The death of a loved one is a difficult time for a family. The anxiety can often be added to by the organisation that has to take place within a short time frame. At St. Mary's Parish, Westport we strive as members of the Parish Team and Bereavement Support Group to do all we can for families at such a difficult time.
Each family is invited to make arrangements which best suit their needs and circumstances. The most common practice is for the funeral to take place to the church on the evening before the Mass, however an increasing number of families are opting for the funeral to take place to the Church for the Mass in the morning. It is entirely at the discretion of the family. Some families opt to bring their loved one's body home for a period of time, before going on to the funeral home, while others may simply go straight for the funeral home. Some families have the removal from their own homes.
Times for the funeral ceremonies should be arranged in consultation with the Parish and the undertaker, both of whom will do all they can to accommodate your requirements. Usually the funeral reposes for one to two hours before removal to the Church, usually for 7.00pm or 8.00pm, but usually no later so as to facilitate those who may be travelling. The Funeral Mass is normally at 11.00am the following morning, but again this time is flexible.
Prayers at the Wake and Removal
Families who choose to wake a loved one at home may like a priest or member of the Bereavement Support Group to call to the house and conduct a Prayer Service for the deceased. This normally takes place at night at a time which is convenient to everyone. The Prayer Service includes readings, prayers, the rosary, an opportunity to reverence the body and perhaps some music. There are useful resources available on the Catholic Ireland website.
Planning the Funeral Mass
The Funeral Mass offers families an opportunity to celebrate a persons life through liturgy. The various aspects of the Mass, such as readings, prayers and their layout, can be planned by clicking here.
Music for Funeral Masses is normally arranged through Margaret who is contactable through the Parish Office. Families may have their own choice of musicians and singers and they are most welcome.
There are not normally Mass servers available during the school week unless specifically requested by the family who may know some servers themselves. Servers are available at weekends and during summer holidays.
Readings and Prayers
The family will normally choose the readings and prayers for the Funeral Mass. The priest is always on hand to assist with this. There are a number of choices available here. Noramlly there is a first reading, a psalm which may be read or sung, a second reading and a number of prayers usually between four and eight, the normal number being six. Families may choose from the templates provided or are welcome to compose their own prayers. Again the Catholic Ireland site is worth consulting.
Symbols of a Life
There is an option at the beginning of the celebration to present a number of appropriate symbols of a person’s life, often representing their family, their faith, their work and their interests. This is simply an option which families may choose to include or leave out as they so wish. It is helpful if a family member or a friend explains these symbols in a short commentary, otherwise the details should be given to the priest on the sheet provided. The presentation of the bread and wine takes place later on during the Offertory of the Mass.
You may wish to contact the Bereavement Support Group in the Parish.
For more details contact the Presbytery, Telephone Number: 098-28871
KNOCK SHRINE: FAMILY LIFE & PRAYER CENTRE:
Bereavement Support Group meets each Wed. at 11 a.m.