26 May 2024

Funeral Ministry in Our Parish

“For we believe that Jesus died and rose again and that it will be the same for those who have died in Christ”
(I. Thessalonians 4:14)

At the funeral of its children, the Church confidently celebrates Christ’s paschal mystery. Its intention is that those who, by baptism, were made one with Christ, may with Him pass from death to a new life. We thank God for the great gift of life to our deceased relatives and friends and as a community of faith we entrust them back to God in whom all life begins and is fully realised.

All down through the years our priests were very supportive in every way of families who were going through bereavement. Their visits to hospitals, nursing homes and private homes were very much appreciated by the community. However, with the shortage of priests, it became clear that it was time for the laity to get involved in this ministry. A group of eight were formed and given the appropriate formation by one of our priests. The service was warmly welcomed by parishioners. The aim of the Funeral Ministry Team is to eventually be available with our priests from the last moments of life through to the first year of bereavement with support and a listening ear. Through lack of personnel at the moment, our role is liturgical only i.e. meeting the remains at the Church and participating in the Funeral Mass, helping families to choose and read the Readings, Prayers of the Faithful, if they so wish. On occasion, a member of the funeral ministry team has officiated at the graveside or at the crematorium. We pray that this ministry of the parish will develop and be a further source of support to all of us.

Eilish O’Leary