Funerals

Funerals

 

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.”
-Romans 12:15

Please accept our sincere sympathy on your loss as we here at St. Liborius mourn with you. 

As you begin planning your loved one’s funeral, please feel free to call the Church Office with any questions or concerns.  Please note that normally the funeral director also contacts the Parish with arrangements. 

You are encouraged to follow the link below to select your readings and songs.  The full readings are in the book called Through Death to Life by Joseph M. Champlin, which is available in the Church Office.

Funeral Planning Mass Sheet for Families

A Message from Fr. Stephen:

I must admit to you that I have desired to write this reflection for several months now.  After celebrating the
Ascension with you, I think this is a good time to offer this encouragement regarding the celebration of your mortality. I would like to invite you, as you plan for this celebration, to please schedule a wake/visitation and a Funeral Mass for yourself. In conversation with several people I have received the comment, “I don’t want to picture myself being in a room full of people looking at me at a wake.” Please know the wake/visitation experience is primarily for the living, not for the deceased.

It is extremely helpful for your family and friends to process the fact that their loved one (you) has passed on and they (the living) really need the week to pray for you and to experience the “closure” of seeing you one more time. The wake/visitation experience also allows everyone who can, to come and express their love to the rest of your family who is experiencing the painful loss of you, someone they love and have shared their lives with.

Giving the rest of your family this experience of sharing in the love you had with many people they might not know well, still provides opportunities to know you even more as they hear other people’s stories of your life. I must state here the wake is a great time to have “open mike” time for eulogies and stories shared. Feel free to schedule what time you want this to happen and list it in your obituary so people know to be there to listen in and share the joy of your life’s experiences through the lives of those you shared your life with you. There is also no limit to music played at your wake/visitation. Play your favorite songs.  I know at my wake the song, “Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang will play about every twenty minutes, along with “I Think I Love You” by the Partridge family. It is best to celebrate unique things like these at the wake/ visitations.

The Church wants to reserve the Funeral Mass to be just the Mass without these specialty items so as to celebrate Jesus’ role in the life of the person deceased. I always look for ways to invite the rest of your family to allow people to really love them the day of your wake/visitation and to truly receive the love people offer so as to share in your love and God’s for them.

Part two of celebrating your mortality is the Funeral Mass. Every day the Church celebrates the Mass, to provide the “Daily Bread” of Jesus being present to the World. We frequently discuss Jesus being the Savior of the World and everyone within it. Your Funeral Mass very specifically presents to your family what Jesus wants to do and did do just for you! Jesus also came to be your Savior and now we celebrate Mass just for YOU, and yes we should! Praying a Funeral Mass for the repose of your soul, asking God for any needed mercy and asking God to welcome you to His home is really worth praying for. The funeral Mass is about Jesus living His life with you and through you and this Mass is actually more about Him than you.

This is the real reason I invite you to have the Mass without “specialty” additions. For us all to realize Jesus has offered Himself up to God the Father for you personally is the greatness of the Funeral Mass. Everyone who comes to Mass is praying for you and is intended to receive the Eucharist on your behalf, bestowing upon you, the deceased, as much Grace as God wants to provide for you. Yes, the Funeral Mass can be and is a continuing conversion opportunity for your entire family as they spend at least one week thinking, praying and reflecting on mortality.

I must add as you plan your celebrations that more people are choosing to be cremated. I have to remind you that your cremains have to be treated with the full dignity of your entire body. This means you need to be buried in a cemetery (not to sound obnoxious here) but you do not want to be “spread out” on your favorite golf course or baseball field, as it would be quite inappropriate to perform these procedures if you were not cremated. We are body and soul, and this dignity really needs to be honored, cherished, and celebrated. You are never too young to plan your departing celebration since adjustments can be made whenever you desire.

God will indeed call us home, may we celebrate our lives to the fullest.  Until then, remember mortality is the gateway to our true Homeland. Now I must cheerfully say, “Here’s to immortality.” May God welcome all of us into His home one day.

 

-Rev. Stephen Eickhoff