We are ready to help you pre-plan your funeral or to help you when a family member has died.

If you plan to have funeral services in our church, we can help you prepare to honor your loved-one with a beautiful Funeral Mass of the Resurrection and other funeral services. We have a funeral preparation team to walk you through the steps and be with you at the sacred liturgy.

“If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”

Rom 6:8

An Overview of Catholic Funeral Rites

“At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of Baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end, nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting Word of God and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.” - (Order of Christian Funerals, no. 4)

The Catholic funeral rite is divided into several stations, or parts, each with its own purpose. For this reason we recommend following the complete structure and making use of each station.

Vigil Service (Wake)

“At the vigil, the Christian community keeps watch with the family in prayer to the God of mercy and finds strength in Christ’s presence” (Order of Christian Funerals, no. 56). The Vigil Service usually takes place during the period of visitation and viewing at the funeral home. It is a time to remember the life of the deceased and to commend him/her to God. In prayer we ask God to console us in our grief and give us strength to support one another.

The Vigil Service can take the form of a Service of the Word with readings from Sacred Scripture accompanied by reflection and prayers. It can also take the form of one of the prayers of the Office for the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours. The clergy and your funeral director can assist in planning such service.

It is most appropriate, when family and friends are gathered together for visitation, to offer time for recalling the life of the deceased. For this reason, eulogies are usually encouraged to be done at the funeral home during visitation or at the Vigil Service.

Funeral Liturgy

The funeral liturgy is the central liturgical celebration of the Christian community for the deceased. When one of its members dies, the Church encourages the celebration of the funeral liturgy at a Mass. When Mass cannot be celebrated, a funeral liturgy outside Mass can be celebrated at the church or in the funeral home.

At the funeral liturgy, the Church gathers with the family and friends of the deceased to give praise and thanks to God for Christ’s victory over sin and death, to commend the deceased to God’s tender mercy and compassion, and to seek strength in the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery. The funeral liturgy, therefore, is an act of worship, and not merely an expression of grief.

Rite of Committal (Burial or Interment)

The Rite of Committal, the conclusion of the funeral rite, is the final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member. It should normally be celebrated at the place of committal, that is, beside the open grave or place of interment. In committing the body to its resting place, the community expresses the hope that, with all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, the deceased awaits the glory of the resurrection.

The Rite of Committal is an expression of the communion that exists between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven: the deceased passes with the farewell prayers of the community of believers into the welcoming company of those who need faith no longer, but see God face-to-face.

Planning a Catholic Funeral at St. Clare

If your loved one has recently died and you plan to have a Funeral Mass at St. Clare, the instructions for scheduling your loved one’s funeral, choosing readings and music, and any other necessary information, can be found below. Please click on each item to review the information.

  1. Introduction Letter
  2. Scripture Readings
  3. Options for Prayers of the Faithful
  4. Funeral Music
  5. Funeral Planning Form
  6. Reminder Checklist
  7. Dress Code for Readers
  8. Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries

Once you have reviewed each document, you may use the Funeral Planning Form to record your choices and bring them to your meeting with our Funeral Coordinator, Joanne Swift. You may download this form, fill it out on your computer or by hand, and either email it to our Funeral Coordinator Joanne Swift at or print it and bring it to the parish office. or you may fill it out on our website here and it will be emailed to Joanne on your behalf.

The final step is to contact the Funeral Coordinator in order to schedule a meeting to review your choices, ask any questions you may have, and choose a date for the funeral. Joanne Swift can be reached at or (623) 975-5600.