In Catholic funerals, the church seeks to provide spiritual support for the deceased, as well as provide a measure of hope for the family and friends of the deceased. At St. James, we understand that losing a loved one can be overwhelming. We are here to offer both comfort and great hope for the future. We will be glad to assist with the planning of the liturgy and music. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions. Should you need more information, please contact the Parish Office at 858-755-2545 ext. *100.
Q-1. What is my first step now that a family member or friend has died?
Please, prior to making final arrangements with the mortuary, contact St. James Parish Office at (858) 755-2545 ext. *100 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and speak to our Parish Secretary to discuss:
- The date and time of Funeral or Memorial Mass
- Gather necessary personal information for records
- Determine if the body or cremated remains will be present
- Arrange for the celebrating Clergy for the funeral
- Determine if there will be a graveside service,and arrange for Presider
- Coordinate communication between the Music Minister, Reception/Bereavement Team and Celebrating Clergy
- To acquire obituary information for celebrating Clergy to enable them to personalize their homily.
Q-2 What will happen once the date and time are finalized?
As soon as your date and time are secured, there will be a meeting scheduled for family members to attend. At that meeting, all the planning for the Funeral Mass will take place.
Q-3. What is the purpose of that meeting?
At that meeting you have the opportunity to select:
- Scripture readings
- Eucharistic Ministers
Q-4. Who will help me plan the Funeral?
You will have the opportunity to meet with one or all of the following: a Priest, Musician and Bereavement Minister.
Q-5 Does the body of the deceased have to be present at the Mass?
The technical name of a funeral Mass is actually “The Mass of Christian Burial”. In recent years the Catholic Church has allowed cremation, so for a Mass of Christian Burial the body or cremated remains are present in the Church for the Mass. The Catholic Church also allows for a Memorial Mass for the deceased where the remains are not present.
Q-6 Many of my friends, relatives or people attending are not Catholic. Should I still have a Mass?
Yes, especially if the deceased person was a baptized Catholic. It is very common that assemblies gathering for funerals are of varied faith denominations or perhaps do not identify with any formal faith or religion. Our Catholic Mass is the highest form of prayer we can offer for the deceased person and for all who are gathered together.
Q-7. How will our family members and guests participate in the funeral Mass since many of them are not practicing Catholics?
We will guide you in the preparation of a simple program that will outline everything that occurs during the Mass. We often hear that many people who are not practicing Catholics are very moved by the Funeral Mass that the Church provides for your loved one.
Q-8 What about a reception following the Mass?
When you make the initial arrangements with the Parish Secretary you can request information about using the Social Room in the Church for a light reception. You will be given the name and telephone number of the Bereavement Minister who will assist you in planning the reception.
Please note: the Social room is limited in size. Please discuss this option when making your initial arrangements.