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Funeral Planning Guide

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Funeral Planning Worksheet        Bereavement Group        Reception/Luncheon Form

(Please click the link above to download the document)

Our Lady of Fatima Parish extends to you our prayerful sympathy during these very painful days. Be assured of our prayers for you and for your loved one. We offer you the services of the parish staff to arrange a funeral and burial that will prayerfully reflect our confidence in the abundant mercy of Christ while imploring Him to show that mercy on your beloved and on all of us.

As the family, you will be asked to help make some of the decisions for the funeral Mass and wake service. This website will hopefully serve as an initial guide.


The date and time of the funeral Mass and wake service are to be scheduled in consultation with the Pastor and the Funeral Home.  This is then communicated to the musicians. Please note, there may be other previously scheduled activities at the Church that need to be taken into consideration.  Funerals cannot be held on Sundays, Holy Days or during the Sacred Triduum.


In recent years, the Catholic Church has lifted the prohibition against the practice of cremation and has revised the rites for services with cremated remains.  While the Church favors cremation after the funeral liturgy, it realizes that financial constraints or other circumstances may result in the desire for cremation before the funeral service. The cremated remains can be brought into the church for the Funeral Mass. Typically, a priest will accompany the cremated remains to the cemetery for committal after the funeral.  The church discourages the practice of dividing or scattering remains. It is possible to have a picture of the deceased placed in the entrance of the church or near the cremains.

Visiting Priests

Visiting priests are welcome to concelebrate and take part in the Mass at the discretion of the Pastor. All visiting priest must have current credentials from their Arch/Diocese or order.

The Wake Service

The Catholic Church has a long tradition of keeping vigil for those who have died. It is a time of public prayer that gathers and binds family and friends alike. Normally, the wake will take place at the funeral home the night before the funeral Mass. The priest or deacon will lead the service of Scripture and prayer. The pastor will describe the wake in greater detail and will ask you if you desire anything additional.

It is possible to wake a loved one at Our Lady of Fatima provided the necessary space is available and other scheduled events are not in conflict. It is still necessary to engage the service of a funeral home. These arrangements must be approved by the Pastor prior to any publication.


The eulogy is not part of the liturgy of the Funeral Mass. If a eulogy is desired, it is done at the Wake Service. The eulogy should focus on the deceased person and should be very respectful of the person’s memory. Please contact the pastor for additional information.


All registered parishioners are entitled to our ministries without charge and money should not be the determining factor in providing a funeral. Also we would not exclude anyone who is not formally registered or has not been able to contribute financially to the parish. However you should make arrangements with your funeral director for some customary offerings:

·         The Presider – no charge, however if the presider has gone above and beyond, a free will offering is appreciated.

·         The Musicians – a flat fee is presented for each musician. The current rate is $250.

·         Gathering Space – no charge, however a free will offering is appreciated to assist with the costs of utilities, supplies and cleaning.

·         Funeral Luncheon

Mass Program Booklets

Our parish staff will be glad to assist you in developing and printing a program. We ask that you give them adequate time to prepare and copy a program. Pictures can be scanned and sent to You are also free to develop your own program. We ask that all programs be approved prior to printing and that all copyright laws must be followed.

Memorial Offerings

If you would like to honor your loved one by donations to the parish in lieu of flowers, please ask that contributions be made to the Our Lady of Fatima Memorial fund.  Please contact our office for more information. Individual purchase of memorial vessels and vestments should be coordinated through our office to avoid duplications.

Mass Intentions

Masses for the intention of the deceased may be requested through the Parish Office. The usual fee is $10 for an announced mass and $5 for a collective intention mass. Mass dates are not always available but you can offer a Memorial candle to be announced and burned in the church for a specified week.

The Funeral Mass

The Catholic Mass is a time spent focusing on the redemptive act of Christ as he willingly dies upon the cross for us. In the funeral Mass, we earnestly pray that our beloved dead might participate in the heavenly glory of Christ’s resurrection. It is a time of personal encounter with Jesus Christ, who says: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28).

Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist

Family members or friends who are commissioned Ministers are welcome to serve. Please speak with the priest prior to the service to make them aware of the number of ministers available (Usually one or two are needed. If none are available, the parish will provide them).

The Funeral Liturgy at a Glance:

(Please note: Cremations and Memorial Services differ)

Introductory Rites

·         Greeting at the entrance of the Church

·         Sprinkling with Holy Water and Placing of the Funeral Pall

·         Placing of the Christian Symbols

·         Procession to the Altar

·         Opening Prayer

Liturgy of the Word

·         First Reading (Old Testament most of the year)

·         Responsorial Psalm

·         Second Reading

·         Gospel Acclamation

·         Gospel Reading

·         Homily

·         General Intercessions

Liturgy of the Eucharist

·         Preparation of the Gifts

·         Eucharistic Prayer and Acclamations

·         The Lord’s Prayer

·         Sign of Peace

·         Communion

Final Commendation

·         Invitation to Prayer

·         Incensing

·         Song of Farewell

·         Prayer of Commendation

·         Procession to the Place of Committal


Scripture Selections

There are numerous selections to choose from in the planning guide “Through Death to Life” which we will provide you. The liturgy usually contains readings from: the Old Testament, the Responsorial Psalm (usually song), the New Testament and The Gospel. You may choose the reading or if you desire, the priest can assist you.   You can also select readers for the Testament readings and the Prayers of the Faithful or the priest can assist you. (Please see the Reading selections at the bottom of this form and fill in your choices on the Funeral Planning guide).

Music Selections

Some possible appropriate music choices for the funeral Mass are included in the left column. Choices should be God-centered. Favorite songs may have special significance or meaning but are secular in nature and more appropriate at the wake service.  Our Music Director or a substitute will be available.  A professional Cantor can also be made available.

Presentation of the Gifts

Immediately following the Prayers of the Faithful, two gift bearers are usually asked to bring up the cruets (water and wine) and the unconsecrated hosts. If you family is not able or does not desire to do this we can make other arrangements.

Place of Burial

Your Funeral Director will help you make all plans for the burial of your loved one.

Refreshments or Luncheon

Depending on the family’s wishes and the availability, a luncheon can be made available in the parish hall. Please see the link to the Luncheon/Reception guide at the top of this page. Our ministers can assist you in planning this portion of the ceremony. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Bereavement Group

The members of the Parish Staff extend their prayers and sympathy to you and your family during this time of sorrow. In the days and months that follow, please know that the staff is available for visits, prayer, and grief resources. Various reading materials and support groups are available, please see the bereavement group link at the top of this page. As we go forward on our journey of life, may we comfort one another with our faith in Jesus Christ.


Our parish uses the book: Through Death to Life: Preparing to Celebrate the Funeral Mass. We will provide you with a copy of this book. This posting lists the readings that are found in that book without text. You can look these text up in a bible; however for the mass we prefer using the text in this book.  

Liturgy of the Word (Please list letter and number choice on planning guide)

First Reading Outside Easter Time (Old Testament)

C1 – 2 Maccabees 12:43-46 He acted in an excellent and noble way as he had the resurrection of the dead in view.

C2- Job 19:1,23-27a I know that my Vindicator lives.

C3 – Wisdom 3:1-9 or 3:1-6,9 As sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.

C4 – Wisdom 4:7-15An unsullied life, the attainment of old age.

C5- Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9

C6 – Lamentations 3:17-26 It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord

C7 – Daniel 12:1-3 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.

First Reading during Easter Time (New Testament)

C8 – Acts 10:34-43 or 10:34-36,42-42 He is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.

C9 – Revelation 14:13 Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.

C10 – Revelation 20:11 -21:1 The dead were judged according to their deeds.

C11 – Revelation 21:1-5a,6b-7 There shall be no more death

Responsorial Psalm

D1 – Psalm 23:1-3,4, 5, 6 – The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want 

D2 – Palm 25:6 and 7b, 17-18, 20-21 To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

D3 – Psalm 27:1, 4,7 and 8b and 9a, 13-14 The Lord is my light and salvation

D4 – Psalm 42:2,3,5cdef; 43:3,4,5 My soul is thirsting for the living God: when shall I see him face to face?

D5 – Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9 My Soul is thirst for you, O Lord my God.

D6 – Psalm 103:8 and 10, 13-18 The Lord is kind and merciful.

D7 – Psalm 116:5, 6, 10-11, 15-16ac I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

D8 – Psalm 122: 1-2, 4-9 I rejoiced when I heard them say: let us go to the house of the Lord.

D9 – Psalm 130:1-8 Out of the depths, I cry to you, Lord.

D10 – Psalm 143: 1-2,5-8ab, 10 O Lord, hear my prayer.


Second Reading

E1 – Romans 5:5-11 Since we are now justified by His Blood, we will be saved through him form the wrath

E2 – Romans 5:17-21 Where sin increase, grace overflowed all the more.

E3 – Roman 6:3-9 or 6:3-4,8-9 We too might live in newness of life

E4 – Romans 8:14-23 We also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

E5 – Romans 8:31b-35, 37-39 What will separate us from the love of Christ?

E6 – Romans 14:7-9, 10c-12 Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

E7 – 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 or 15:20-23 So too in Christ shall all be brought to life.

E8 – 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 Death is swallowed up in victory.

E9 - 2 Corinthians 4:14 5:1 What is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal

E10 - 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-10 “We know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.”

E11 -  Philippians 3:20-21 “Our citizenship is in heaven.”

E12 – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope.”

E13 -  2 Timothy 2:8-13 If we have died with him we shall also live with him.

E14 - 1 John 3:1-2 We shall see him as he is.

E15 - 1 John 3:14-16 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.

GOSPEL The Gospel is always proclaimed by the priest or deacon. Please choose one of the following Gospel readings and mark your selection on the planning form.

G1 - Matthew 5:1-12a “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

G2 –Matthew 11:25-30 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

G3 – Matthew 25:1-13 Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to him.

G4 - Matthew 25:31-46 “…whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

G5 - Mark 15:33-39, 16:1-6 “On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised. He is not here.”

G6 - Luke 7:11-17 “Young man, I tell you, arise.”

G7 - Luke 12:35-40 “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

G8 - Luke 23:33, 39-43 “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom…” “Amen I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

G9 – Luke 23:44-46,50,52-53; 24:1-6a Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

G10 -  Luke 24:13-16, 28-35 “Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory… “Stay with us, Lord, for evening draws near.” “Were not our hearts burning within?”

G11 – John 5:24-29 “Whoever hears my word and believes has passed from death to life.”

G12 - John 6:37-40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise them on the last day.”

G13 - John 6:51-59 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven: whoever eats this bread will live forever…”

G14 - John 11:17-27 “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.”

G15 - John 11:32-45 “And Jesus wept.”

G16 - John 12:23-28 (Long version) 12:23-26 (Short version) “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

G17 - John 14:1-6 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.”

G18 – John 17:24-26 “I wish that where I am they also may be with me.”

G19 – John 19:17-18, 25-29 “And bowing his head he handed over his Spirit.”


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