The Church through its funeral rites commends the dead to God’s merciful love and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins. At the funeral rites, especially at the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the Christian community affirms and expresses the union of the Church on earth with the Church in heaven in the one great communion of saints. Though separated from the living, the dead are still at one with the community of believers on earth and benefit from their prayers and intercession. At the rite of final commendation and farewell, the community acknowledges the reality of separation and commends the deceased to God. In this way it recognizes the spiritual bond that still exists between the living and the dead and proclaims its belief that all the faithful will be raised up and reunited in the new heavens and a new earth, where death will be no more.
~Order of Christian Funerals, 6
~Order of Christian Funerals, 6
Funeral Procedures and Protocol
St. Jude Catholic Parish is staffed from 8:30am to 1:30pm Monday through Friday. Please call the parish office during these times when a death occurs. When the parish office is closed, please follow phone prompts for an emergency- 540.230.4932.
Recommended Funeral Stipends
The following suggested stipends/fees are based
on services rendered by St. Jude's staff.
Policy: If the family of the deceased requests a guest clergy, the presider from St. Jude’s is to be informed. The presider should speak to the family. The guest priest/deacon will always be welcome to celebrate (or assist in the case of a deacon) as long as he is in good standing. At the discretion of the presider, the guest priest or deacon may be permitted to give the homily final commendation and lead the service at the cemetery.
Mass or Liturgy without Mass?
Policy: The standard liturgy for a deceased Catholic who was in good standing with the Church is a Mass, with the body present. A Mass should always be the presumed format. If there is question about whether a liturgy without Mass might be more appropriate, the presider should speak to the family. In a case where the deceased is not a practicing Catholic, or lived a life publicly contradicting Catholic beliefs and practice, a liturgy without a Mass might be more appropriate.
A Child who has died before Baptism
Policy: A Mass can always be celebrated for a child who has died, even without baptism. Appropriate prayers are used if the child was not baptized.
Funerals for non-Catholics
Policy: A Catholic funeral may be celebrated (even a Mass) for a person who is not a Catholic, as long as this would not offend the sensibilities of those who attend. This case may arise when the living spouse is Catholic, and the spouse who died practiced no religion.
The grieving process necessarily includes time to remember the life of the deceased loved one. In the Catholic funeral rite, this is most appropriately done during the time of visitation, at lunch, or even at the Vigil (Wake) Service. Since the Funeral Mass is primarily the time for praise and thanks for God's gift of eternal life in Jesus, we discourage the inclusion of a eulogy at the Mass. Therefore, please be sure to plan for eulogies at the Vigil (Wake) Service. If a eulogy is to be included at the Funeral Mass, there can be only one speaker, and the reflections may be no more than three minutes long. It must be presented to the priest-celebrant in writing in advance of the Funeral Mass.
Our St. Martha's Banquet Committee can provide a light reception which includes finger food, dessert and beverages. The Committee will set-up, serve & clean-up for the reception. Complete information is provided by the Martha's Banquet Supervisor. There is no fee for this service, but donations are welcome.
In 1997 the Vatican granted permission for funeral Masses to be celebrated with the cremated remains of an individual at the discretion of each diocesan bishop. Though allowing Catholics to choose cremation, the Catholic Church “clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites” (Order of Christian Burial appendix II). In addition to fully expressing the Church’s belief in the resurrection of the body, the presence of the body at the funeral allows the friends and family of the deceased to enter into the grieving process in a way that is substantively different than with the cremated remains. Therefore, those opting to have cremation are strongly encouraged to have the body of the deceased present at the funeral, with cremation and burial to follow in the next couple of days.
St. Jude Catholic Church created a Columbarium in the same loving spirit in which churches of the past provided cemeteries for traditional burials. Our Columbarium provides niches for the placement of cremains of our loved ones within the parish. To find out more information regarding availability and cost, please contact our Business Manager in the main office during office hours.