Confronted with the deep mystery of death, human words are totally inadequate. The only word that carries authority is the Word of God. In the course of the Funeral Liturgy, we try to let that Word speak to the hearts of all who are grieving, so that all might hear and be comforted by the Christian message, that life is changed, not ended; when the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven (Preface for the Dead I).
The Funeral Liturgy can be a most helpful step in the grieving process, so it is desirable that the relatives of the deceased work closely with the Priest in the preparation of the Funeral Liturgy. The readings from Scripture provide an opportunity to choose texts that speak to the bereaved in their own particular situation of grief. It is to be hoped that this section will help in the task of choosing suitable readings.
How to use this section:
Usually, at a Funeral Liturgy, a person will read one reading from the Old Testament and one Psalm. A second person will then read one reading from the New Testament and one Gospel Acclamation. It should be noted that sometimes the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation are sung. To summarise:
1st Reader: one Old Testament reading and one Responsorial Psalm (if not being sung)
2nd Reader: one New Testament reading and one Gospel Acclamation (if not being sung)
Gospel Readings are not listed here. However, if you would like to discuss the choice of Gospel text, please feel free to consult the Priest who will be presiding at the Funeral Liturgy. Please also feel free to discuss with the Priest the preparation of the Prayer of the Faithful and Offertory Procession.
The Priest will be glad to discuss any aspect of the Funeral Liturgy with you. It is our wish that the Liturgy will be a time of prayer for your loved one and of consolation and hope for you.
INDEX OF THEMES
a help in choosing appropriate readings for the Mass
Old Testament: 2, 7, 11
New Testament: 4, 8, 9, 14, 16
Old Testament: 6
New Testament: 8
Grief / sorrow
Old Testament: 2, 11, 12
New Testament: 14
A Person of Faith
Old Testament: 1, 4, 8
New Testament: 5, 10, 13
Death is not the end
Old Testament: 9, 10, 11
New Testament: 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17
Trust in God
Old Testament: 1
New Testament: 5, 12, 16, 18
The goodness of God
Old Testament: 2, 5, 6
New Testament: 1, 6, 8, 15
THE ORDER OF CHRISTIAN FUNERALS
Guidelines for the Funeral Liturgy in the Diocese of Meath:
- Appreciations given by family and friends of the deceased should not take place in the Church, but may occur after the rite of committal at the Cemetery.
- Readings at the Funeral Liturgy should be from the Lectionary.
- Secular songs, poems and texts devoid of a Christian context are out of place.
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