Funeral Planning Guide

The gift of human life is the most sacred of all gifts we have been given. One of the many ways we can show our respect for this gift is how we celebrate it in both life and death. The celebration of the death of a loved one is an important experience of Christian life and how we can show our respect for the dignity of the human person.

When a death has been confirmed, whether it happens at home, in a hospital, or in a nursing home, the first thing family members need to do is to call a funeral home. You will need to tell the funeral home that you want arrangements made with St. Benedict Parish. The funeral director will meet with you to discuss funeral arrangements.

After the initial meeting with the funeral home, you will need to call our parish office (480.961.1610) to set a convenient appointment to plan the funeral service. You will have an opportunity to choose from selected readings for a funeral, talk about music and discuss ways that family members may participate in the funeral Mass. If a reception at the church is desired, our Pastoral Care Coordinator will contact the family to offer help in planning.

Three Rites for Funerals

A Catholic funeral is divided into three Rites: the Vigil, the Funeral Mass, and the Rite of Committal.

Vigil (Optional)

The Vigil is the first of the series of Rites proclaiming the Word of God, which tells us that death is a change and a transition, not an end. The Vigil consists of scripture readings, prayers for the deceased, a short homily, and possibly a Rosary with time for people to share special moments about their loved one. The Vigil is usually held at the funeral home. It is the first opportunity for family members and friends of the family to formally gather together. The Vigil may be conducted by a deacon, priest or an authorized lay person. This is also the appropriate place for eulogies by family members and friends. You can bring photographs, other mementos and play favorite music of the deceased. Since the Mass music must be approved liturgical music, the Vigil is a good place to play the favorite secular songs that the deceased liked.

Funeral Mass

The principle funeral rite is the Mass which is celebrated with the body, or cremated remains, present. The Catholic Church recommends the bodily remains be present for the Mass and, if cremation is desired, done after the Mass. Later, the remains or cremated remains are then interred in a cemetery with a priest, deacon or lay person offering the prayer of committal.

The Funeral Mass is the official prayer of the Church. All music selected should be ritual music approved by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. The parish will help you in choosing appropriate music. No secular musical tapes or CD’s are permissible either before or during the Funeral Mass. The Vigil would be an appropriate time for that.

Rite of Committal

The Rite of Committal takes place at the cemetery. This is perhaps the most difficult time for the family. The final “good byes” must take place at this time and this is painful. The prayers of the Church, which may be said by a priest, deacon or lay person, and the support of the members of the parish community are intended to give support and comfort to make the transition from life to death as easy as possible for the bereaved.

Recommended Funeral Stipends

We would appreciate the following:

Item Cost
Use of church $150 to “St. Benedict Parish”
Music and Liturgy $100 to the appropriate person
Presiding Priest Recommended $100 (Fr. Aboyi or Fr. Yinah)

Flowers and Memorials

Flowers may be brought to the church on the day of the funeral. Deliveries should be made to the parish at 16223 S. 48th St., Phoenix, AZ 85048.

After the service, the funeral home or family members should take the flowers with them. Any flowers left behind will be donated to a local nursing home.

Conclusion

Thank you for choosing St. Benedict Parish to celebrate the life of your loved one. We assure you of our prayers for the repose of the soul of your loved one and for God’s consolation for your family members as you go through this difficult time.