to you at this time or in the future, please contact the parish office at 313.562.5356.
We ask that you contact a Funeral Director before contacting the parish to schedule a funeral. After meeting with the funeral director, the funeral director’s staff will contact the St. Sebastian Parish Office to schedule the day and time of the funeral.
Within the "Forms" link, located on the right side of this page, you will find helpful information to address many questions you may have. On the "Funeral Information Sheet" you will be asked to make a selection of both Old Testament and New Testament readings, Prayers of the Faithful (General Intercessions), a Responsorial Psalm and various hymns to choose from for the Mass. You will also be asked to chose your readers, Eucharistic Ministers (if needed) and give a personal profile of the deceased. All of this information will assist the priest and other parish ministers to better serve the needs of your family.
PLEASE NOTE: When accessing the Funeral Information Sheet, YOU MUST DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE PDF to your desktop, open the file in Adobe Acrobat and complete the information. Once you have completed the form, double click on the "Submit by Email" button and follow the instructions to e-mail your completed form back to the Parish Office. If you are unable to fill in the information on your computer and choose to print the form instead, please be sure all of the information is complete before returning the form.
It is our hope that these forms will aid you and your family as you prepare to complete and arrange the funeral services for your loved one.
The Funeral Rite Usually Includes:
Please note that, per Archdiocesan guidelines, eulogies DO NOT take place during Mass at St. Sebastian Parish.
If a eulogy is something that is important to your family, please plan on presenting it at the Vigil Service.
- A Vigil Service (Wake) is celebrated in the funeral home. This is a time to gather with family and friends to offer consolation and support to one another, and remember the life of the deceased. Therefore, eulogies are encouraged at this time. You have the option to have a representative from St. Sebastian lead the people in the Recitation of the Rosary OR lead the people in a Scripture Service. These services take place at the funeral home, generally the day before the Funeral Mass is celebrated at the church.
- A Mass of Christian Burial (Funeral Liturgy) is celebrated in the Church. As Catholic Christians, we believe that death is not the end of life. It is therefore appropriate that there be a structured observance (Funeral Rite) for this important event to mark our passing. The funeral liturgy is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. At the time of death, the Church gathers with the family and friends of the deceased to give thanks to God for Christ’s victory over death, and to commend the deceased to God’s eternal mercy and love.
- A Rite of Committal (Burial or Interment). This marks the conclusion of the funeral rite. It is normally celebrated at the place of committal, that is, beside the open grave or place of interment. In committing the deceased to their resting place, we express hope that, with all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection.
ORDER OF THE FUNERAL MASS
The following will review how the Funeral Mass unfolds and help as you make choices for the Mass.
The celebrant meets the family/funeral procession at the doors of the church.
Placing of the Pall on the casket
The celebrant calls forth those chosen to place the Funeral Pall (white cloth) on the casket of the deceased. This is representative of the white garment worn during the Rite of Baptism into the Church. The placing of the pall does not take place when cremains are present.
As the funeral procession walks down the aisle led by the celebrant the Gathering hymn begins.
Invitation to Prayer
After everyone is seated the celebrant asks those present to pray.
The celebrant prays one of several choices of prayers.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
Family members or friends are encouraged to participate in the Liturgy of the Word by proclaiming the readings that are chosen. Prior to Mass, please inform the Funeral Sacristan who has been chosen to proclaim the Word of God.
First Reading (Old Testament)
A member of the family or another person reads one of the selected Old Testament readings.
Responsorial Psalm (Song of Praise)
The responsorial psalm is sung by the Music Minister, leading the people in sung prayer.
Second Reading (New Testament)
A member of the family or another person reads one of the selected New Testament readings.
The celebrant or deacon reads the Gospel from the selections in the Order of Christian Funerals. The Gospel is usually chosen by the family.
The celebrant often refers to the thoughts that have been provided by family or others that show how the loved one lived out the Christian way and values.
General Intercessions/ Prayers of the Faithful
The celebrant opens the Intercessions with a short prayer. A member of the family or a family friend reads the intercessions chosen by the family. The celebrant finishes with a short prayer. Please let the Funeral Sacristan know who is chosen to do the reading of the Prayers of the Faithful.
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
Presentation of the Gifts
The family is encouraged to choose family or friends to bring up the gifts. The gifts normally carried up are: Ciborium (dish) of hosts, water and wine. Please choose no more than three (3) people to bring up the gifts.
In the Catholic Church, the celebration of the Eucharist, or receiving Communion, is an essential part of religious practice and an opportunity for members of the Church to fully unite with Christ and each other. Many Catholic funerals will include a celebration of the Eucharist, and non-Catholics in attendance may be confused as to whether they should participate. Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion.
Song of Farewell (Incensing)
The Song of Farewell is sung during the incensing. The incensing does not take place when cremains are present.
Prayer of Commendation
The priest commends the deceased into the hands of Our Lord. He then prays “In peace let us take our brother/sister to his/her place of rest,” or something similar when the funeral procession will be proceeding to the place of burial.
The casket is prepared by the funeral directors and the procession leaves the church.
Recessional Hymn (Sending Forth Hymn)
The priest leads the procession out of the church at which time the hymn that the family has chosen is sung. The family follows behind the casket.