At one time or another, every family, every individual, must deal with the loss of a loved one – a parent, spouse, child, close friend. Sometimes death is preceded by a long, exhausting illness, sometimes it is sudden and shocking. In the midst of their grief, those closest to the deceased person find themselves faced with making many immediate decisions, including plans for a funeral and final interment.
At such time, a member of the Bereavement Ministry meets with family members and assists them in planning their loved one’s funeral or memorial liturgy, call the Mass of Resurrection. Members of this ministry are trained and experienced in responding sensitively to the needs of those experiencing loss and sorrow. Their guidance is subtle, caring and practical, and they are there to help from the first meeting to the final blessing.
As soon as the Parish Office is notified of the death of a parishioner, the Bereavement Ministry is contacted and a member is assigned to assist the family in preparing the Funeral Mass. The member then calls and arranges for a time to meet, usually at the church. Ideas for Scripture readings are provided, along with some suggestions for music. The Bereavement member then takes care of notifying all necessary parish ministries – the Priest, servers and musician(s) – and is available to respond to the family’s needs or questions.
On the day of the funeral, members of the Bereavement Ministry arrive early at church to make sure everything is ready and is there to greet family members and mourners. Following the Mass, members of the Bereavement Ministry ensure that personal items, such as displayed photographs and cards are given to the family.
Yvonne Scott Joyce Thomas Myra Miles
Authors – Barbara Luther/Deacon Greenfield